March 19, 2014

UCSB Heads to San Diego for USD Tournament II

The Schedule 
Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. 
UC Santa Barbara at San Diego

All-time record vs. Toreros: 13-5
Last Time: W, 5-4 (2/15/2013) 

Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Jose State
All-time record vs. Spartans: 19-27
Last Time: W, 7-2 (3/18/2012)

Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. 
UC Santa Barbara vs. San Jose State

Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara at San Diego

Week in Review
Last week, UCSB wrapped up its nonconference home schedule with the Gaucho Classic II. Santa Barbara outscored its first three opponents 27-5 and mercy ruled both Utah State and Portland State. Kathryn Pilpil led the Gauchos with both a .545 batting average and six runs. Behind her first triple of the season, Pilipil also led the team with a .909 slugging percentage. 

Playing the Best
With three games cancelled earlier this season due to inclement weather, UCSB has made late additions to their schedule with a double header at No. 1 UCLA on Mar. 26 and a single game matchup with Oregon State on Apr. 2, which will follow the team's previously scheduled visit to No. 4 Oregon.

Slapping Them Silly
Kristen Clark has emerged as one of the Big West's top hitters after a strong start to her freshman campaign. She leads the league with 40 hits despite playing in fewer games than every other hitter in the top-10. Most of her hits are singles, but she is also tied for the conference lead with three triples. One of her best weekends was at the Louisville Slugger Invitational when she hit for .818 through three games and earned her first Big West Field Player of the Week award.

Tournament Tyrants
UCSB is off to its best start in program history with an 18-6 record and have dominated nearly every tournament they've been in thus far. Aside from the season opening Gaucho Classic I, UCSB has only lost at the most one game at their tournaments. 

Big Bats
Lauren Boser and MeShalon Moore have made big hits for the Gauchos in recent weeks. The two are part of a five-way tie for second in the league with seven doubles. UC Davis is the only other school that has two players that combine for 14 or more doubles. Boser also leads the team with three bombs with her most recent one coming against Portland State when she hit a walk off grand slam to end the game in the sixth inning. 

Best in the West
Entering the sixth 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 20. Cal State Northridge is sitting in third place with a 17-9 record and is currently on a four-game winning streak, the best active streak in the conference. 

Santa Barbara Swipers
The Gauchos are third in the league with 31 stolen bases, primarily thanks to their two freshman outfielders. Kristen Clark (18) ranks second in the Big West in swipes, while Stacy Cavazos (8) is fifth. UCSB is the only program to have as many players among the conference's top-five in that category. UCSB players have only been caught stealing three times this season, which is tied with Cal Poly for second fewest in the league. 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. 

Triples Threat
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 Shelby 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. 

Pitch Perfect
Santa Barbara's record has much to do with its superb performances from its pitchers. All three Gauchos with a record own ERAs of 3.00 or lower, as Andriana Collins is fourth in the Big West with a 2.70 mark. Collins and Shelby Wisdom top the club with seven wins, while Wisdom also deals the most strikeouts per game with 3.97. Alex Pingree has clocked in the second-most innings pitched on the staff (39.2) and holds a perfect 4-0 record. 

At the Plate
UCSB has been one of the top offensive teams this season with a collective .308 batting average (second in league) and a .439 slugging percentage (fourth). With Kristen Clark leading with a .435 BA, three Gaucho starters are batting over .300 this season. Lauren Boser and Clark are both slugging over .500 this season in reaching marks of .534 and .533, respectively.

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).