June 23, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara softball team completed its seventh consecutive winning season and second straight under head coach Brie Galicinao on May 9. During the 2009 campaign, the Gauchos continued their recent tradition of competing and succeeding against some of the nation's top programs. Here is a look back at the highlights from this past season.
For The Record
The 2009 Gauchos finished the season with a 26-25 overall record and a 9-12 Big West mark. UCSB finished tied for fourth with Cal State Northridge in the competitive conference. The Gauchos defeated four teams that were nationally ranked, including then-ranked No. 4 UCLA on Mar. 24.
And The Awards Go To...
For the second consecutive year, a Gaucho was named Big West Field Player of the Year. Senior second baseman Christine Ramos shared one of the conference's top honors with Long Beach State's Jennifer Griffin. Freshman pitcher Krista Cobb earned a share of the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year award, sharing the honor with Long Beach's Taylor Petty. Both Cobb and Ramos earned Division I All-Region Honors, each earning a place on the Pacific Region First Team.
The Best In The Big West
In addition to Ramos and Cobb, sophomore designated player Katie McWhirter was also honored with All-Big West First Team honors. It was the first career honor for McWhirter. Senior center fielder Tiffany Wright earned her third career All-Big West nod, with a spot on the second team. Junior first baseman Jessica Ziegler rounded out the list of Gaucho honorees, also earning second team accolades.
Christine Ramos ended her standout career at the top of her game. The second baseman led UCSB for the fourth straight year in hits, setting a new UCSB single-season record with 75. She also posted a school-record .417 batting average. In addition to leading Santa Barbara, she also led the conference in batting average, hits and stolen bases (16). Her .457 on-base percentage was second in the league. Ramos now owns the Gaucho career records for hits (258), batting average (.364) and hit by pitches (27).
Rookie Of The Year
Freshman Krista Cobb opened her collegiate career in a perfect manner - literally. The pitcher's first start of the season was on Feb. 8 against Wagner and in seven innings, Cobb tossed the first perfect game in school history. That was just the start though. As the season wore on, Cobb collected an 18-9 overall record - tying the school record for wins in a single season - and became the winningest freshman pitcher in UCSB history. She led the Big West with her .204 opponent's batting average and posted a 1.93 ERA. She shut out nine teams during the season, including four Big West foes. Cobb earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors four times during the season.
The Wright Stuff
Ramos was not the only 2009 senior that left her mark on the Gaucho record books, center fielder Tiffany Wright finished her career as the UCSB home run leader (30) as well as the school record holder for career total bases (321). Wright led the squad and the Big West with her 35 runs during the season and ranked third on the conference leaderboard in RBI (38), fifth in home runs (7) and ninth in total bases (72). She ranks third in the Gaucho record books in career runs (117) and in career RBI (124), fourth in career doubles (34) and fifth in career hits (189) and at-bats (649).
For the second consecutive year, UCSB ranked as one of the top offenses in the Big West. The Gauchos were second in the league with their collective .283 batting average - which ranked 65th in the nation - 52 stolen bases and 11 sacrifice flies. They ranked in the top-three among conference teams for runs (206), hits (393) and RBI (181).
Among The Nation's Best
In addition to being leaders in the conference, several Gauchos ranked among the nation's best players in several statistical categories. Ramos was ranked 26th nationally in batting average (.417) and ranked as the 16th toughest player to strike out. Jessica Beristianos ranked 20th after being hit by a pitch 0.31 times per game and Cobb's nine shutouts ranked 30th in the nation.
"We had more than a few team and individual highlights this season, and while we fell short of accomplishing all of our team goals, we had a preview of what this team is capable of doing consistently starting as soon as next year," head coach Brie Galicinao commented. "The expectations have been raised for the returning players and they're all motivated to make further strides next year - it should be an exciting 2010 season."
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