May 15, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis was named the Big West Conference's Pitcher of the Year while four of her teammates were also awarded conference accolades it was announced today. Sophomore Christine Ramos and junior Tisha Duran joined Davis on the All-Big West First Team while senior Jessica Hejna earned second team honors and sophomore Tiffany Wright was picked as an honorable mention.
This is the first season since 2003 that any UCSB player has been named to the conference first team and the first-ever Pitcher of the Year honor for a Gaucho.
The All-Big West First Team honor was a first for Davis who earned honorable mention accolades her freshman year followed by to back-to-back second team distinctions. The Whittier, Calif. native cemented her place in Big West history with a truly dominating season. The senior is 14-14 on the season with a conference-leading 1.35 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .164 in 191.1 innings pitched. Her 203 strikeouts rank second on the Big West leaderboard and this season she became UCSB's, as well as the conference's, all-time strikeout leader when she struck out 15 batters in a series against Cal Poly bringing her career count to 801 passing Cal Poly's Desarie Knipfer's career count of 798. She is the only pitcher in Big West history to surpass 800 strikeouts. Davis was twice named the Big West Pitcher of the Week during the 2007 season and also earned her first career Player of the Week honor.
Joining Davis on the first team was sophomore Christine Ramos, a second team selection in 2006. The Gauchos' second basemen has led the team in batting all season and her current .358 average ranks sixth in the conference. The Long Beach, Calif. native is third in the Big West with 63 hits on the year and has had hits in 37 of the Gauchos' 51 games this season including 23 multiple-hit performances, good for second in conference. She is the UCSB runs leader with 33 on the season and has a conference and team-high 12 stolen bags under her belt.
Rounding out the first team picks is junior Tisha Duran who in her first year in the blue and gold has made an immediate impact for UCSB. The Ventura, Calif. native is second on the team hitting .331 on the season and ranks in the conference top-10 with her 33 RBI, 32 runs scored and .494 slugging percentage. She also sits on the Big West leaderboard for doubles (11), triples (4), total bases (79) and assists (97). The third basemen leads the Gauchos with her 17 extra-base hits and has had hits in 36 of the Gauchos' 51 games including 14 multi-hit performances and seven multiple RBI games.
Earning her first career Big West honor was senior Jessica Hejna who was named to the second team. The first basemen is third on the team batting .315 on the year, but has led the Gauchos in conference games hitting .393 with a .500 slugging percentage and .424 on-base percentage. She has set a school record for sac bunts in a season with 22 this year and ranks seventh nationally as she averages .43 bunts per game. After making the move from the outfield to first base this season, the Orange, Calif. native has posted a .997 fielding percentage with just one error on the season and leads the Big West in chances (389) and putouts (368).
Also earning her first career conference honor is sophomore Tiffany Wright who was picked as an All-Big West Honorable Mention. The center fielder is batting .264 on the season and is second amongst the Gauchos with 26 RBI on the season. The Long Beach, Calif. native has 15 extra-base hits on the year and ranks second in the Big West with four sacrifice flies and eighth with two triples. She has had hits in 30 of the Gauchos' 51 games and has been reliable in the outfield turning in a .955 fielding percentage.
Conference champions Cal Poly came away with several Big West honors as Lisa Modglin was named the 2007 Field Player of the Year and Jenny Condon picked up Coach of the Year honors. Krysten Cary of Cal Poly and Christina Saenz were named the Freshman Co-Field Players of the Year and Long Beach State's Bridgette Pagano picked up Freshman Pitcher of the Year accolades.
The Gauchos (30-21) will make their third-ever postseason appearance this weekend at the Los Angeles Regionals. UCSB will face No. 12 ranked Hawai'i in the first game at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18 at UCLA's Easton Field. All games of the L.A. Regional will be broadcast on ESPNU.