April 12, 2007
Games No. 36, 37, 38
at Campus Diamond
Saturday, April 14, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis, 12 & 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis, 12 p.m.
The Week Ahead
UC Santa Barbara continues its break from Big West conference games this weekend when it hosts future conference foe UC Davis in a three-game series at Campus Diamond. The Aggies and Gauchos will play a doubleheader on Saturday set to begin at noon and will then play a single game on Sunday also scheduled for a noon start.
Gauchos Halt Losing Streak With Win Over No. 24 Fresno State
After being swept in their first two Big West series against Cal State Fullerton and Pacific, the Gauchos were riding a six game losing streak when they headed to non-conference opponent No. 24 Fresno State on Tuesday for a doubleheader. The second game was cancelled after transportation issues delayed the Gauchos' arrival in Fresno, but the delay did not affect the Gauchos' play. UCSB and Fresno State battled through eight innings with the Gauchos capturing the 1-0 shutout, picking up their first win in the month of April.
For The Record
With Tuesday's win, the Gauchos are now 21-14 on the season and are just four wins away from surpassing last season's 24 total victories. UCSB is 0-6 in Big West games, which is the worst conference start the Gauchos have had in the last decade. UCSB is currently ranked fourth in the Big West for its overall winning percentage (.600) but is in last place with its 0-6 conference mark. UC Riverside is the only other team still winless in conference play with its 0-3 record. Fullerton and Cal Poly lead the conference with perfect 6-0 records after two weekend's worth of Big West play. The Gauchos are 11-5 in home games and will look to end their current three game home losing streak this weekend against the Aggies.
The Queen Of K's
Senior Jennifer Davis was stellar in the circle for the Gauchos on Tuesday evening as she held the Bulldogs to just two hits in eight innings of work. UCSB's ace struck out 14 of the 27 batters she faced and did not give up a single walk on her way to the 1-0 shutout. Davis is now 5-10 on the season and has collected four shutout victories this year. The Whittier, Calif. native now sports a 1.44 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .151, which is tops in the Big West. The hurler currently has 119 strikeouts on the season and her 14 fanned batters on Tuesday marked the fifth time this season she has posted double-digit strikeouts in a game. UCSB's career strikeout leader currently has 749 career strikeouts making her the only Gaucho to ever tally 700 or more. Forty-nine fanned batters stand between Davis and the Big West career strikeout record of 798, which was set by Cal Poly's Desarie Knipfer in 1998 and she only needs 12 more K's to take over the No. 2 spot. At the plate, Davis is hitting .200 overall and she was 0-for-2 with a walk against Fresno State.
Wright Place, Wright Time
Sophomore outfielder Tiffany Wright hit the game-winning RBI triple at the top of the eighth inning on Tuesday, driving teammate Tisha Duran home. The Corona, Calif. native leads the Gauchos with 21 RBI this season and has had four in just the last week including two RBI in game two against Pacific last Friday. Wright is currently batting .274 on the season, tied for third on the team and leads the Gauchos with 13 extra base hits this season: eight doubles (tied seventh in the BWC), two triples and three home runs. She is second on the team with seven stolen bases, which ranks in the conference top-10. The Gauchos' clean-up hitter, Wright has had hits in 20 of the 35 games played including seven multi-hit games.
In Tisha We Trust
Junior third basemen Tisha Duran had a great game against Fresno State on Tuesday going 3-for-4 with the game-winning run. Over the weekend Duran went 3-for-10 with two runs, a sacrifice hit and an RBI. The Ventura, Calif. native is second on the team hitting .324 on the season and is also second with 19 RBI. Duran ranks in the conference top-10 with eight doubles and eight sacrifice bunts. She has had hits in 23 of the Gauchos' 35 games this season and has posted eight multi-hit games. The junior is also second on the team with 22 runs scored.
Hansen Gets Hot
Junior catcher Ericka Hansen had a pair of hits over the weekend, going 1-for-2 at the plate in games two and three of the Pacific series and she also picked up a run. Hansen also earned four of the nine walks collected by the Gauchos over the weekend. The San Clemente, Calif. native followed up her weekend's performance with a pair of hits during Tuesday's game versus Fresno State, going 2-for-4 marking her third straight game with a hit. Hansen is batting .200 on the season and leads the team with 16 walks, which ranks sixth in conference. Hansen is also in the Big West top-10 with her seven sac bunts.
Ramos Racks `Em Up
Sophomore second basemen Christine Ramos led the Gauchos at the plate over the weekend, having at least one hit in each of UCSB's three games versus Pacific. The Long Beach, Calif. native opened the weekend going 2-for-4 with one run and a stolen base in game one which she followed up with a 2-for-4 performance, including a run and an RBI in the latter half of the doubleheader. On Saturday, Ramos went 1-for-4. Ramos has had hits in 26 of the Gauchos' 35 games this season, including 16 multiple hit games. The leadoff hitter leads the Gauchos hitting .379 on the season and also has collected 24 runs with a .424 on-base percentage. A 2006 All-Big West Conference Second Team honoree, Ramos ranks in the conference top-10 for batting average, OB%, runs scored, hits (44), stolen bases (10) and steal attempts (11).
Pitcher MeLinda Matsumoto dropped her third game of the season on Saturday after pitching six innings allowing only one run on four hits while walking three and fanning four in the 1-0 loss to the Tigers. Matsumoto also pitched six of game one's eight innings allowing two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out one. The Union City, Calif. native is now 9-3 on the season, holds an ERA of 2.54, which ranks ninth in the BWC, and has an opponent's batting average of .259. Her nine wins are the fourth most by a BWC pitcher so far this season and three were by way of shutout.
After leading the conference for several weeks with their combined ERA, the Gaucho pitching staff is now second in the Big West behind Cal Poly for the second consecutive week with their 2.01 ERA. UCSB is also second in the conference with an opposing batting average of .198. The Gaucho staff has allowed the fewest runs (85), hits (173), homeruns (15) and second fewest earned runs (70). In addition to Davis and Matsumoto, hurlers Lindsey Correa and Tami Weston have contributed to the Gauchos' depth in the circle. Correa currently has an ERA of 3.34 and has recorded a 5-1 record with three shutout wins and has 24 strikeouts. The freshman is fourth in the Big West with an opponent's batting average of .220. Correa had a rough go against Pacific in game two, giving up three runs on one hit with three walks in the first inning. Rounding out the Gaucho staff is sophomore Weston who is 2-0 on the season with a 0.58 ERA in her five appearances. The Ventura, Calif. native has struck out 21 batters and has an opponent's batting average of .165.
Hot Hands Hejna
Senior Jessica Hejna went 2-for-4 with a run in game two against Pacific on Friday. She also contributed two sac bunts and was hit by a pitch twice over the weekend. The Orange, Calif. native is currently tied third on the team hitting .274 on the season with a .347 slugging percentage and a .361 on-base percentage. Hejna also leads the team with 18 sacrifice hits on the year, which ranks second in the Big West. The 5'2" first basemen has also been a force defensively as she holds a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 271 chances and a conference-leading 256 putouts.
Putich Is Moving On Up
After going 2-for-4 with an RBI in the first game against Pacific on Friday, senior shortstop Brittany Putich moved onto the UCSB all-time career RBI list tying Krissy Kryiazis (1991-93) for tenth with 56 total. The Whittier, Calif. native is sixth on the team hitting .202 and is third with 14 RBI. She also has gone 6-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
In the Dugout With Coach Schroeder
Kristy Schroeder is in 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. 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 297-181-1 (.619) and with the Gauchos is 164-147 (.526).
Probable Gaucho Starters - Notes
C - Ericka Hansen - Hitting .200, has had at least one hit in the last three games.
1B - Jessica Hejna - Tied third on team batting .274, leads team with 18 sac bunts.
2B - Christine Ramos - Leads the team hitting .379 on the year with 24 runs scored.
SS - Brittany Putich - Hitting .202 on the season, third on team with 14 RBI.
3B - Tisha Duran - Second on team batting .324, scored winning run vs. Fresno State.
LF - Nicole Churnock - Batting .208 on the season, good for fifth on the team.
CF - Tiffany Wright - Hitting .274, had game-winning RBI triple against Fresno.
RF - Liz Walters - Hitting .129, tied with team-high three homers on the year.
P/DP - Jennifer Davis - Had season-high 14 strikeouts in 1-0 win over Fresno State.
P - MeLinda Matsumoto - Is 9-3 on the season with an ERA of 2.54.
Tuesday's 1-0 shutout over Fresno State marked the Gauchos' eleventh shutout victory of the season, which surpasses the eight posted during the 2006 season. UCSB has been on the receiving end of six shutout losses this season, but have held their opponents to two runs or less in five of those six losses. The match-up with the Bulldogs was also the fourth consecutive game for UCSB that has been decided by one run and the thirteenth this season. The Gauchos are currently 6-7 in games decided by one run. With the win over Fresno, UCSB is now 3-3 in extra inning games; Tuesday's was the third game out of the last four played that was decided in the eighth inning.
Since receiving votes five weeks ago in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Softball Poll, the Gauchos have yet to reappear on the list. Santa Barbara received votes in the Feb. 13 ESPN.com poll, but have yet to be ranked in either poll's Top 25. UCSB has gone 4-3 this season against teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll including wins over then-ranked No. 23 Massachusetts (Feb. 9), No. 2 Arizona State (Mar. 2), No. 11 UCLA (Mar. 27) and No. 24 Fresno State (Apr. 10)
Scouting The Aggies
UC Davis, which will officially join the Big West next season, is currently 24-14-1 on the season and 6-4 in away games. The Aggies recently swept UC Riverside the weekend of April 6-7 and split a doubleheader with Sacramento State on Tuesday with a 2-0 win followed by a 5-4 loss to the Hornets. Mandi Salcido leads the team batting .350 on the season with 20 runs, eight doubles, six homeruns and 24 RBI. Three other Aggies are batting over .300 on the season and the team is collectively hitting .257 on the year. In the circle Jessica Hancock has a team-leading 2.33 ERA and 11-8 record. Hurler Lindsay Tognetti has a 2.87 ERA and 12-4 record with a team-high 153 strikeouts. In 2006, UCSB won the series against the Aggies two games to one. The Gauchos hold a 6-1 series advantage against UC Davis.
The Gauchos will return to Big West action on April 21 and 22 when they host Cal State Northridge for a three game series at Campus Diamond. The series will begin at noon on Saturday with a doubleheader and conclude with a single game at noon on Sunday.