Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12 & 2 p.m.*
UC Santa Barbara at UCLA
All-time record vs. Bruins: 4-59
Last Time: L, 8-3 (4/24/2013)
Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 4 & 6 p.m.*
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
All-time record vs. Titans: 12-100
Last Time: L, 3-0 (3/24/2013)
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
Week in Review
In their final tournament of the season, the Gauchos finished with a 2-2 record over the weekend at the University of San Diego. UCSB swept the first day of the tournament with a pair of one-run victories against San Jose State and the Toreros. However, both teams evened the score on Sunday to put UCSB on a season-high two-game losing streak. Despite the losses, the Gauchos are still off to one of their best starts in program history at 20-8. The last time the team had as good a record through its first 28 games was in 2007, which was the last time UCSB competed in an NCAA Regional.
Pitcher Shelby Wisdom and catcher MeShalon Moore have been the most common batterymates this year for the Gauchos and they have also brought some power to the team's lineup. Moore, who primarily bats cleanup, currently leads the team with eight doubles, which is also tied for the conference lead. Typically batting third, Wisdom is second on the team with 17 RBI and two home runs.
Bose Knows Slugging
Lauren Boser has been one of the leading sluggers for the Gauchos this season, as she has clubbed a team-high three home runs and slugged for .488, which is third among the players who have played in all 28 games.
The Gauchos have looked young this season as three true freshman (Brucelas, Cavazos, and Clark) have secured starting roles. Brucelas and Cavazos are tied for the most home runs on the club (3) along with Boser. Clark tops UCSB with a .566 slugging percentage.
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 a .443 batting average and 47 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 four triples. The freshman's hit total makes up 20 percent of all UCSB's hits this season. The closest Gaucho to that mark is Kathryn Pilpil whose 28 knocks make up nearly 12 percent of the team's hits.
For the Record
UCSB sat atop the Big West conference through the majority of the season, but it was usurped by Long Beach State whose .719 winning percentage bests the Gauchos by .005. However, UCSB still has the fewest losses in the conference with eight. The league as a whole has had a great start to the 2014 season, as all but three teams have winning percentages of .600 or higher.
Santa Barbara Swipers
The Gauchos are third in the league with 34 stolen bases, primarily thanks to their two freshman outfielders. Kristen Clark (20) ranks second in the Big West in swipes, while Stacy Cavazos (9) is fourth. 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.
UCSB has shown a knack for triples this season, having already racked up a league leading 10. Aside from Kristen Clark's club-leading four triples, six other Gauchos have all also recorded one each. Trailing UCSB in the conference is Cal State Northridge with eight triples, while Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State both have seven.
Santa Barbara's record has much to do with superb performances from its pitchers. Andriana Collins and Shelby Wisdom both own ERAs lower than 3.00, while Wisdom leads the club with eight wins. Now in her senior campaign, Collins has compiled an impressive 7-2 record which is the best start she has had since her freshman year when she finished 12-12. Alex Pingree has a 5-0 record after clocking in the second-most innings pitched on the staff (43.1) and has only allowed 19 earned runs.
At the Plate
UCSB has been one of the top offensive teams this season with a collective .302 batting average (second in league) and a .427 slugging percentage (fourth). With Kristen Clark leading with a .443 BA, three Gaucho starters are batting over .300 this season. Emily Brucelas and Clark are both slugging over .500 this season in reaching marks of .566 and .507, respectively.
Playing the Best
With three games cancelled earlier this season due to inclement weather, UCSB has made late additions to their schedule with a doubleheader 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.