February 22, 2007

UC Santa Barbara Looks to Keep Up Winning Ways as it Hosts a Mini Tournament this Weekend

Feb. 22, 2007

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• The Schedule
Games No. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
UC Santa Barbara's Mini Tournament
at UCSB Campus Diamond (500)

Friday, February 23, 2007
UCSB vs. UT San Antonio, 10:00 a.m.
Northern Illinois vs. Santa Clara, 12:00 p.m.
UTSA vs. Northern Illinois, 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 24, 2007
UCSB vs. Northern Illinois, 8:00 a.m.
UCSB vs. Santa Clara, 10:00 a.m.
Northern Illinois vs. UTSA, 12:00 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. UTSA, 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 25, 2007
UTSA vs. Northern Illinois, 9:00 a.m.
UCSB vs. Santa Clara, 11:00 a.m.

• The Hostess With The Mostest
UC Santa Barbara will play host to its second consecutive tournament this weekend with the Mini Tournament being played at Campus Diamond Friday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb, 25. Participating in this weekend's tournament will be the University of Texas at San Antonio, Northern Illinois and Santa Clara. Please note the changes to the original schedule. Rain on Thursday has caused the start time on Friday to be pushed back.

• An Update: The Gauchos Are Perfect In Home Opening Tourney
The Gauchos picked up four straight wins at their home-opening Softball By The Beach Invitational last weekend over Nevada 4-0, Long Beach State 9-6 and Northern Colorado 8-0 (five innings, mercy rule) and 7-0. Senior pitcher Jennifer Davis led the Gauchos both offensively and defensively against Nevada as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and also captured her first win in the circle as she threw a complete game shutout allowing only two hits and striking out seven batters. The next day junior third basemen Tisha Duran led the Gauchos over Big West foe Long Beach State with a 3-for-4 performance with a double, one run and an RBI. During the next game of the day, sophomore Christine Ramos helped UCSB mercy Northern Colorado with a 3-for-3 appearance at the plate with a double, a stolen base, three runs and an RBI. Freshman Versus UNC, Lindsey Correa threw the first no-hitter of the season as she picked up her second win of the year after striking out three and walking only one batter. On Sunday, senior Jessica Hejna helped the Gauchos close out a perfect weekend as she went 1-for-2 with a triple, one run and two RBI against the Bears. Sophomore Tami Weston captured the win in her first appearance of the season allowing only two hits and striking out nine batters. The Gauchos are now 6-2 on the season and have a perfect 4-0 home record.

• A Peek At The Past: 2006 In Review
The UC Santa Barbara softball team posted a 24-22 record with an 8-10 mark in the Big West Conference in 2006 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in program history, all without one senior on the roster. The 2006 team had a stacked schedule, playing 17 games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. UCSB also played five opponents ranked in the Top-25, with its biggest win of the year coming against No. 5 Stanford, 2-0 on March 4. The Gauchos finished fourth overall in the Big West and four players earned All-Big West honors. UCSB's season ended with losses to Notre Dame and Southern Illinois at Regionals.

• Taking On The Best
Once again in an effort to prepare themselves for the high level of competition in the Big West and qualify for postseason play, the Gauchos will play yet another challenging nonconference slate in 2007. UCSB is scheduled to face a total of 12 opponents (10 nonconference) that advanced to the Big Dance in 2006, seven of which are currently ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Top-25 Poll.

• Hurler Hype
The UCSB pitching staff had a standout weekend as four pitchers shared the wealth picking up a win apiece at the Softball by the Beach Invitational. Freshman MeLinda Matsumoto picked up her second win of the season as she threw 5.1 innings against Long Beach State allowing six runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. The Union City, Calif. native, who is 2-0 on the season, has a 4.05 ERA. Lindsey Correa had a great home debut on Saturday as she threw the first no-hitter of the season for the Gauchos helping UCSB mercy Northern Colorado. The freshman pitcher struck out three and improved her record to 2-0 on the young season and now has a 3.75 ERA. Sophomore Tami Weston made her first appearance of the season in UCSB's closer against Northern Colorado on Sunday and allowed no runs on only two hits and struck-out a career-high nine batters. Weston is now 1-0 on the season and leads the team with a 0.00 ERA. As a group, the Gaucho pitchers have allowed just 15 earned runs in 55.0 innings of work and batters have hit just .193 against the UCSB staff.

• Davis In The Circle...And At The Plate
Senior Jennifer Davis who owns the UCSB career strikeout record with 653 batters fanned, picked up her first win of the season over Nevada in last weekend's tourney opener. Now 1-2 on the season, Davis pitched a complete game against the Wolfpack allowing only two hits and striking out seven. The Whittier, Calif. native also made an impact at the plate as she went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Davis picked up her first save of the season as she fanned three batters in 1.2 innings of work against Long Beach State.

• No Runs For You!
Only eight games into the 2007 season, the Gauchos have already posted four shutout wins including one win by way of the mercy rule in last Saturday's 8-0 domination over Northern Colorado. To get some perspective, in 2006 UCSB had eight shutout wins the entire season and in 2005, it had 10. In fact, this season the Gauchos have only allowed 17 runs versus their 39 scored.

• Hejna's Hot Streak
Senior first basemen Jessica Hejna had a standout weekend as she made her six at-bats count with four hits, five runs, one double, a triple and two RBI. Hejna also contributed four sacrifice hits and hit .667 over the four games. The Orange, Calif. native currently leads the Gauchos batting .389 on the season and has a team-high .542 OB%.

• Run Ramos, Run
Sophomore second basemen and leadoff hitter Christine Ramos, a 2005 All-Big West selection, had a productive weekend at the Softball by the Beach Invitational as she went 7-for-14 with a double, an RBI, four stolen bases and a team-leading eight runs. The Long Beach, Calif. native is currently third on the team hitting .310 and has a .333 OB%.

• Robbing Them Blind
As mentioned above, Ramos went 4-for-4 for stolen base attempts over the weekend, but she wasn't the only Gaucho participating in a little thievery. UCSB went 11-for-12 on the weekend for stolen base attempts, with seven different Gauchos benefiting from quick feet. Prior to last weekend, UCSB had gone 1-for-2 during the first four games of the season.

• In the Dugout With Coach Schroeder
Kristy Schroeder enters her sixth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara softball program and continues to foster a commitment to excellence and a high level of success. Her impact on the program has been immeasurable, as she has turned a very mediocre program into one of the top squads in the conference each and every year. In 2006, Schroeder led the Gauchos to a 24-22 record, an 8-10 Big West mark and the second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. She took a team that was plagued by injuries in 2005 and posted a 26-22 overall record, playing one the most difficult schedules the program had ever seen. She notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB on Feb. 26. In 2004, she led the Gauchos to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after guiding them to a 32-31 overall record and a 14-7 conference mark, which was tied for second in the Big West and was the highest league finish in UCSB history. In addition, the Gauchos won 30-plus games in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever as a Division I program. In 2003 she guided the team to the best record in program history at 34-22 and had a school-record nine players named All-Big West, with two receiving All-Region accolades. In 2002, her first season at UCSB, she was named the Big West's Co-Coach of the Year, after Santa Barbara finished the season with a 27-36 overall record--an increase of nine wins from the year before. In eight seasons as head coach, Schroeder has a career record of 282-169-1 (.625) and with the Gauchos is 149-135 (.525).

• Roadrunner Rundown
UCSB will open up this weekend's Mini Tournament with a match-up against the University of Texas, San Antonio. The Roadrunners are currently 3-7 on the season and most recently competed at the Aggie Classic hosted by No. 3 Texas A&M last weekend, where they went 2-3 with both wins coming over Rutgers. UTSA is led by Aimee Murray, who is hitting .357 with two doubles and five RBI. Pitcher Amanda Nikolenko leads the team with a 4.01 ERA and a 2-6 record on the season with a team-leading 37 strikeouts. This weekend will mark the first series between the Gauchos and Roadrunners.

• Holding Off The Huskies
The Gauchos will face Northern Illinois over the weekend marking the first pairing between the two teams since 1993. The Huskies are currently 2-2 on the season and will be returning to action this week after a two-week hiatus from competition. Randi Kreiter leads NIU at the plate hitting .500 with three runs, two doubles and four RBI on the young season. Ashley Clement, who is hitting .400 on the season, has brought home six Huskie runs and is accountable for one of two NIU homeruns. Pitcher Kate Greenough has a team-leading 1.10 ERA and has a 2-1 record with seven strikeouts. The Gauchos lead the series with the Huskies 2-0.

• Bucking The Broncos
Santa Clara will be the only other California team competing in the tournament this weekend. The Broncos will be looking to pick-up their first win of the season, as they are 0-10 after participating in Cal Poly's Mustang Classic and the Stanford Invitational the past two weekends. Angela Kabanuck leads the Broncos, batting .333 this season with four doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Pitcher Lauren Passafumie has a team-leading 2.70 ERA and has recorded an 0-2 record while hurler Jackie Morales leads the Santa Clara staff with 12 strikeouts. UCSB leads the series with the Broncos 26-3 with the last win and loss both coming during the 2004 season.

• Poll Points
After being listed in the "Others Receiving Votes" category of the ESPN.com Top-25 poll last week, UCSB did not show up in the poll this week and has yet to appear in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll this season. In the 2007 Big West Preseason Poll released in late January, the Gauchos were picked to once again finish fourth in the competitive conference. UCSB was tied in the fourth place spot with Pacific, which each received 25 points in the coaches' poll. Cal State Fullerton was picked to repeat as the conference champion while Cal Poly and Long Beach State rounded out the top three spots in the poll. The official Big West season will not start for Santa Barbara until it hosts Fullerton on March 31 and April 1.

• Coming Soon
Next week the Gauchos will continue tournament action as they make their first out-of-state trip of the season to Tempe, Arizona for the Sun Devil/Wilson DeMarini Invitational hosted by Arizona State. UCSB will face Houston, Arizona State, Utah Valley, University of North Florida and Creighton during the tournament that runs Friday, Mar. 2 through Sunday, Mar. 4.

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