UCSB Heads North to Face Cal Poly this Weekend, Will Host No. 13 Oregon State on Monday

UCSB Heads North to Face Cal Poly this Weekend, Will Host No. 13 Oregon State on Monday

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• The Schedule
Games No. 42, 43, 44, 45

Saturday, April 28, 2007
UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly. 12 & 2 p.m.
at Bob Janssen Field (1,000)

Sunday, April 29, 2007
UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly, 12 p.m.
at Bob Janssen Field (1,000)

Monday, April 30, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 13 Oregon State, 11 a.m.
at Campus Diamond (500)

• The Week Ahead Coming off of its long awaited first Big West Conference win of the season, the UC Santa Barbara softball team will head north on the 101 this weekend to face Central Coast rival Cal Poly for a three-game series. The Mustangs and Gauchos will play a doubleheader on Saturday scheduled to start at noon and will conclude the series, as usual, with a single game at noon on Sunday. Following the weekend series against Cal Poly, the Gauchos will play their final non-conference game of the regular season against No. 13 Oregon State at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 30 at Campus Diamond. Saturday's games versus the Mustangs will be broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM. If you aren't by a radio, KCSB streams audio on www.KCSB.org.

• An Update: Gauchos Go 1-2 Versus Northridge Over the Weekend
UCSB continued to struggle against Big West opposition on Saturday during its doubleheader versus Cal State Northridge. The Matadors captured a 5-1 win in the first game of the day, which included a grand slam homer from current BWC Player of the Week, Christina Saenz. In Saturday's second game, the Gauchos captured an early 7-0 lead in the first two innings, but the Matadors battled back and earned the 9-8 win. Sunday was the day the Gauchos were able to finally end their eight-game conference losing skid, after giving up a homerun in the first inning, UCSB climbed to a 6-1 victory, marking not only their first Big West win of the season, but also head coach Kristy Schroeder's 300th career victory.

• For The Record
The Gauchos are now 24-17 on the season and have tied the number of wins they collected during the entire 2006 season. UCSB is now 1-8 in conference games, which ranks sixth amongst the teams in the Big West. The Gauchos are fourth in conference with their overall winning percentage (.585). Also notable, UCSB has gone 4-3 this season against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll including wins over then-ranked No. 23 Massachusetts (Feb. 9), No. 2 Arizona State (Mar. 2), No. 11 UCLA (Mar. 27) and No. 24 Fresno State (Apr. 10)

• Davis Does It All
Coming off of her second Big West Pitcher of the Week honor of the season, senior hurler Jennifer Davis was impressive last weekend in the circle but even more so at the plate. The Whittier, Calif. native led the team batting .571 on the weekend with four hits including three home runs - one in each game. With her trio of round trips, she moves to the number five spot on the UCSB all-time home run list with 18 career homers. Davis also earned two walks and had a sacrifice hit for the Gauchos. In the circle, she posted a 1-1 record with a 2.00 ERA after dropping game one, giving up five runs on 10 hits while walking four and fanning 11. In the series closer, she pitched seven innings allowing just one hit, walking four and striking out nine. She now holds an 8-11 record on the season and a conference-leading ERA of 1.38, which ranks 32nd amongst Division I pitchers. With her 20 fanned batters on the week, Davis is now just 12 strikeouts away from the conference record of 798 career strikeouts set by Cal Poly's Desarie Knipfer in 1998. Besides leading the Big West with her ERA, Davis holds the lowest opponent's batting average (.158) and is second for strikeouts (156). At the plate, Davis is hitting .246 on the season and now leads the Gauchos with five homers on the year.

• Schroeder Tallies 300th Career Victory
Head coach Kristy Schroeder picked up her 300th career win on Sunday with the Gauchos' 6-1 victory over Cal State Northridge. Schroeder, who is in her eighth season as a collegiate head coach, now has a career record of 300-184-1 (.619) and with the Gauchos is 167-150 (.527). She is in her sixth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara softball program and continues to foster a commitment to excellence and a high level of success. In 2006, Schroeder led the Gauchos to a 24-22 record, an 8-10 Big West mark and the second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. She took a team that was plagued by injuries in 2005 and posted a 26-22 overall record, playing one the most difficult schedules the program had ever seen. She notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB on Feb. 26. In 2004, she led the Gauchos to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after guiding them to a 32-31 overall record and a 14-7 conference mark, which was tied for second in the Big West and was the highest league finish in UCSB history. In addition, the Gauchos won 30-plus games in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever as a Division I program. In 2003 she guided the team to the best record in program history at 34-22 and had a school-record nine players named All-Big West, with two receiving All-Region accolades. In 2002, her first season at UCSB, she was named the Big West's Co-Coach of the Year, after Santa Barbara finished the season with a 27-36 overall record--an increase of nine wins from the year before.

• In Tisha We Trust
Junior Tisha Duran was second on the team batting .375 against Northridge over the weekend. The Ventura, Calif. native was 3-for-8 with a triple, a home run, three runs scored and five total RBI. In Sunday's win, Duran went 2-for-2 with her three-run home run, a walk and an additional run. She is currently second on the team batting .360 with a team-leading 25 RBI. Duran ranks in the conference top-10 for triples (3) and has a total of 14 extra base hits this season. Out of the Gauchos' 41 games this season, Duran has had hits in 28 of them, including ten multi-hit performances. The third basemen is also second on the team with 26 runs scored.

• Run Ramos, Run
Sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos continues to lead the Gauchos hitting .360 on the season with a team-leading 27 runs scored and .399 OB%. The sophomore also currently leads the team and the Big West for stolen bases (11). The Long Beach, Calif. native went 1-for-4 with a run against the Matadors in game two of last weekend's series and was 2-for-4 with a run scored in the weekend closer. Ramos has had hits in 29 of the Gauchos' 41 games this season, including 18 multiple hit games, which is the second most by a Big West player this season. A 2006 All-Big West Conference Second Team honoree, Ramos ranks in the conference top-10 for batting average, runs scored, hits (50) and steal attempts (13).

• The Wright Stuff
Sophomore outfielder Tiffany Wright hit her fourth home run of the season in game two of last weekend's series driving in a pair of Gaucho runs. The Corona, Calif. native also had a hit in game one, going 1-for-3 at the plate. Wright is currently batting .282 on the season and is second on the team with 24 RBI and tied for first for extra base hits: nine doubles, two triples and four home runs. She is tied second on the team with eight stolen bases, which ranks in the conference top-10. The Gauchos' clean-up hitter, Wright has had hits in 25 of the 41 games played including eight multi-hit games. She leads the conference in sacrifice flies (4) and ranks in the top-10 for triples.

• The Reigning Queen Of Sac Bunts
Senior Jessica Hejna currently leads the nation in sac bunts per game, averaging .51 and she is tops in the conference with a total of 21 on the season. Over the weekend, Hejna went 1-for-3 in game one which she followed up with a 1-for-3 performance with an RBI double, a run and a sacrifice hit in the latter half of Saturday's doubleheader. Hejna rounded out the weekend with a run and a sac bunt in the series closer. With her double on Saturday, Hejna moved onto the Gaucho career doubles list with 18. The first basemen has also been a force defensively as she holds a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with a conference-leading 319 chances and 300 putouts. Her defensive prowess has helped lead the Gauchos to their current .967 fielding percentage, which ranks 42nd amongst Division I programs.

• Matsumoto Matters
Pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto dropped her fifth game of the season in Saturday's 9-8 loss to Cal State Northridge. She threw a complete game giving up a season-high nine runs on a season-high 13 hits while walking two and striking out one. The Union City, Calif. native is now 9-5 on the season, holds an ERA of 2.87, and has an opponent's batting average of .281. Her nine wins are the seventh most by a BWC pitcher so far this season and three were by way of shutout.

• Putich Moves On Up
Senior Brittany Putich moved up to the number eight spot on the UCSB career RBI list after going 1-for-2 with an RBI single in game two on Saturday. The shortstop now has 58 career RBI. Putich also stole a base in Sunday's win to bring her career count to 39 which moves her to the number six spot on the career stolen base list.

• Pitching Points
The Gaucho pitching staff currently ranks second in the Big West with their combined ERA of 2.07 and are also second for opposing batting average (.208) and strikeouts with 232. The Gaucho staff has allowed the fewest runs (103), hits (216), homeruns (19) and earned runs (85).

• Putting The Home In Home Run
The 2007 Gauchos are not best described as a long-ball team, but you wouldn't have known that watching them play this weekend as they totaled five home runs during the series against the Matadors. Davis led the team with one in each game and Wright and Duran each hit one over the outfield fence. Last weekend's five homers are the most UCSB has posted in a single weekend since the weekend of Feb, 23-25 when the Gauchos tallied seven at their own Mini Tournament. In fact, of the team's 19 home runs this season, 16 have been hit at Santa Barbara's Campus Diamond.

• Oh What A Difference A Run Makes
The Gauchos' road to their 1-8 start in conference play has been paved with several tight losses: four of their nine Big West games have been decided by a single run and they have also played three extra inning conference match-ups which have all ended in losses. This weekend the pattern continued as UCSB fell to Northridge 9-8 in Saturday's game two after leading 8-5 heading into the seventh inning. The Gauchos are 0-4 in Big West games decided by a single run and 7-8 overall in one run games.

• Wrangling The Mustangs
Cal Poly currently leads the Big West with its 8-1 conference record and is 33-12 overall on the season. Last weekend, the Mustangs dropped a non-conference series to UC Davis after losing the first two, 2-0 and 4-3, and winning the finale, 5-1. Leading Cal Poly this season is Lisa Modglin, who is fifth in the nation with her .489 batting average, has a team-leading 48 runs, 32 extra-base hits - including 16 home runs, 41 RBI, a .993 slugging percentage and 10 stolen bases. The Mustang pitching staff currently leads the conference with their 1.94 ERA. Hurler Robyn Kontra has made the most appearances in the circle and has posted a 10-4 record with a 1.98 ERA and a team-low .233 opponents' batting average. Helen Pena leads the team with her 1.75 ERA and has a 5-4 record on the year. When the Gauchos faced Cal Poly last season, the Mustangs took the first two games by way of 6-2 and 6-4 scores before UCSB captured a 9-5 win in the series closer. Cal Poly leads the all-time series with the Gauchos, 41-35.

• Beaver Banter
UCSB will play No. 13 Oregon State in a single game on Monday and look to pick up its fifth win over an opponent ranked in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll. The Beavers, who are currently 34-15 on the season, will face No. 14 Oregon, No. 11 Washington and No. 12 UCLA before making the trip to Santa Barbara on Monday. The Beavers are currently led at the plate by Cambria Miranda who is hitting .344 on the season with a team-leading 40 runs, nine homeruns and 41 RBI. As a team, OSU is batting .280 on the season. In the circle Brianne McGowan leads the pitchers with her 20-8 record and has a 1.69 ERA while Ta'Tyana McElroy is 12-7 on the year with a 1.40 ERA and .204 opponent's batting average. The Beavers' team ERA is an impressive 1.56. Oregon State leads the all-time series with UCSB, 8-7 and picked up its last win in 2006 with a 4-0 shutout on March 3.

• Coming Soon
The Gauchos will compete in their final home series of the season against UC Riverside on May 5-6 with a doubleheader on Saturday set for noon and a single game on Sunday, also scheduled for noon. Prior to Sunday's first pitch, the Gauchos will honor their four graduating seniors: Jennifer Davis, Jessica Hejna, Brittany Putich and Liz Walters.