Following a Tough Series with Pacific, UCSB Wraps Up its Non-Conference Schedule with Three at UC Davis
April 13, 2006
Games No. 30, 31, 32
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies
at UC Davis' La Rue Field
Friday, April 14, 2006
Game 1 - 1:30 p.m.
Game 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Game 3 - 12:00 p.m.
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara concludes conference play this weekend at UC Davis with a 16-13 overall record after dropping two of three against University of the Pacific last weekend at Campus Diamond. Playing in their first week unaffected by rain since the end of February, the Gauchos came from behind to defeat the Tigers 4-3 in the opener. UOP answered with an 8-0 mercy rule victory in the nightcap, handing UCSB its worst margin of defeat of the season. The Tigers then limited Santa Barbara to just one run in the finale, posting an 6-1 victory to take the series. The Gauchos, who have now lost the final two games after winning game one in back-to-back series, are 2-4 in Big West Play. They own a 11-11 record away from home.
UCSB Wins Second Straight Series Opener
Santa Barbara's only win in the series with Pacific came in game one Saturday. The Tigers struck first in the opening inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a double by Jennifer Curtier with a runner on first. Gina Carbonatto's RBI double in the third gave UOP a 2-0 advantage. UCSB then responded in the bottom half of the third on Kendra Singley's three-run homerun that gave the Gauchos the lead for good. She sent a 2-0 pitch just beyond the reach of the Tiger center fielder's glove and over the right center field fence for the 3-2 advantage. Santa Barbara added another run in the bottom of the fifth after Tiffany Wright doubled to left center, driving in Singley from first. Lizzie Hagen brought the Tigers to within a run an inning later when she homered off the left field foul pole, but Jennifer Davis pitched her way out of a jam in the final inning and the Gauchos held on for the 4-3 win. The junior hurler notched her team-best 11th victory of the year after allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five. It was UCSB's third come-from-behind victory of the year and the team improved to an impressive 6-1 in games decided by one run.
Pacific Snaps Gauchos' Home Winning Streak
Entering the series with UOP, UCSB had won 13 straight games at home dating back to last season. After sweeping their last three home series of 2005 against UC Riverside, UC Davis and Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos posted victories in their first four contests at Campus Diamond this season. Santa Barbara defeated San Diego State and Rider in their only games of the rain-shortened Softball By The Beach Tournament Feb. 17-19 and then took two from Radford Mar. 16. Saturday's win over Pacific in the series opener extended the streak to 14 games before it was abruptly snapped in game two. The home win streak was the longest in program history.
While the Gauchos are no strangers to playing games shortened by the mercy rule, being the team on the losing side of one of those contests is unfamiliar territory. Saturday's 8-0 loss in five innings marked the first time UCSB had been mercied since UCLA won 10-0 in six innings Feb. 28, 2004. It was the program's first loss in five innings since falling to Washington 15-5 Mar. 3, 2002. Conversely, the Gauchos have already won twice this season in mercy rule fashion, drubbing Massachusetts 10-1 in five innings in their second game of the season Feb. 10 and crushing Ohio State by the same margin Feb. 24. Interestingly, Santa Barbara posted mercy rule victories against Riverside, Davis and Northridge in the final game of each series last season, part of the school record 14-game home winning streak.
Master of Arms
Where would the Gauchos be without Jennifer Davis? The junior pitcher started all three contests against Pacific, turning in a total of 11 innings. She earned her second career victory over the Tigers in the opener after allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five en route to her eleventh win of the year. For the second straight series, Davis notched decisions in all three games, falling in the final two after giving up a total of 10 runs. She has now been the pitcher of record in 12 of UCSB's last 14 contests. The Whittier, Calif. native has been stellar all season and earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors following a three-hit shutout of No. 5 Stanford Mar. 4. She is now 11-10 with an ERA of 3.13 and 136 strikeouts--which is second in the Big West--in 132 innings pitched in 2006, third among conference pitchers. She has a total of 532 strikeouts and 40 wins for her career, which are third and fourth on the Career Top 10 List, respectively and has also moved into the seventh spot on the career innings pitched chart with 489.1. Davis has gone the distance in 16 of the 20 contests she has started and now ranks seventh all-time with 48 career complete games.
Junior center fielder Kendra Singley has been one of the squad's most reliable players in 2006, ranking first or second in batting all season. She is currently second hitting .308 with 28 hits and has recorded a team-best four homeruns, 19 runs batted in and six doubles. The Irvine, Calif. native was tremendous against RU Mar. 16, when she finished 3-for-4 and drove in four of the Gauchos' five runs in the first game, which tied a season high. Singley tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single, then hit a walk-off three run homer in the bottom of the tenth to seal the victory. She homered in the opener with CSF and smacked an RBI double in the third inning of game two. Her three-run shot in the third against UOP gave UCSB the lead for good. Singley now has 15 career homeruns, which ranks fifth on the career chart, while her 76 RBI register sixth all-time.
Her Stock is Rising
Freshman second baseman and leadoff hitter Christine Ramos has been the presence at the top of the order that the Gauchos lacked in 2005 all season. She boasts a team-high .337 batting average and a .406 on base percentage that ranks second. Ramos also leads the way with 16 runs and four stolen bases and earned Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling All-Tournament Team honors after hitting .500 with two RBI Mar. 8-11. She doubled and scored to tie the game in the Radford opener Mar. 16 and went 2-for-4 and drove in the winning run Mar. 11 against Longwood. Ramos scored a season high three runs February 10 in the Gauchos' 10-1 throttling of UMASS. The Long Beach, Calif. native recorded a hit in all three games with the Titans two weeks ago, including a 3-for-5 performance with an RBI double in game two. She singled and scored in UCSB's game one win over Pacific.
The Wright Stuff
Freshman Tiffany Wright has been dependable from day one for Santa Barbara, starting all 29 games at first base this season. The Corona, Calif. native leads the squad with four homers, ranks second with 12 RBI and third batting .295. Since hitting a homerun in her first game as a Gaucho Feb. 9, the clean-up hitter's bat has been a force in the lineup all season. Following a very impressive 7-for-12 (.583) performance during the Palm Springs Classic Feb. 24-26, she answered with a stellar showing at the Worth Invitational Mar. 3-5. Wright went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI against Loyola Chicago and scored one of the Gauchos' two runs in the win over No. 5 Stanford. More recently, Wright went 2-for-5 with a solo homer in the fourth inning of game two against the Titans two weeks ago. She doubled and drove in what proved to be the winning run in Santa Barbara's 4-3 win over Pacific Saturday and her solo homer accounted for the Gauchos' only run in the 6-1 loss in the finale. Her four homeruns are tied for the fifth most ever by a UCSB freshman.
How About Hansen?
Sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen has also found a home in the starting lineup, starting every game in 2006. She is hitting .266 with seven runs scored and six runs batted in, while her .460 on base percentage leads the squad and ranks fifth in the Big West. Hansen's .438 mark in Big West play is also tops on the team. The San Clemente, Calif. native was a big reason UCSB won the opener with Fullerton, finishing 3-for-3 and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle. She scored three runs and hit her first homer as a Gaucho in the fifth inning. Hansen had a career-high three RBI in the Palm Springs Classic opener against Ohio State Feb. 25 after hitting a bases loaded triple in the fourth inning. She can also be counted on in big situations after her performance against San Diego State Feb. 24, when she hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Finding Her Stride
Junior shortstop Brittany Putich's resurgence from an early season slump continued last weekend against University of the Pacific. Two weeks after walking twice and scoring each time in UCSB's game one win over Fullerton and finishing 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base in the finale, she was productive against the Tigers, as well. She notched one of only three Gaucho hits in their 8-0 mercy rule loss in game two and posted her first multi-hit game of the year in game three Sunday. The two-time All-Big West honoree finished 1-for-2 with a run and two RBI in the Gauchos' 6-0 win over Loyola-Chicago Mar. 4 and drove in UCSB's second run in the 2-0 win over No. 5 Stanford the same day. She is second on the squad with 12 runs along with three doubles and four RBI.
Doing The Little Things
While junior left fielder Jessica Hejna is only hitting .205, her contribution to the Gaucho offense cannot be overlooked. The Orange, Calif. native heads up the small ball attack, leading the team and the Big West with 12 sacrifice bunts. Hejna's three triples are also tops on the squad and rank second in the conference and she has recorded eight runs and eight RBI in 2006. Hejna was the catalyst in the 10-1 mercy rule victory over UMASS Feb. 10, turning in a 3-for-3 performance with three runs, a walk and a career-high four RBI. She went 2-for-4 and scored in the Gauchos' 6-0 win over Loyola-Chicago Mar. 4 and walked and scored in the tenth inning of the opener with Radford Mar. 16. After driving in two in the weekend series with Cal State Fullerton, her first RBI since February 12, she went 2-for-3 and scored a run in UCSB's 4-3 win over Pacific in the opener Saturday.
The Kristy Schroeder File
Kristy Schroeder is in her fifth 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 has been immeasurable, as she has turned what once was a very mediocre program into one of the top squads in the conference each and every year. 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. Schroeder notched her 100th victory as head coach at UCSB February 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--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 Schroeder 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 seven seasons as head coach at UCSB and Division II Truman State, Schroeder has a career record of 268-158-1 (.628), while her mark with the Gauchos is 135-124 (.521).
Gutierrez No Longer With UCSB
On Thursday, Mar. 30, head coach Kristy Schroeder announced that junior pitcher Ginger Gutierrez would no longer be with the program due to ineligibility. The transfer from Ventura College had a record of 4-2 with 26 strikeouts and nine walks in nine appearances. Pitching in the second spot of UCSB's rotation, Gutierrez led the team and ranked second in the Big West with 1.77 ERA in 2006.
Probable Gaucho Starters - Notes
C - Ericka Hansen - Batting a team-high .438 in Big West play
1B - Tiffany Wright - Her solo homerun was the Gauchos' only run in the finale with UOP
2B - Christine Ramos - Team leader hitting .337 with 32 hits and 16 runs scored
3B - Shelby Hensler - Scored the game-winner in the top of the tenth inning vs. Radford Mar. 16
SS - Brittany Putich - Posted her first multi-hit game of 2006 Sunday vs. Tigers
LF - Jessica Hejna - Leads Big West with 12 sacrifices, second with three triples
CF - Kendra Singley - Went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and scored twice in win over Pacific
RF - Jackie Conlin - Scored two of UCSB's four runs in game two vs. Fullerton Apr. 1
DP - Liz Walters - Hit .375 with a double, a homer, two runs and three RBI in three games at CSF
Gaucho Reserves - Notes
C - Brenda Lira - Started 22 games behind the plate last year
1B - Dani Baltazar - Made her first appearance of 2006 as a pinch hitter against LUC March 4
2B - Lauren Augino - Appeared in all three games at Fullerton and scored first career run
OF - Nicole Churnock - Started 13 games in right field in 2006
OF - Danielle Meyers - Went 1-for-3 in her first start at third base vs. Purdue March 5
UT - Adrienne Anderson - Notched her first-career hit, an RBI single in game one with Titans
Gaucho Pitchers - Notes
P - Jennifer Davis - Gaucho workhorse has an 11-10 record, with a 3.50 ERA and 136 strikeouts
P - Tami Weston - Allowed five runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings against UOP
Scouting the Aggies
The Gauchos will take a week off from Big West competition to wrap up their non-conference schedule with a three game set at UC Davis Friday and Saturday. The Aggies own a 12-23 overall record after Wednesday's doubleheader with San Jose State Wednesday was rained out for the second time. UCD is led by senior outfielder Megan De La Hoya, who is batting a team-high .346 with 37 hits and 21 runs scored. Freshman utility infielder Roxanne Hannan leads the Aggies with four homeruns, while hitting .307 with 15 RBI. Junior hurler Lindsay Tognetti has shouldered most of the work in the circle, posting an ERA of 2.74, a 5-8 record, with 103 strikeouts in 89.1 innings pitched. Fellow junior Christina Grimm is 2-6 with a 6.70 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 46 innings of work. The Gauchos have never lost to the Aggies and lead the overall series 4-0 after sweeping three games last season at Campus Diamond. After taking the opener 4-1, Jennifer Davis completely silenced the Davis offense, shutting them out in consecutive games. UCSB won 2-0 before taking the finale 9-0 in five innings.