April 23, 2009
Games No. 43-45
Saturday, April 25, 2009 at Bill Simoni Field
UCSB (21-21, 4-8) at Pacific (16-27, 1-11), 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Available on Gametracker
Sunday, April 26, 2009 at Bill Simoni Field
UCSB at Pacific, 12 p.m.
Available on Gametracker
The Opening Pitch
The UCSB softball team will look to snap its four-game losing skid this weekend when it heads to Pacific for its final Big West Conference road series of the season. The Gauchos and Tigers will face-off in an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday and conclude the three-game set at noon on Sunday at Bill Simoni Field.
Gauchos Struggle In Long Beach
UCSB was swept for the second time this season in Big West play, suffering three straight losses at Long Beach State last weekend. The Gauchos were shut out by 4-0 and 1-0 scores during Saturday's doubleheader and then fell 6-1 on Sunday. The Gauchos are now 4-8 in Big West games, already matching their conference loss total from last season.
The Gauchos currently are second in the Big West - and are ranked 66th nationally - with their collective .286 batting average. Prior to last weekend's series, they led all Big West teams with a .313 average in conference games, but are now third batting .274. The are second with a total of 328 runs and 42 stolen bases this year.
Senior second baseman Christine Ramos is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She leads the Gauchos and the Big West, batting .396 this season - .419 in Big West games - with 59 hits. She is tops among the Gauchos with 66 total bases and a league-leading 13 stolen bases. She has had hits in all but six games this season and has had multiple hit games on 16 occasions, including six three-hit games. If the senior finishes the season as the Gauchos' hits leader (she is currently 10 hits ahead of Jessica Ziegler), she will be the only player in program history to lead the team four consecutive years.
Starting With A Cobb Salad
Freshman Krista Cobb (14-8) - a four-time Big West Pitcher of the Week - has made a team-leading 27 appearances this season and posted a 2.11 ERA, ranking sixth in the Big West. She is third in the conference with a .215 opponent batting average and fifth with her 14 wins. Cobb has gone 4-5 in BWC games and has a 2.12 ERA in those appearances. She is just one win away from cracking into the UCSB single-season pitcher victories list and is two wins away from tying Jennifer Davis as the Gauchos' winningest freshman pitcher.
Fifty Is Nifty
Now in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, Brie Galicinao won the 50th game of her career when UCSB defeated Northridge on April 11. She has compiled a 51-45 record in her two seasons and reached 50 wins quicker than any previous softball coach at UCSB.
Freshman Amanda Ziegler ranks 25th nationally for sacrifice flies this season. She has posted a team-leading three. The Gauchos lead the Big West with a total of 10 sac flies.
Sophomore Katie McWhirter has had quite a bit of success this season as the Gauchos' designated player. She currently is third on the team with her .313 average and is sixth in the conference with a .364 average during league games. She has had hits in nine of the 12 conference games.
Sophomore Jessica Beristianos continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West with her single-season program record 13 hit-by-pitches, which ranks her 22nd nationally with a 0.31 per game average. Not all of her at-bats result in a welt though. The shortstop leads UCSB in doubles (10), walks (16) and is second with 28 RBI. She is batting .275 overall this season in the clean-up spot.
Getting Ziggy With It
The Gauchos' number two batter - Jessica Ziegler - is currently second on the team in batting average (.325) and second in the conference in hits (49), behind Christine Ramos. She has had hits in all but 11 games this season. At first base, she has posted a .997 fielding percentage - ranking ninth in the conference - and has committed just one error. She ranks fifth for chances (298) and putouts (269).
She's Got The Wright Stuff, Baby!
Senior Tiffany Wright leads the team with her 27 runs and 29 RBI. In her final season she is making her mark on the Gaucho record books. She currently ranks third in career RBI (115), fourth in doubles (33) and is now tied for sixth in hits (181). She is also fifth all-time for career runs with 109, two runs behind teammate Christine Ramos (111). Wright already owns the UCSB record for career home runs with 27. Wright is batting .270 on the season and is tied for second with Jessica Ziegler with eight runs in Big West contests.
Cobb is not the only freshman that has made an immediate impact this season. Third baseman Amanda Ziegler is one of the Gaucho team leaders at the plate. She is batting .292 overall and an impressive .333 in Big West games. She is third on the team with 23 RBI this season.
Currently the Gaucho pitching staff owns a 2.90 ERA, an improvement upon last season's collective 3.82 ERA. Cobb has made a team-leading 27 appearances, but junior MeLinda Matsumoto (2-8) isn't far behind with 20. The junior is second on the team with her 3.24 ERA and has posted 38 strikeouts.
Fighting Back From .500
UCSB jumped out to a 4-0 start during the first weekend of the season and has carried a winning record on all but two occasions. At the conclusion of the UNLV Invite in early March, UCSB was in a similar situation as it is now: the Gauchos carried an 11-11 record and were amidst a four-game losing skid - its longest of the season. UCSB bounced back and went on to win six of its next seven games. UCSB has not lost more than four games in row this year.
Pacific enters this weekend with a 16-27 overall record and a 1-11 mark in Big West games. The Tigers have lost 14 of their last 15 games, including the last five straight. In the circle, Chelsea Engle (7-12) leads the team with 29 appearances and has posted a 3.66 ERA with 105 strikeouts. Nicole Matson leads the Tigers at the plate batting .356 with a team-leading 29 RBI.
Against The Tigers
Pacific owns a 57-36 all-time series record with the Gauchos. Last season, UCSB won the Big West series with the Tigers, winning games one and two with 7-4 and 3-1 scores before falling, 8-6 in the finale.
The Road Home
UCSB will return home for its final two Big West series against UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos will face the Aggies May 2-3 for a three-game series at Campus Diamond and then conclude the regular season against Fullerton on May 8-9 during a Friday-Saturday series.
No Place Like Home
The Gauchos hold an 8-2 record at Campus Diamond this season. At home, UCSB is outhitting its opposition .350 to .214 and has outscored its opponents 50-25. The Gaucho pitching staff owns a 1.62 ERA in their home circle.
With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October, UCSB Athletics also launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.