Gauchos Look to Stay Hot Against No. 14 Fresno State, Cal State Northridge

April 7, 2008

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• The Schedule
Games No. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2008
UCSB vs. No. 13 Fresno State, 12 & 2 p.m.
at UCSB's Campus Diamond (500)

Saturday, Apr. 12, 2008
UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 12 & 2 p.m.
at Matador Diamond (1,000)

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2008
UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 12 p.m.
at Matador Diamond (1,000)

• This Week in Gaucho Softball
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will look to build upon its recent success this week in a doubleheader with non-conference opponent, No. 13 Fresno State and a three-game Big West series at Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos, who have won eight straight, will face the Bulldogs at noon on Tuesday, Apr. 8 at Campus Diamond in their final non-conference games of the regular season. Then, on Saturday, UCSB will return to Big West action when they head to Cal State Northridge. The three game series with the Matadors will begin at noon on Saturday and conclude at noon on Sunday.

• How to Catch the Action
The second game of Tuesday's doubleheader will be broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM and can also be heard at KCSB.org. All five of this week's games can be viewed on Gametracker, just click on the link on the softball schedule page at ucsbgauchos.com.

• Gauchos Sweep Defending Big West Champion Cal Poly
UCSB, which got off to a 3-0 start in the Big West thanks to a three-game sweep of UC Riverside, stretched their conference record to a perfect 6-0 with a sweep of defending conference champion Cal Poly by way of 7-6, 5-1, and 2-1 scores. The sweep marked the first over the Mustangs since the 2000 season. The Gauchos' 6-0 conference start is its best ever since joining the Big West in 1985 and drastic improvement from last season's rocky 0-8 start. UCSB improved to 23-14 on the season and is currently amidst an eight game winning streak, the Gauchos' best run since the 2002 season when they last strung together eight straight W's.

• Wright Earns Big West Player of the Week
UC Santa Barbara outfielder Tiffany Wright's (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS) bat was key in the Gauchos' sweep over defending Big West champion Cal Poly this past weekend, helping her earn her first career Big West Player of the Week honor. The junior opened the three-game series with a 2-for-3 effort, which included a homer, a season-best three RBI, two runs scored, and a walk in UCSB's thrilling 7-6 victory. After picking up another hit and a stolen base in game two, Wright hit what would be the game-winning homer in the 2-1 Gaucho win in the series finale. For the week, Wright hit .500 (4-for-8) with two homers, four RBI, three runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base. She has hit safely in each of UCSB's six conference games and has hit four of her seven homers this season in league contests. Wright currently leads all Big West players in league games for batting average (.550), slugging percentage (1.150), on-base percentage (.591), runs scored (7), hits (11), RBI (8), home runs (4), and total bases (23).This honor marks the first such award of Wright's career, she was named Honorable Mention All-Big West in 2007. This is the second consecutive Big West Player of the Week honor for UCSB: third baseman Tisha Duran picked up her second accolade of the season last week. The three awards mark the most for the Gauchos in a single season since 2003 when UCSB players earned six of the weekly honors. As mentioned above, Wright is currently amidst a six-game hitting streak, which included a career-high and school record-setting five hits in game one against UC Riverside on Mar. 29. For the season, she is batting a career-high .296 with 24 runs, six doubles, seven homers, and 21 RBI.

• Ramos Goes Streaking
Second baseman and 2007 All-Big West First Team pick Christine Ramos is currently amidst an 11-game hitting streak, a season-best for the junior. She went 1-for-3 with two runs in the first game on Saturday and closed out the doubleheader with a 3-for-4 showing and an RBI. On Sunday she went 1-for-3 at the plate. Ramos is currently second on the team, batting .328 on the season, and has hit .391 during the Big West schedule. She leads the Gauchos and ranks second in the Big West with 11 stolen bases and ranks fifth for hits with 42.

• Duran, Duran
Tisha Duran is currently amidst a stellar senior season and has been a strong offensive leader for the Gauchos. The Ventura, Calif. native currently leads the Gauchos and is fourth in the Big West with her .400 batting average. She leads the conference with her 27 runs scored, 38 RBI, and 10 home runs. This past weekend, the third baseman recorded a hit and an RBI in each of Saturday's games. She also notched a run in the 5-1 win over the Mustangs. Duran is steadily making her climb into the Gaucho record books, she currently is ninth for career home runs with 13 and just two home runs away from tying Lindsey Herrin's school record of 12 in one season. She also has 71 career RBI, which is seventh all-time, a pretty big feat considering she is in just her second season with the Gauchos.

• Hansen Steps Up
After splitting time behind the plate with sophomore Kelsey Anderson during the first half of the season, senior Ericka Hansen has found herself back in the starting rotation for the Gauchos over the last nine contests. The catcher has recently strung together a four game hitting streak, including a hit in each of the Gauchos' games with Cal Poly. After hitting a solo homer in the 7-6 win on Saturday, the senior followed up with an RBI single in game two. She rounded out the weekend by getting the Gauchos on the board with an RBI single in the 2-1 win on Sunday. In Big West contests, Hansen is batting .357, has a .571 slugging percentage, .500 on-base percentage, and has posted four RBI.

• The Ziegler Zone
Sophomore first baseman Jessica Ziegler will hopefully build upon her current four-game hitting streak this week. The sophomore had a hit in each of the Gauchos' games last weekend and posted a total of three runs and two sac bunts. Ziegler, who is batting .274 on the season, is currently second in conference with nine sac bunts and fourth with her 10 stolen bases. She is also a strong presence at first base, ranking second in the Big West for chances (305) and putouts (281), and first for fielding double plays with 13.

• Offensive Behavior
UCSB continues to lead the Big West in batting with its collective .298 average and is tops in conference games with its .316 team average. In 2007, the Gauchos relied heavily on the small ball to get runs across the plate and batted a conference-low .248 with 83 extra-base hits (49 2B, 10 3B, 24 HR) and 148 runs. This season, UCSB has already surpassed last season's runs, triples and home run output and have 73 extra-base hits (36 2B, 10 3B, 27 HR). Currently, the Gauchos lead the Big West for slugging percentage (.438), on-base percentage (.369), hits (293), RBI (145), triples (10), home runs (27) and total bases (430). In almost a complete reversal, the 2007 pitching staff led the Big West with its 2.03 ERA and this season's staff is currently seventh out of eight with its 3.43 ERA. The Gaucho defense is also proving to be one of the best in the Big West as they rank second overall with a .968 fielding percentage and tops in conference games at .979.

• Correa in the Circle
Sophomore Lindsey Correa improved to 10-4 on the season as she posted the first win of the weekend over the Mustangs. The Lake Forest, Calif. native pitched a complete seven innings allowing six earned runs on seven hits, she walked six and fanned three. Correa currently ranks in the Big West top-10 for opposing batting average (.242), batters struck out (79), and batters struck out looking (27). She currently possesses a 3.32 ERA this season.

• How The Weston Won
Junior Tami Weston improved to 8-2 on the season and currently leads the Gaucho staff with her 2.64 ERA. The Ventura, Calif. native tossed 6.2 innings in game two with Cal Poly and allowed just one earned run on six hits. She fanned two and walked four batters (all in the final inning) on the way to the 5-1 win. Weston, who prior to this season had only thrown a total of four complete games, now has five full games under her belt in 2008. She is also two strikeouts shy of doubling her career count. Weston's ERA ranks eighth amongst Big West pitchers this season.

• Matsumoto Matters
Fellow sophomore MeLinda Matsumoto picked up her first win since Mar. 14 in the series finale against the Mustangs. The Union City, Calif. native pitched a complete game allowing just one run on five hits. She walked three and struck out two in the 2-1 victory. For the season, Matsumoto possesses a 4.27 ERA and 5-8 record, while in Big West contest she has posted a 1.50 ERA in her four appearances.

• In The Dugout With Coach Galicinao
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 and utility player 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.

• Bulldog Bites
No. 13 Fresno State enters this week after dropping two out of three to Western Athletic Conference opponent Nevada last weekend. The Bulldogs were shut out 2-0 and 5-0, but posted a 4-1 win to avoid a series sweep. Fresno State currently holds a 35-7 overall record and an impressive 5-1 record on opposing diamonds. Haley Gilleland leads the squad batting .496 on the season with 21 RBI while pitcher Morgan Melloh has posted a 0.95 ERA and a 24-4 record. The two teams faced off earlier this season at the Campbell/Cariter Classic in San Diego where Fresno posted an 8-0 victory.

• Matador Musings
Cal State Northridge will enter this weekend with a 14-18 overall record and a 3-3 conference mark. The Matadors sandwiched a 9-1 win over Long Beach State with a pair of 1-0 losses to the 49ers. Northridge is led by Amanda Peek, who is batting .443 on the year with 21 RBI. Pitcher Mercedes Lavato has been doing the bulk of the work in the circle and has a 2.94 ERA and 12-11 record. In 2007, Cal State Northridge took the series against the Gauchos, posting 5-1 and 9-8 wins before falling in the final game, 6-1.

• Coming Soon
UCSB will continue Big West play next week with a home series against No. 17 Long Beach State. The 49ers and Gauchos will face-off in a doubleheader scheduled for noon on Saturday, Apr. 19 and will wrap up the series the following day with a single game at noon at Campus Diamond.

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