April 27, 2006

Home Series with Central Coast Rival Cal Poly On Tap for UCSB This Weekend

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April 27, 2006

• The Schedule
Games No. 36, 37, 38
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Campus Diamond
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Game 1 - 12:00 p.m.
Game 2 - 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Game 3 - 12:00 p.m.

• The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara returns home this weekend following consecutive road series at UC Davis and Cal State Northridge with an of overall record of 19-16 and a 3-6 Big West mark after dropping two of three with the Matadors Apr. 22-23. Saturday was not UCSB's day, as the Gauchos were limited to just one run and were swept in the series opening doubleheader 9-0 and 9-1, with both losses coming in five innings. But UCSB responded in a big way, unloading a total of 13 runs on 17 hits to take Sunday's finale by a count of 13-5 and avoid the series sweep in convincing fashion. The Gauchos, who have managed more than one win only once in their last four series, are happy to return home where they are a healthy 5-2. With only a total of 13 home dates in 2006, each contest in Santa Barbara is a must-win.

• UCSB Salvages Series with Big Win In Finale
After the Santa Barbara offense was limited to a total of six hits and one run and the Matadors won a pair of five inning contests, the Gauchos definitely had something to prove in the finale. UCSB was up to the challenge and bounced back in game three, scoring in every inning after the first on the way to a 13-5 victory. Tiffany Wright went 3-for-4 with four RBI and Kendra Singley finished 2-for-4, driving in two and scoring twice to power the offensive attack. Both players connected for their team-leading fifth homerun of the season. The Gauchos also got big contributions from Jessica Hejna, Jennifer Davis and Danielle Meyers as they turned in a trio of three-hit performances. Davis notched her team-leading 13th victory for UCSB in the win, equaling her win total from a year ago.

• Offense Continues to Carry the Load
While the first two contests with Northridge were not exactly bright spots in the 2006 season for UCSB, Sunday's victory definitely was. After the Matadors handed the Gauchos back-to-back run-rule defeats for the first time in the Kristy Schroeder era, Santa Barbara bounced back with its best offensive showing of the year. The Gauchos posted season highs with 17 hits and 13 runs, the most since UCSB racked up 18 hits and defeated Utah State 14-2 Apr. 26. 2003. The team also recorded 12 RBI and four doubles in the 13-5 victory, which are high marks this year as well. The Gauchos, a team that relied on the ability of its pitching staff to shut down opponents early in the season, have been transformed into a squad that wins games with their bats. Here's the proof: While UCSB scored three runs or less in nine of its first 14 victories, it has scored four or more in each of the team's last five wins.

• Scouting the Mustangs
Big West action continues for the Gauchos Saturday and Sunday when they host Cal Poly in a three game set at Campus Diamond. The Mustangs, who have won a season-high six straight, own a 22-19 overall record and a 7-3 Big West mark after sweeping the series with UC Davis last weekend. Cal Poly is led by junior outfielder Lisa Modglin, who is batting a team-high .369 and leads the squad with 33 runs, 15 doubles, six homers and 35 RBI. Senior outfielder Chelsea Green is hitting .285 with 19 runs, four homers and 22 RBI. Sophomore hurler Robyn Kontra has shouldered most of the work in the circle for the Mustangs, posting an ERA of 2.94, an 11-9 record, with 67 strikeouts in 145 innings pitched. Freshman Jenna Maiden is 8-7 with a 3.28 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 83.1 innings of work. Cal Poly leads the overall series with Santa Barbara 39-34 and swept UCSB to conclude the season a year ago 3-2, 4-0 and 5-0 in San Luis Obispo.

• Broad Shoulders
With the loss of No. 2 pitcher Ginger Gutierrez, Jennifer Davis has continued to carry the Gauchos in the circle. For the second straight series, the junior notched the decision in two of the three games against CSUN, throwing a total of 11 complete innings and went 1-1. Davis, who has now been the pitcher of record in 25 of UCSB's 35 contests, allowed nine runs (four earned) on nine hits in the Gauchos' loss in the opener. She rebounded for her 13th win of the season on Sunday, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. The Whittier, Calif. native has been stellar all season and earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors following a three-hit shutout of No. 5 Stanford Mar. 4. She is now 13-12 with an ERA of 2.96 and 164 strikeouts--which is second in the Big West--in 158.2 innings pitched in 2006, third among conference pitchers. Davis currently ranks second on the UCSB Career Top 10 strikeouts list with a total of 560 and her career totals of 42 wins and 516 innings pitched rank fourth and seventh on the all-time charts, respectively. She has gone the distance in 20 of the 24 contests she has started this season and ranks seventh all-time with 52 career complete games.

• Special K
Junior center fielder Kendra Singley has been one of the Gaucho's most reliable players in 2006, ranking first or second in batting all season. She is currently second, hitting .300 and has recorded a team-best five homeruns, 21 runs batted in and six doubles. Singley went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to give Santa Barbara a 10-5 advantage in the win over the Matadors in the finale Sunday. With that dinger, she now has 16 homeruns and 78 RBI for her career, both of which register fifth in the all-time record books at UCSB. The Irvine, Calif. native was tremendous against Radford University Mar. 16, when she finished 3-for-4 and drove in four of the Gauchos' five runs in the first game, which tied a season high. Singley tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single, then hit a walk-off three run homer in the bottom of the tenth to seal the victory.

• No Substitute For Speed
Freshman second baseman Christine Ramos has been the presence at the top of the order that the Gauchos lacked in 2005 all season. Hitting in the leadoff spot for most of the year, she boasts team-highs in batting average at .307 and runs with 18 while her .378 on base percentage and four stolen bases rank second. The Long Beach, Calif. native earned Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling All-Tournament Team honors after hitting .500 with two RBI Mar. 8-11 in Honolulu. Ramos, who scored a season high three runs Feb. 10 in the Gauchos' 10-1 throttling of UMASS, reached on an error and scored in the seventh inning UCSB's game three win over Cal State Northridge.

• The Wright Stuff
Freshman Tiffany Wright has been dependable from day one for Santa Barbara, starting every game at first base this season. The Corona, Calif. native leads the squad with five homers, ranks second with 17 RBI and third batting .298. The five homeruns she has hit are the fourth most ever by a UCSB freshman and, since hitting a jack in her first game as a Gaucho Feb. 9, the clean-up hitter's bat has been a force in the lineup all season. Wright has been especially hot recently, going 2-for-5 with a solo homer in game two against Fullerton Apr. 1. She doubled and drove in what proved to be the winning run in Santa Barbara's 4-3 win over Pacific Apr. 8 and her solo homer accounted for the Gauchos' only run in the 6-1 loss in the series finale. Wright was dominant against Northridge, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a career-high four RBI in the 13-5 win.

• Hans On Approach
Sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen continues to impress, hitting .253 overall and an impressive .333 in Big West play, with 12 runs scored and seven runs batted in. Her .443 on base percentage leads the squad and ranks seventh in the Big West. The San Clemente, Calif. native connected for an RBI triple and scored a season-high three runs in the final game with UC Davis two weeks ago and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle in the Gauchos' 8-6 win over Fullerton in the opener Apr. 1. She scored three runs and hit her first homer as a Gaucho in the fifth inning of that game. Hansen had a career-high three RBI in the Palm Springs Classic opener against Ohio State Feb. 25 after hitting a bases loaded triple in the fourth inning.

• Heating Up
After a slow start at the beginning of the season, junior shortstop Brittany Putich has turned things around and continues to produce better numbers each week. A week after turning in what was arguably her best series of the season at UC Davis, stealing three bags, scoring twice and chipping in with a two-run double in the finale, Putich did her thing in game three with the Matadors. She went 2-for-3, scored and drove in a run in the second inning. The two-time All-Big West honoree leads the team with ten stolen bases and is second with 15 runs scored in 2006.

• Weston Notches Another First
Freshman pitcher Tami Weston has had the opportunity to show what she can do this season and has given the Gauchos some quality innings in the circle. She picked up her first career complete game in the weekend series with CSUN after pitching a total of 4.2 innings in the run-rule shortened loss in game two. The Ventura, Calif. native is now 2-2 with an ERA of 6.16, 17 strikeouts and 42 walks in 25 innings pitched this season.

• More of Meyers
One of the Gauchos' hottest players of late has been sophomore third baseman and utility player Danielle Meyers. After starting for the first time since Mar. 5 two weeks ago against UC Davis and driving in a total of four runs, including a two-run homer, Meyers was in the starting lineup in all three games at Cal State Northridge last weekend. The Lodi, Calif. native's single in the top of the fifth inning of game one saved UCSB from being the victim's of a no-hitter and her second inning single in game two drove in the Gauchos' only run of the day Saturday. Meyers was even better the next day, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI in the 13-5 win. She is now hitting .289 with four runs and seven RBI in 17 games this season and leads the Gauchos with a .556 batting average and an on base percentage of .600 in Big West play.

• Jack of All Trades
Junior left fielder Jessica Hejna has done whatever the team has needed her do to at the plate this season and she has done it well. In addition to hitting .230 with 10 runs and 12 RBI, the Orange, Calif. native also heads up the small ball attack, leading the team and the Big West with 14 sacrifice bunts. Hejna's three triples are also tops on the squad and rank third among conference hitters. Furthermore, she is the only Gaucho to have started all 35 games this year and still maintain a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Hejna went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a pair of runs and three runs batted in Sunday, helping lead Santa Barbara to victory over Northridge in the series finale. She had two of UCSB's three hits in game one at UC Davis Apr. 14 and chipped in with a sacrifice fly in the third inning of the nightcap. Hejna was the catalyst in the 10-1 mercy rule victory over UMASS Feb. 10, turning in a 3-for-3 performance with three runs, a walk and a career-high four RBI.

• The Kristy Schroeder File
Kristy Schroeder is in her fifth 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. Her impact has been immeasurable, as she has turned what once was a very mediocre program into one of the top squads in the conference each and every year. She took a team that was plagued by injuries in 2005 and posted a 26-22 overall record, playing one of the most difficult schedules the program had ever seen. Schroeder notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB February 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--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 Schroeder 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 seven seasons as head coach at UCSB and Division II Truman State, Schroeder has a career record of 271-161-1 (.626), while her mark with the Gauchos is 138-127 (.521).

• Gutierrez No Longer With UCSB
On Thursday, Mar. 30, head coach Kristy Schroeder announced that junior pitcher Ginger Gutierrez would no longer be with the program due to ineligibility. The transfer from Ventura College had a record of 4-2 with 26 strikeouts and nine walks in nine appearances. Pitching in the second spot of UCSB's rotation, Gutierrez led the team and ranked second in the Big West with a 1.77 ERA in 2006.

• Probable Gaucho Starters - Notes
C - Ericka Hansen - Leads UCSB with a .443 on-base percentage and 23 walks
1B - Tiffany Wright - Went 3-for-4 with a run and a game-high four RBI in win over CSUN
2B - Christine Ramos - Team leader hitting .307 with 35 hits and 18 runs scored
3B - Danielle Meyers - Hitting a team-high .556 in Big West play
SS - Brittany Putich - Speedster leads the Gauchos with 10 stolen bases this year
LF - Jessica Hejna - Went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a pair of runs and three RBI Sunday
CF - Kendra Singley - Her six doubles, five homeruns and 21 RBI lead the squad
RF - Liz Walters - Went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in Davis finale Apr. 15
DP - Adrienne Anderson - Started four of the Gauchos' last five games

• Gaucho Reserves - Notes
C - Brenda Lira - Started 22 games behind the plate last year
1B - Dani Baltazar - Made her first appearance of 2006 as a pinch hitter against LUC March 4
2B - Lauren Augino - Appeared as a pinch runner and scored in the fifth inning against Davis Apr. 15
3B - Shelby Hensler - Started 28 games at third base this year
OF - Nicole Churnock - Started 13 games in right field in 2006
OF - Jackie Conlin - Scored two of UCSB's four runs in game two vs. Fullerton Apr. 1

• Gaucho Pitchers - Notes
P - Jennifer Davis - Gaucho workhorse has a 13-12 record, with a 2.96 ERA and 164 strikeouts
P - Tami Weston - Earned her first-career complete game in game two loss against Cal State Northridge Saturday