UCSB Opens Big West Play Against Long Beach State

McKenzie Kane (Photo by Randall Lamb)
McKenzie Kane (Photo by Randall Lamb)

March 31 Weekly Release

• The Schedule
Saturday, March 31, 2012
UC Santa Barbara (13-22) vs. Long Beach State (12-18), 12 & 2 pm
All-time series record vs. 49ers: 29-72-1
Last time vs. Long Beach State: L, 3-2 (May 1, 2011)
Live Stats 

Sunday, April 1, 2012
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State, 12 pm

• This Week in Gaucho Softball
UC Santa Barbara will open Big West Conference action this weekend as it plays host to Long Beach State for a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday at Campus Diamond. The 49ers were tied with Pacific in the league's preseason coaches poll for first place while the Gauchos were predicted to finish fourth. UCSB carries an overall record of 13-22 into this weekend's play. 

• Home Cookin'
The Gauchos have posted a 7-4 record on their home diamond this season. UCSB's last home game was last Saturday when it hosted No. 16 UCLA. The Gauchos battled through a seesaw game with the Bruins before coming up short, 10-6. 

• Taking On The Best
The Gauchos have played 11 games against teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and NFCA Top-25 polls and have played another four games against teams that were receiving votes at the time of the contest. UCSB has gone 2-9 in these contests. 

• Mak Attack
Sophomore McKenzie Kane has extended her current hitting streak to a career-best 13 games. The streak marks the longest by a Gaucho since 2009 when current assistant coach Christine Ramos went 14 straight games with a hit. Kane leads the team with her .341 batting average, which ranks eighth in the Big West, and 16 runs scored. Her .388 on-base percentage is also tops on the team and she ranks sixth in the conference in hits (31). 

• Speedy Soria
Junior Jessica Soria continues to lead UCSB in hits (35), which ranks third among Big West players. She is also tops on the team and in the league in stolen bases, going 16-for-19 in her attempts. Her 16 stolen bases tie her for ninth on the UCSB single season top-10 list. Soria leads the Gauchos with nine multiple-hit games this season and is second on the squad with her .299 batting average. 

• Shelby's Strikeouts
Freshman Shelby Wisdom ranks as one of the Big West's top-two pitchers in innings pitched (124.2), batters struck out (118), batters struck out looking (35), and wins (8). The freshman has posted a 3.37 ERA and an 8-10 record. Her 118 strikeouts already rank as the most in a single season by a Gauchos since the 2007 season when Jennifer Davis had 216. Wisdom posted her second career shutout on Monday against Sacramento State, she struck out 10 batters in the win, marking her fourth game with double-digit K's this season. 

• Turning Up the AC
Sophomore hurler Andriana Collins has posted a 4.17 ERA this season with a 5-12 record. Across her last three appearances she has tallied a 1.91 ERA while allowing just four earned runs on nine total hits. 

• The Galicinao File
Now in her fifth season at the helm of the UCSB softball program, head coach Brie Galicinao has coached the Gauchos to a 111-134 record for a .453 winning percentage, the second best since the softball program went Division I in 1982. 

• Gauchos On The Rise
For the season, just one Gaucho – McKenzie Kane – is batting over .300, but the Gauchos have heated up at the plate as of late. Across the last six games, six players are batting over .300 with Lainey DePompa leading the way with her .438 hitting and .688 slugging. UCSB has also hit a quarter of its home runs (4-of-12) in the last half dozen games. 

• Lainey And The Long Ball
Speaking of Lainey DePompa, the senior put together three-consecutive games with multiple hits (San Jose State, UCLA, and Sacramento State) and then stretched her season-best hitting streak to four games with a single in the second game with the Hornets. She hit her fourth home run of the season against No. 16 UCLA. She leads the team in round trips. 

• Moving On Up 
Junior Keilani Jennings is making her mark in the UCSB career record book. She is tied for eighth in doubles (26), tied for seventh in home runs (17) and needs two more RBI (68) to crack the top-10. 

• A. Tay Is A-Okay
Senior Allison Taylor has been having a great month. Prior to the March 9 game against San Jose State, she had only one hit in 18 at-bats. Since that game, she has tallied at least one hit in 10 of the last 13 games, including five multiple-hit showings. Additionally, she has tallied 11 RBI and four doubles in that time span. 

• Prepare Yourself To Stay A While
UCSB and Long Beach State have had some pretty contentious series in the past several years. Last season, the 49ers swept the series with the Gauchos, but it took seven extra innings to do so. The first game went the standard seven, but game two went 13 innings and game three stretched into eight. The 2010 series, which UCSB swept, saw game three stretch into 10 innings. In the last five series between the two teams, eight of the 15 games have been decided by just one run. 

• Next Up: Trumping The Titans
Following this weekend's conference-opening series, UCSB will hit the road to face Cal State Fullerton (12-16) in a Big West series. The games will be played on Friday and Saturday due to the Easter holiday. The series opens with a doubleheader at 4 p.m. on Friday and will conclude with a single game on Saturday at noon.