April 29, 2009

Gauchos Return Home to Host UC Davis

April 29, 2009

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• The Schedule
Games No. 46-48

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at Campus Diamond
UCSB (23-22, 6-9) vs. UC Davis (16-27, 1-11), 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Available on Gametracker

Sunday, May 3, 2009 at Campus Diamond
UCSB vs. UC Davis, 12 p.m.
Available on Gametracker
Broadcast on KCSB 91.9 FM

• The Opening Pitch
After playing six straight Big West games on the road, the UC Santa Barbara softball team will finally return to the friendly confines of Campus Diamond this weekend for a three-game set with conference foe UC Davis. The Big West series will begin with a noon doubleheader on Saturday and conclude with a single game on Sunday.

• Gauchos Win Third Big West Series
Last weekend, the Gauchos won a conference series at Pacific. UCSB shut out the Tigers by way of 3-0 and 5-0 scores, but dropped game two in a narrow 3-2 defeat. Santa Barbara currently holds a 23-22 overall record and is 6-9 in league pairings. UCSB has won three Big West series, taking two out of three against UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge and Pacific.

• 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.

• Cobb's Complete Games
Freshman Krista Cobb (16-8) tied Jennifer Davis (2004-07) for the most wins by a UCSB rookie pitcher on Sunday as she recorded her 16th victory over the season. She is just two wins away from tying the school record of 18 wins in a season, set by J. Davis and Sandy Ortgies (1984-87). She has recorded eight shutouts this season - ranking 17th nationally - and is two shutouts away from tying Loren Thornburg's record school record of 10 in a season. During the weekend, Cobb posted two shutout wins over the Tigers. She allowed just five hits and six walks, hit three batters and struck out 12 during the pair of complete-game performances. For the season, she ranks fifth in the Big West with her 1.88 ERA and first in opposing batting average (.204). In conference games, she has posted a 6-5 record with a 1.57 ERA. She is second in the league with 41 strikeouts against Big West opposition.

• Leader Of The Pack
Senior second baseman Christine Ramos leads the Gauchos and the Big West, batting .394 this season with 63 hits - hitting .407 with 22 hits in Big West games. She is tops among the Gauchos with 70 total bases and a league-leading 14 stolen bases. She has had hits in all but seven 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. She has already set the school record for career hits with 246 and now ranks 10th in the Big West record book. Ramos' .357 career batting average is on pace to set the school record and she currently ranks second in at-bats (689), fourth in runs (112) and stolen bases (50), and tied for fourth in triples (6).

• The Galicinao File
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 53-46 record in her two seasons and reached 50 wins quicker than any previous softball coach at UCSB. Last season, Galicinao was named Big West Co-Coach of the Year after guiding the Gauchos to a 30-24 record and a second place finish in conference.

• Offensive Behavior
The Gauchos currently are second in the Big West with their collective .283 batting average. They are second with a total of 347 hits and 47 stolen bases. UCSB ranks third for runs scored (182) and total bases (448), and leads the conference with 10 sacrifice flies.

• Wright Over The Fence
Senior Tiffany Wright made her plate appearances count last weekend at Pacific. The center fielder went 3-for-10 with two home runs, four runs, five RBI and a .900 slugging percentage. This season, she is batting .272 with a team and Big West-leading 31 runs, six home runs and 34 RBI - six shy from her 2008 total. In her final season, she is making her mark on the Gaucho record books. She currently ranks third in career RBI (120), fourth in doubles (33) and is now fifth in hits (185). She is also third all-time for career runs with 113, surpassing teammate Christine Ramos (112). Wright already owns the UCSB record for career home runs with 29 and is now tied for sixth on the conference's all-time list. She currently ranks third in the Big West this season for RBI and sixth for home runs.

• McHitter
Katie McWhirter, the Gauchos' designated player, is currently third on the team with her .316 average and is batting .357 in conference games - good for second on the team and fifth among Big West players. At Pacific, she went 3-for-9 with two stolen bases and a sacrifice bunt. She has now had hits in 11 of the 15 conference games.

• Beristianos' Bruises
Sophomore Jessica Beristianos continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West with her single-season program record 14 hit-by-pitches, which ranks her 21st 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 (18) and is second with 29 RBI - ranking sixth in the Big West. She is batting .260 overall this season in the clean-up spot and her .409 on-base percentage is 10th in conference.

• Ziggy, Ziggy, Ziggy, Sometimes Your Hits Just Hypnotize Me
The Gauchos' number two batter, Jessica Ziegler, is currently second on the team and 10th in the Big West in batting average (.333). She is also second for hits (53) and runs (28). Against Pacific, she posted her fifth three-hit game of the season during the series finale. At first base, she has posted a .997 fielding percentage - ranking seventh in the conference - and has committed just one error. She ranks fifth in the Big West for chances (304) and putouts (275).

• A To The Z
Jessica is not the only Ziegler tearing up the diamond this season, freshman Amanda Ziegler is also representing the family name in fine fashion. The third baseman is currently fourth on the squad, batting .295 and ranks in the Big West's top-10 with her nine doubles (sixth) and conference-leading three sac flies. She had one hit in each of the games last weekend including an RBI double in the 3-0 shutout on Saturday. In Big West games, she is batting .333 and is tied for second in the conference with 16 hits and is first with five doubles in league pairings.

• Pitching Points
Currently the Gaucho pitching staff owns a 2.76 ERA, an improvement upon last season's collective 3.82 ERA. Cobb has made a team-leading 29 appearances, but junior MeLinda Matsumoto (2-9) isn't far behind with 21. The junior is second on the team with her 3.20 ERA and has posted 41 strikeouts. She has allowed the second fewest walks (24) among Big West pitchers this season.

• Scouting UC Davis
UC Davis enters this week with a 21-26 overall record and a 5-10 Big West mark. The Aggies will play No. 13 Cal on Wednesday before making the trip to Santa Barbara. UCD is struggling as of late, dropping 10 of its last 11 contests, which included a sweep at the hands of league-leader No. 22 Cal Poly last weekend. At the plate, Kelly Harman leads the team with her .304 average, 21 runs and 23 RBI. Jessica Hancock (13-10) has posted a 1.78 ERA with 161 strikeouts during her 32 appearances. Alex Holmes (8-16) has a 1.98 ERA with 98 K's.

• Against The Aggies
The Gauchos hold a 9-4 advantage in the all-time series with UC Davis. Last season, UC Davis won the first two games of their Big West set with the Gauchos by way of 2-1 and 4-1 scores. Santa Barbara took the final game, 6-2.

• Coming Soon
UCSB will remain at home next week for its final regular season series of 2009 - a three-game set with conference foe Cal State Fullerton. Next week's series will take place on Friday and Saturday since the NCAA Tournament selection show is on Sunday. The series will begin with a noon doubleheader at Campus Diamond on Friday, May 8 and conclude with a noon game on Saturday.

• Getting To Campus Diamond
Getting to UCSB softball games is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, and take a left onto Stadium Road. Campus Diamond is on your left just past the lacrosse field, and you can park at Lot 30 which is right outside the stadium. There are two kiosks that accept cash and credit card to pay for parking.

• Teachers Appreciation Week
UCSB Athletics is happy to announce that it will be offering free tickets to local educators for this weekend's Big West Conference home softball series against UC Davis in honor of Teachers Appreciation week. For more information, click here.