Gauchos Face Top Competition at Mary Nutter Classic

Kristen Clark (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)
Kristen Clark (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)

Week 2 Notes (PDF)

• The Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Oklahoma State (5-5)

At Mizuno Des Moines (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Cowboys: 3-5
Last time: L, 7-2 (3/16/12)
Live Stats | Video

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 8 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 15 Tennessee (10-0)

At Schutt Fenway (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Volunteers: 0-3
Last time: L, 5-0 (2/23/13)
Live StatsVideo

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Purdue (1-8)

At Marucci Pawtucket (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Boilermakers: 0-3
Last time: L, 10-9 (2/12/16)
Live StatsVideo 

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at 8 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 20 Missouri (5-2)

At Schutt Fenway (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Tigers: 0-3
Last time: L, 12-1 (2/17/13)
Live StatsVideo 

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 8 Washington (7-1)

At PGF Yankee (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Huskies: 0-7
Last time: L, 7-0 (2/19/16)
Live StatsVideo 

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 21 Arizona State (9-1)

At Schutt Fenway (Cathedral City)
All-time record vs. Sun Devils: 4-14
Last time: L, 9-1 (5 innings) (3/27/11)
Live Stats | Video

• Stanford Invitational Recap

Despite poor weather conditions resulting in several reschedules and cancellations, the sun seemed to be shining on the Gauchos when they did get to play at the Stanford Invitational, as they went 2-1 with a pair of eighth inning wins over Pacific and Nebraska-Omaha. UCSB defeated Pacific 10-9 on Saturday thanks to late contributions from seniors Kristen Clark and Jaqueline Hinojosa. Junior outfielder Jessica Johnston tied for team-highs with Clark in hits (3) and with Hinojosa in runs (3). The Gauchos would go on to enjoy six doubles on seven hits against the Mavericks the next day, with sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer's final swing bringing freshman Alyssa Diaz home for the winning run, making it 4-3. UCSB's sole loss on the weekend came at the hands of tournament host Stanford, 16-2, in five innings.

• Mary Nutter Classic Preview

UCSB will play six games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California between Thursday and Sunday. After starting things with Oklahoma State, the Gauchos will play four of their following five games against top 25 ranked teams. Those teams include No. 15 Tennessee, No. 20 Missouri, No. 8 Washington and No. 21 Arizona State.

• Clark 14 Hits Away From All-Time Record

Kristen Clark is the only Gaucho ever to hit .400 in two seasons. She could very well make it three this year, as she's managed to put up a .519 batting average through eight games. Clark has 14 hits  so far in 2017 - six more than any other Gaucho - giving her a career total of 245. She needs just 14 more hits to pass Christine Ramos (258, 2006-09) to become the program's all-time leader. She also leads or is tied for the team-lead in total bases (16), walks (4) and doubles (2).

• Johnston Fills It Up

Junior outfielder Jessica Johnston has gotten off to a fine start to the season, tying for the most runs (6) on the team and being one of three Gauchos to hit a home run. She has also matched Clark with a team-high four hits during UCSB's current two-game win streak, giving her a second-leading eight for the year. The Gauchos are 3-0 when Johnston records an RBI.

• Freshman Fever

No Gaucho had more RBIs than first baseman Alyssa Diaz at the Stanford Invitational, as the freshman tallied three to give her a team-leading five for the season. The South El Monte, Calif. native also leads the way in doubles (2), triples (1) and putouts (54), and is one shy of the team-lead in runs (5) and sac bunts (1). Her latest run came in the bottom of the eighth against Nebraska-Omaha (Feb. 19), giving UCSB its first walk-off win of the season.

• Watch Out For Sierra

In 2016, sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer established herself as UCSB's top power hitter, recording a team-high 42 RBIs - third-most in UCSB single-season history - on her way to All-Big West Second Team recognition. This year, she has just the fourth-highest slugging percentage among Gauchos with at least 10 at bats, but she's still managed to put up numbers. Altmeyer is second on the team with eight hits and four RBIs, while her four walks are tied for first.

• Running To Victory

Another Gaucho putting up solid numbers is outfielder Jacqueline Hinojosa, who scored the game-winning run in the eighth inning of UCSB's 10-9 win over Pacific (Feb. 18). The senior is tied with Jessica Johnston for a team-high six runs, three of which she earned against the Tigers. 

• Slugging It Out

In just her fourth career appearance against Nebraska-Omaha (Feb. 19), freshman Genesis Ramirez came up big by going 2-3 at the plate for a double and one RBI. With just four at bats this season, she holds the team's highest slugging percentage (.750).

• Hot Starts, Cool Finishes

Early success in matchups has been a strong predictor of success for the Gauchos in 2017. They are 3-0 this season both in games where they score first and in games where they score in the first inning. UCSB has only outhit an opponent one time this year, but has managed to find a way to win close games. Santa Barbara is 3-0 in games decided by one or two runs, but 0-5 in games with a margin of victory of four or more.