Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Utah State
All-time record vs. Aggies: 25-33
Last Time: L, 6-5 (2/13/2009)
Friday, March 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Monmouth
All-time record vs. Hawks: First Time
Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Portland State
All-time record vs. Vikings: 4-2
Last Time: W, 1-0 (2/22/2008)
Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Dartmouth
All-time record vs. Big Green: First Time
*All games will be played at Campus Diamond
Week in Review
Last week, the Gauchos swept the competition at the Nevada Classic in picking up four wins. The Gauchos downed Nevada twice and scored 15 runs against the host team over the weekend., including a season-high nine-run performance in their second meeting. Against the Red Hawks, UCSB pulled off a pair of narrow two-run victories behind great starts in the circle from Andriana Collins. Santa Barbara has now won six of its past seven games.
Slapping Them Silly
Freshman Kristen Clark has emerged as one of the Big West's top hitters. She leads the league with 32 hits despite playing in fewer games than every other hitter in the top-10. Most of her hits are singles, but she also is the conference leader with three triples. One of her best weekends was at the Louisville Slugger Invitational when she hit for .818 through three games. After going 9-for-11 at the plate, she earned her first Big West Field Player of the Week award.
With six wins this season, senior pitcher Andriana Collins has already bested her 5-4 record from a year ago. Since picking up a loss in her season debut against nationally ranked Texas A&M, she has picked up six wins from seven appearances. Last weekend, she had superb outings against Seattle. In the first game, she went the distance in a four-hit shutout and tossed a season-high four strikeouts to lead UCSB to a 2-0 victory. In the rematch the following day she allowed only two runs from five hits.
The Gauchos have shown a knack for triples this season, having already racked up a league leading seven. Aside from Kristen Clark's club-leading three triples, Lauren Boser, Emily Brucelas, Palomares, and Shleby Wisdom have all also recorded one each. The only other teams to have more than four triples are Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge.
What Sophomore Slump?
Arianna Palomares has started her sophomore campaign as the top hitter in the Big West. She is currently second in the league with both a .419 batting average. She is third in the conference with a .506 on-base percentage, and is just one of three players in the conference to be over .500. She is following up her freshman year in which she finished with a .307 BA and 50 hits (both second on the team).
Best in the West
Entering the fifth week of the season, the Gauchos own the top winning percentage in the Big West at .750. That places them atop the conference standings, although Long Beach State owns the league's most wins with 16. Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge are the only other teams that have a record over .500.
Santa Barbara Swipers
The Gauchos are third in the league with 15 stolen bases, primarily thanks to their two freshman outfielders. Kristen Clark (14) ranks second in the Big West in swipes, while Stacy Cavazos (7) is fourth. UCSB is the only program to have as many players among the conference's top-five in that category. Along with Hawai'i, UCSB players have only been caught stealing once this season. The Gauchos piled on their stats at the Fresno State Kick-off with 11 steals, 10 coming from the freshman duo. While Clark had at least one swipe in every game, Cavazos picked up three in the tournament finale against Fresno State.
Santa Barbara's record has much to do with its superb performances from its pitchers. Andriana Collins (2.65) and Shelby Wisdom (2.81) are two of just seven pitchers in the league to own sub-3.00 ERAs. Collins is tops the club with a 6-1 record, while Wisdom has dealt the most strikeouts with 4.06 per game. Alex Pingree has clocked in the second-most innings pitched on the staff (32.1) and holds a perfect 4-0 record.
At the Plate
UCSB has been one of the top offensive teams this season with a collective .303 batting average (second in league) and a .420 slugging percentage (fourth). With Palomares leading with a .419 BA, three Gaucho starters are batting over .300 this season, while Lauren Boser paces the the team with her .500 slugging percentage.
E for Efficiency
In the field, the Gauchos have committed the second fewest errors in the Big West with 16. Four of UCSB's starting nine, with Wisdom as the pitcher, have still yet to committ an error this season. The only other team to hold that distinction is Cal Poly.