Gauchos Close Out Regular Season This Weekend at Cal Poly

Melanie Menor (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Melanie Menor (Photo by Tony Mastres)

The Schedule
Friday, May 10, 2019 at 3:00 / 5:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (8-41, 2-16) at Cal Poly (10-38, 4-14)
at Bob Janssen Field in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

2018 Series: UCSB 2-1
All-time Series Record: 57-55
Live Stats: Gm 1
| Gm 2 | Video

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (8-41, 2-16) at Cal Poly (10-38, 4-14)
Live Stats 
| Video

UCSB Ends Season with Blue-Green Rivalry
For the second straight year, UC Santa Barbara (8-41, 2-16) will be playing its final regular season series against Cal Poly (10-38, 4-14). This time around, the Gauchos will travel to San Luis Obispo for a Friday doubleheader (3:00 pm) and Saturday afternoon finale (1:00 pm). UCSB has won two of the last three series over the Mustangs, including taking the first two games in last May's meeting, 10-9 and 5-4. The Gauchos enter the final weekend having dropped eight straight games, but that could come to an end against a Mustand team which has struggled on both sides of the ball – Cal Poly ranks last in the conference in batting average (.209), runs (2.2) and hits (254) while leading the conference in errors (73). The Gauchos also own a slight 57-55 edge in the all-time series.

Galicinao Nearing 300th Win
In her 12th season with the team, head coach Brie Galicinao heads into the final series of 2019 approaching an historic milestone. With just one more win, the two-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year will become the 11th coach in conference history to reach 300 for her career. Galicinao already owns the UCSB all-time record, having become the first coach in program history to reach 200 wins back in 2015.

Menor, Gulvin Head Into Final Series
Fresh off their final home series at Campus Diamond, pitcher Veronika Gulvin and infielder Melanie Menor will close out their senior campaigns this weekend. Gulvin has 31 wins to her name over 518 innings pitched since 2016, both of which place her in the top-10 in program history. With 59 strikeouts, she is on pace for the second-highest single-season total of her career, while her 246 career Ks are 21 shy of cracking the top-10. Infielder Melanie Menor has compiled 147 hits, 59 runs and 58 RBIs throughout her career. Since 2016, Menor's numbers are second on the team only to fellow fourth-year Sierra Altmeyer, who is redshirting the year.

Steady As She Goes
Outfielder Sammy Fabian continues to have one of the most consistent and efficient seasons in program history. Her 60 hits and .390 batting average put her at No. 2 in the conference. She put together 15 multi-hit efforts through her first 25 games of the season, currently leading the Gauchos with 19 total. The sophomore is also 9th in the conference in on base percentage (.420). Her current .390 batting average is the fourth-highest in a single season in program history. Fabian has recorded a hit in four straight games and has at least a share of the UCSB team-high in runs (20), doubles (6), total bases (68), stolen bases (9), sac bunts (6) and slugging (.442).

UCSB's infield duo of second baseman Melanie Menor and shortstop Maci Fines has improved its offensive production since the start of league play. Menor had just 10 hits through her first 31 appearances, but since the conference opening series against Cal State Fullerton has been UCSB's most consistent batter, leading the way with a .327 average and six RBI. Sophomore Maci Fines has performed as well, owning a .267 conference batting average and ranking top-two on the team in runs (7, 1st), hits (16, 2nd) and total bases (19, 2nd) in Big West games.

Freshmen Standouts
First-year Gauchos Teah Thies and Tyler Goldstein have made an impact for UCSB in their freshmen seasons. No Gaucho has recorded more RBIs this season than Thies, who has a team-leading 16, top-five among Big West freshmen. Goldstein meanwhile comes in second on the team in doubles (5) and walks (13), and fourth in on base percentage (.306), hits (30) and total bases (35).

Down the stretch of the season, freshmen Ally Nodohara and Alyssa Molina have also stepped up their game. Nodohara has jumped to third on the team in slugging (.306) after blasting a pair of triples for three RBIs on Saturday against UC Riverside. She enters the Cal Poly series on a three-game hitting streak. Molina appeared in just two games prior to the start of conference play. But, in nine Big West appearances, she has put up an ERA of 3.46, tops on her team and good for No. 12 in the conference.

A Big Missing Piece
While the Gauchos' 6.7 hits per game place them just outside the conference's top-4, UCSB has struggled to put up runs, averaging just under 2.5 per contest. A big reason for this has been the absence of infielder Sierra Altmeyer, who has played in just 12 games this season. Now a redshirt junior, she 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 (3.76), wins (6), strikeouts (76) and innings pitched (119).

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.