Gauchos Open Conference Road Slate Friday at Hawaii

Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Felisha Noriega (Photo by Tony Mastres)

The Schedule
Friday, Apr. 12, 2019 at 9:00 p.m. (PT)
Hawaii (24-10, 5-1) vs. UC Santa Barbara (7-30, 1-5)
at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu, Oahu

2018 Series: UCSB 2-1
All-time Series Record: 26-49

Saturday, Apr. 13, 2019 at 8:00 / 10:00 p.m. (PT)
Hawaii (24-10, 5-1) vs. UC Santa Barbara (7-30, 1-5)

Spectrum Sports: Video
Live Stats: Game 1
| Game 2 | Game 3

UC Davis Series Recap
Facing one of the most talented teams the Big West this past weekend, UC Santa Barbara went 1-2 at home against UC Davis. After falling in Saturday's series opener 3-0, the Gauchos bounced back in game two, using two late runs to hand the Aggies a 3-1 loss, just their seventh of the season. The Gauchos increased their hit total in each game, culminating in a weekend-high of seven hits on Sunday, but were held scoreless in a 9-0 defeat in the rubber match.

The Home Stand Continues
With two Big West series now under their belt, the Gauchos (6-28, 0-3) will head on the road for the first time to visit Hawaii (24-10, 5-1), one of two teams currently tied atop the conference standings. UCSB has won four of the last five series against the Rainbow Wahine, boasting a 9-6 record against them since 2014. Last year, playing in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos dropped the first game 3-2 before taking game two in six innings, 8-0. That was UCSB's only run-rule victory during 2018 league play. The Gauchos went on to take game three, 6-5, in eight innings. The Rainbow Wahine enter the weekend with the Big West's highest slugging percentage (.454) and the most home runs (35).

Steady As She Goes
Outfielder Sammy Fabian continues to be remarkably consistent for the Gauchos. Her 47 hits and .427 batting average both place her in second in the conference. She put together 15 multi-hit efforts through her first 25 games of the season, currently leading the Gauchos with 16 total. The sophomore is also fourth in the conference in on base percentage (.466). Her current .427 batting average is the second-highest in program history, just barely edged out by the .437 Kristen Clark put up in 2014. Fabian also has at least a share of the UCSB team-high in doubles (4), total bases (51), stolen bases (6) and slugging (.464).

Ramirez Stepping Up
Junior Genesis Ramirez has been one of UCSB's top producers this season, as she leads the team in runs (15) and walks (13). Her 10 RBIs are also tied with Rayna Cohen for the second-most on the team.

Freshmen Standouts
First-year Gauchos Teah Thies and Tyler Goldstein have made an impact for UCSB through the first two months of their careers. No Gaucho has recorded more RBIs this season than Thies, who has a team-leading 13, top-five among Big West freshmen. She opened conference play with a big offensive week in which she batted at a team-high .444 clip and tied a career-high with three hits in a game for the second time this season. Goldstein meanwhile owns a slash line of .263/.343/.295, ranking top-five on the team across the board. Her 25 hits and nine RBIs are also good for fourth. while her 11 walks trail only Ramirez.

A Big Missing Piece
While the Gauchos' 6.72 hits per game place them just outside the conference's top-4, UCSB has struggled to put up runs, averaging just 2.4 per contest. A big reason for this has been the absence of infielder Sierra Altmeyer, who has played in just 12 games this season. The senior boasts the most career accolades of any Gaucho currently on the roster, with three All-Conference selections. Last year, she was named to the All-Big West Second Team, after leading the Gauchos in a ton of categories: runs (33), RBI (31), doubles (11), home runs (8), walks (28), on base percentage (.420) and slugging (.557). Before coming out of the lineup this season, she was putting up career-bests in batting average (.375) and on base percentage (.512), both of which would place her in the top-10 of the conference.

The Circle
Four different Gauchos have seen time in the circle this year, but pitcher Felisha Noriega has gotten the most consistent results thus far. The junior from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. leads UCSB in ERA (3.41), wins (5), strikeouts (58) and innings pitched (94.1).

Slugging Time
Ally Nodohara and Genesis Ramirez both hit home runs at the Bulldog Classic in early March, the first two of the season for the Gauchos. Nodohara's solo blast against CBU on Mar. 8 – the first hit of her career – ended a run of 17 straight games without a Gaucho homer dating back to last May. Ramirez's home run came in the top of the sixth inning during the rematch against CBU just two days later. It was the third of her career. Surprisingly, UCSB's third home run of the year from Carissa Felix would also come against the Lancers, when the Gauchos met them for a third time at the LMU Tournament on Mar. 15.

New Talent
UCSB brings six newcomers to Campus Diamond in 2019, including Utah State transfer Devan Sperry Jr. (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Mt. Sac standout Carissa Felix (Montclair, Calif. / Ontario HS) along with four freshmen. Sperry posted career-highs across the board as a sophomore last year, finishing with 20 hits, four doubles, three homers and 15 RBI at USU. Meanwhile, Felix dominated at Mt. Sac, helping lead the Mounties to a 41-7 record while totaling 59 hits and 41 runs on a .415 batting average.

Rounding out the newcomers are Gaucho freshmen infielders Teah Thies (Laguna Hills, Calif. / Laguna Hills HS) and Ally Nodohara (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato HS), pitcher Alyssa Molina (Los Angeles, Calif. / Notre Dame S.O.) and outfielder Tyler Goldstein (Agoura Hills, Calif. / Agoura HS).