Gauchos Host Northridge For Three Games
April 8, 2009
Games No. 37-40
The Opening Pitch
The UC Santa Barbara softball team will return to Campus Diamond this week for its third Big West Conference series of the season against Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos will host the Matadors in a noon doubleheader on Friday and a single noon game on Saturday.
UCSB Swept By Cal Poly, Splits With Fresno State
Last weekend, the Gauchos were swept by Cal Poly during a three-game conference series in San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs took two on Saturday by way of 12-5 and 6-0 scores and closed the series with a hard-fought, 6-5, 11-inning victory. The Gauchos then traveled to Fresno State on Monday and split a doubleheader with the non-conference foe. UCSB dropped game one, 3-1, before defeating the Bulldogs, 1-0.
The Gauchos currently rank second in the Big West and 33rd nationally with their collective .301 batting average. If they remain on pace, they could break the UCSB single-season batting average record, which was set last season with a .291 average. The Gauchos are among the Big West's top-three teams for slugging percentage (.387), runs (156), hits (286), RBI (140), triples (5), total bases (370), stolen bases (37) and at bats (955).
UCSB leads the Big West with its nine sacrifice flies this season and freshman Amanda Ziegler leads all players, and ranks 13th nationally, with a team-leading three.
Sophomore Jessica Beristianos continues to lead the Gauchos and the Big West with her single-season program record 11 hit-by-pitches, which ranks her 19th nationally with a 0.32 per game average. Not all of her at-bats result in a welt though. The shortstop leads UCSB in doubles (8), walks (15) and is second with 23 RBI. Batting .288 on the season, she accounted for three of UCSB's seven total hits at Fresno on Monday.
Senior second baseman Christine Ramos is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She leads the Gauchos, batting .391 this season - .409 in Big West games - and has a team-leading 50 hits, 54 total bases and 13 stolen bases. She has had hits in all but five games this season and went 3-for-6 with a run in the narrow 6-5 loss to Cal Poly on Sunday, marking her 13th multiple hit game of the season. If the senior finishes the season as the Gauchos' hits leader, she will be the only player in program history to lead the team four consecutive years.
No Place Like Home
Across their seven games at Campus Diamond, the Gauchos have outscored their opponents 35-15 and have outhit their opposition .356 to .199, with seven players batting over .350. UCSB's ERA is 1.17 at home and the team has allowed just eight earned runs on its home field.
Starting With A Cobb Salad
Freshman Krista Cobb leads the Gauchos in the circle with her 2.05 ERA and .202 opponent batting average, ranking seventh and second, respectively, among Big West pitchers. Her 12 wins rank her fifth in the conference and mark the most by a Gaucho freshman since Jennifer Davis posted 16 as a rookie in 2004. Cobb was masterful against Fresno State on Monday, tossing a complete game and allowing just two hits and one walk, while striking out five. The two hits are the fewest she has allowed in a complete game since holding Santa Clara to a pair on Mar. 25.
Sophomore Katie McWhirter has had quite a bit of success this season as the Gauchos' designated player. She currently is third on the team with her .333 average and first with a .471 average in Big West games. Against Cal Poly last weekend, she hit a team-leading .600 during the conference series. The sophomore also scored the winning run on Monday over Fresno State.
Getting Ziggy With It
The Gauchos' number two batter - Jessica Ziegler - is currently second on the team in batting average (.338) and second in the conference for hits (42), behind Ramos. She has had hits in all but eight games this season and accounted for two of the Gauchos' seven hits at Fresno State.
She's Got The Wright Stuff, Baby!
Senior Tiffany Wright leads the team in both runs and RBI this season, with 24 in each category. In her final season she is making her mark on the Gaucho record books. She currently ranks third in career RBI (110), fourth in doubles (33) and seventh in hits (178). Wright - UCSB's career home run leader (26) - needs just one more round tripper to break into the Big West's all-time top-10.
Cobb is not the only freshman that has made an immediate impact. Third baseman Amanda Ziegler is one of the Gaucho team leaders at the plate. She is batting .286 in Big West games and is third on the team with 22 RBI this season. She went 2-of-3 with two runs and a RBI in game three against Cal Poly.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
UCSB posted a season-high 15 hits in the 11-inning loss to Cal Poly on Sunday. The Gauchos have tallied double digit hits on 11 occasions. The most hits in a seven-inning game was 12 in a 10-1 win over Tennessee Tech on Feb. 20.
Currently the Gaucho pitching staff owns a 2.88 ERA, a huge improvement upon last season's collective 3.82 ERA. Cobb has made a team-leading 21 appearances, but junior MeLinda Matsumoto isn't far behind with 18. The junior is second on the team with her 2.93 ERA and has posted 33 strikeouts.
Flirting With Fifty
Now in her second season as the Gauchos' head coach, Brie Galicinao is just one win away from the 50th of her career. In her two seasons at the helm, she has compiled a 49-41 record. If she is able to guide the Gauchos to a win in one of the next four games, she will reach 50 wins quicker than any previous softball coach at UCSB. Kristy Schroeder was the quickest, as she captured her 50th victory at Santa Barbara during her 95th game at the helm of program.
Scouting Cal State Northridge
Cal State Northridge enters this weekend with a 23-12 overall record and a 3-3 mark in Big West games. After sweeping Pacific in its Big West opener two weeks ago, the Matadors were swept by Long Beach State by way of 6-2, 3-2 and 6-1 scores last weekend. Christina Saenz leads the team batting .363 and has 20 RBI. Deborah Duran is 16-8 in the circle for the Matadors and has posted a 1.96 ERA with 68 strikeouts.
Cal State Northridge owns a 43-20-1 all-time record against the Gauchos. Last season, Northridge won the series, sweeping a doubleheader on Apr. 12 before the Gauchos won the series finale by way of a 4-0 score.
Big West Update
Two weeks into Big West play, defending champion Long Beach State currently tops the conference standings with its 5-1 league mark. There is a three-way tie for second between Cal Poly, UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton. Northridge is currently in fifth with its 3-3 record and UCSB and UC Riverside are in a tie for sixth (2-4). Pacific (0-6) rounds out the standings.
UCSB is now offering "Cinco Packs" of tickets for baseball and softball games. Fans can purchase general admission tickets to use at any five baseball or softball games of their choice for one low price. Tickets purchased through the "Cinco Pack" package can be used at either baseball or softball. The packages are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 55 and over, and $12 for youth between 4-13. To purchase tickets, call 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus or click here.
Youth teams are invited to Campus Diamond to be a part of the Softball Sidekicks program, hosted by UCSB. Teams can sign-up to participate in on-field activities, including taking the field with the Gauchos prior to the start of the game. Players and coaches can attend the game free of charge. Click here to sign up and for more information.
As Seen On TV
Next weekend, UCSB will head to Long Beach State to take on the defending Big West Champions. The Saturday, Apr. 18 doubleheader between the 49ers and the Gauchos will be televised on ESPNU.