UCSB Continues Tourney Action with Five Games in San Diego
Feb. 12, 2008
Games No. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
at San Diego State's Softball Stadium (1,000)
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008
UCSB at San Diego State, 7 pm
Friday, Feb. 15, 2008
UCSB vs. Utah State, 2 pm
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008
UCSB vs. Indiana, 9 am
UCSB vs. Fresno State, 2 pm
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008
UCSB vs. Tulsa, 11:30 am
This Week In Gaucho Softball
Coming off of a 1-3 opening weekend at UCLA's Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, the UC Santa Barbara softball team will continue tournament action on the road this week with five games at the Campbell/Cartier Classic being hosted by San Diego State at the Aztec's Softball Stadium. The Gauchos will face host San Diego State on Thursday, Utah State on Friday, Indiana and Fresno State on Saturday, and will close out the tournament with a game against Tulsa on Sunday.
UCSB opened the 2008 season last weekend against Nevada at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. After three innings, UCSB led the Wolf Pack 2-1, but a three-run sixth inning propelled Nevada to the narrow 5-4 victory. Junior Tiffany Wright had two RBI in the game, while senior Tisha Duran posted the first Gaucho home run of the year. UCSB struggled in its second game of the weekend against No. 5 Oklahoma, falling 12-1 in a mercy rule loss. Duran hit her second homer of the day for the Gauchos' lone run of the game. The Gauchos rebounded well on Saturday as they posted an 8-6 victory over Santa Clara. Sophomore Jessica Ziegler led the Gaucho offense going 4-for-5 with two runs and a RBI. The final game of the tournament was a heartbreaker for the Gauchos. After giving up two runs in the first inning to host No. 14 UCLA, the Gauchos took a 3-1 lead in the third. UCSB was ahead 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh before a three-run homer tied the game at 5-5. The Bruins scored two runs in the eighth inning to capture the 7-5 win.
Duran Gets It Done
2007 All-Big West First Team selection Tisha Duran opened her senior season with a bang on Friday, hitting a home run in each of the Gauchos' two games. Her homer proved to be the only UCSB run in the 12-1 loss to Oklahoma. Overall, the Ventura, Calif. native posted a team-best .385 batting average, going 5-for-13 with three runs, a team-high five RBI, and two homers. The third basemen had at least one hit and one RBI in each of the weekend's games and went 2-for3 with two RBI, a walk, and a run in the win over Santa Clara.
Zoning In On Ziegler
As a freshman, Jessica Ziegler saw most of her playing time in a reserve roll. In her first weekend as the Gauchos' starting first basemen, the San Diego, Calif. native batted .357 on the season, batting in the number two spot. She scored three runs and led the team, as well as the Big West, going 3-for-4 in stolen base attempts. Ziegler had her best showing in the win over Santa Clara when she went 4-for-5 with two runs, a RBI, and two stolen bases.
The Wright Stuff
Junior Tiffany Wright may be a little black and blue this week after leading the Gauchos, and the Big West for that matter, in hit by pitches. The center fielder was nailed three times over the weekend, in three separate games. Wright currently leads UCSB with her .533 on-base percentage and posted a respectable .300 batting average over the weekend. She also tallied a team-high four runs, all scored on Saturday. The Corona, Calif. native opened the weekend with a pair of RBI in the narrow loss to Nevada. In the loss to UCLA, she was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs. She was also stellar in the outfield, tallying three putouts against the Bruins.
The Ramos Rundown
Second basemen and 2007 All-Big West First Team pick, Christine Ramos, had a solid weekend on the field. The junior was third on the team hitting .308 over the weekend with a .400 on-base percentage. Ramos went 2-for-2 on stolen base attempts and scored two runs. She posted her first triple of the season in the win over Santa Clara and then went 2-for-4 with an RBI against UCLA.
In The Circle
The Gaucho pitching staff struggled on Friday, giving up a collective 17 earned runs during the opening day of the season, including 12 runs against No. 5 Oklahoma. UCSB was able to calm some of its nerves on Saturday and play a pair of tight games with Santa Clara and UCLA, giving up just 12 earned runs between the two games. Sophomore Lindsey Correa (1-1), currently holds an earned run average of 4.67 and has a .214 opponent batting average. After allowing five earned runs and walking six in the game against the Wolf Pack, Correa helped UCSB to its first win, giving up just three earned runs while striking out five in the victory over Santa Clara. She currently leads the Gaucho staff with 10 strikeouts. Sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto also improved as the weekend wore on. The Union City, Calif. native took the loss after pitching two innings against No. 5 Oklahoma. She came back the next day to pitch a great game in the near-upset of No. 14 UCLA. Matsumoto currently holds a 0-2 record with a 9.75 ERA. Junior Tami Weston pitched five innings in relief for the Gauchos, she fanned seven batters and posted a 11.20 ERA.
Through four challenging games this week, the Gaucho defense persevered. Collectively, UCSB posted a .991 fielding percentage to their opponent's .937. Just one error was committed the entire weekend compared to the eight by their opposition.
Don't let the 1-3 record fool you, the Gaucho offense was strong this past weekend. The Gauchos' current .267 team batting average is the second best in the Big West this week, behind No. 17 Cal State Fullerton. UCSB also ranks second for slugging percentage (.381), on-base percentage (.374), triples (2), and homeruns (2). Four Gauchos are hitting .300 or better on the season while seven of the starters are batting .250 or higher.
Azk Me About The Aztecs
San Diego State opened the season last weekend with a 4-1 record in Cathedral City, Calif. The Aztecs posted a trio of shutouts over Cal Poly (3-0), Cal (7-0), and Portland State (6-0) while also defeating new Big West member UC Davis, 8-2. The lone loss of the weekend was an 8-0 shutout by No. 22 Mississippi State. Tonye McCorkle led the team, batting .389 with two runs and five RBI. The Aztec pitching staff currently owns a collective 0.59 ERA. The Gauchos faced San Diego State twice last season: UCSB captured a 1-0 win in San Diego on Feb. 9 and a 5-2 victory in Palo Alto on Mar. 9. The Gauchos lead the overall series, 26-22.
All About The Aggies
For the first time since Utah State left the Big West Conference in 2006, the Gauchos and the Aggies will face off this Friday. Utah State opened the season going 0-5 in Cathedral City last weekend. The Aggies fell to Texas A&M (9-0), Cal State Northridge (5-2), Portland State (4-3), Tennessee (8-0), and UC Davis (10-1). Emily Reilly led the team, batting .308 during the weekend while Lindsey Benson posted a 6.88 ERA in the circle with 12 strikeouts. Utah State leads the all-time series with the Gauchos, 31-25.
Honing In On The Hoosiers
The Indiana softball team will open the season this weekend in San Diego. The Hoosiers, who went 21-34 last season and placed 11th in the Big Ten with their 1-19 mark, return 16 letterwinners from the 2007 squad, including two pitchers. Saturday's match-up will mark the first-ever between the two programs.
Fresno State opened the 2008 season by hosting a doubleheader with Big West team, Pacific last Saturday. The Bulldogs captured both games, 5-1 and 3-2. Three players batted .500 or better during the weekend, including team leader, Caitlin Stiglich who went 4-for-6 with one RBI. Morgan Melloh posted both the wins in the circle, posting a 1.40 ERA, .182 opponent batting average and 16 strikeouts. UCSB and Fresno met up once last season and the Gauchos came out with a 1-0 eight inning victory. Fresno State leads the all-time series, 49-11.
Another first-time match-up this weekend for the Gauchos will be against Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes enter the weekend with a 2-2 record after falling to North Texas (7-5) and Creighton (7-2) and defeating North Texas (6-4) and Texas State (6-2). Brook Smart led her team batting .462 with four RBI and one homerun. In the circle Jackie Lawrence posted a 2-0 record with a 0.82 ERA and 18 strikeouts.
How To Catch The Action
If you can't make it to San Diego this weekend, the Gaucho softball games can all be followed on Gametracker, just access the softball schedule page on UCSBGauchos.com and click the Gametracker link.
Under New Management
Former UCSB assistant, Brie Galicinao took the helm of the Gaucho softball program last June. Galicinao is a 2002 graduate of Princeton where she was a four-year starting pitcher for the Tigers and was named the 2001 and 2002 Ivy League Player of the Year. The Stockton, Calif. native served as Kristy Schroeder's assistant for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, helping guide the Gauchos to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Under her tutelage, Jennifer Davis became the Big West and Gaucho career strikeout record holder and the 2007 UCSB pitching staff led the conference for ERA. Also joining Galicinao on the coaching staff are first-year assistants Caitlin Benyi, a three-time All-American at UCLA, and UCSB alum Shelby Hensler.
Who Doesn't Love An Underdog?
In the 2008 Big West Coaches Preseason Poll, the Gauchos were picked seventh out of eight teams with a total of 20 votes. Cal Poly, the 2007 conference champion, beat out Cal State Fullerton by just one point for the top spot, though Fullerton garnered three first-place votes versus Cal Poly's two. UCSB, which finished sixth last season, has not posted a winning Big West record since 2004 when it went 14-7 in conference and tied for second. That second-place finish is the best all-time Big West finish in program history.
No Schedule Padding Here
Once again, in an effort to prepare themselves for the always competitive Big West Conference schedule and to qualify for their fourth postseason appearance if five years, the Gauchos will play yet another difficult non-conference schedule in 2008. UCSB will play five opponents currently ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll and 11 teams that participated in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, including four Super Regional qualifiers and one team the advanced to the College World Series. And that is all before conference play begins.
Next weekend, Feb. 22-24, UCSB will return to Campus Diamond to host its home-opening Softball by the Beach Tournament. The Gauchos will play host to Portland State and St. John's during the annual event.