Four-Day Gaucho Classic Hosted by UCSB Softball Begins Thursday

Four-Day Gaucho Classic Hosted by UCSB Softball Begins Thursday

The Schedule
2019 Gaucho Classic
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Full Schedule

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 at 12:00 / 2:00 p.m.
Bowling Green (4-4) at UC Santa Barbara (4-9)
All-Time Series Record: 1-0
Gm. 1 Live Stats 
| Gm. 2 Live StatsVideo

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.
LIU Brooklyn (8-6) at UC Santa Barbara (4-9)
All-Time Series Record: 0-0
Live Stats
| Video

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
Cal (9-7) at UC Santa Barbara (4-9)
All-Time Series Record: 3-23
Live Stats 
| Video

Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.
Cal (9-7) at UC Santa Barbara (4-9)
Live Stats 
| Video

Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
Pacific (6-5) at UC Santa Barbara (4-9)
All-Time Series Record: 42-68
Live Stats
| Video

Mary Nutter Classic Recap
With weather causing a handful of delays, UC Santa Barbara wouldn't conclude any of its games at the Mary Nutter Classic until Saturday. The Gauchos defeated Army 3-1 in a game which had started on Thursday, as they held the Black Knights to just two hits. UCSB did all of its damage in the sixth inning, tacking on three runs from Genesis Ramirez, Tyler Goldstein and Rayna Cohen. Goldstein led the way with two hits and an RBI. Santa Barbara would face top competition in the rest of its games, falling to three ranked opponents and dropping a narrow decision to BYU 3-2.

Gaucho Classic Preview
For the first time since 2015, there will only be one Gaucho Classic, as UCSB welcomes four teams to Campus Diamond for 12 total games spanning from this Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 28-Mar. 3. The Gauchos (4-9) open their 2019 home schedule up on Thursday with a noon doubleheader against Bowling Green (4-4). UCSB will then play 1:30 and 3:30 games on both Friday and Saturday, taking on LIU Brooklyn (8-6) and Cal (9-7) two times apiece. On Sunday, the Gauchos take on Pacific (6-5) in the final game of the weekend at 11:00 a.m.

UCSB has found success during recent Gaucho Classics, going a combined 20-9 since 2016.

Fabian's Hot Start
No Gaucho has had a hotter start offensively this year than outfielder Sammy Fabian, who leads the team in runs (8), hits (18), doubles (3), batting average (.391) and slugging (.457). Her hits and batting average rank second and fifth in the Big West, respectively. The left fielder started the season with a six-game hit streak, including five games with at least two hits. She enters the Gaucho Classic having posted multi-hit efforts in more than half her appearances, tallying two or more in seven of 13 outings.

Stringing Those Hits
Since opening the year with three consecutive double-digit hit totals, UCSB has reached double-figures just once in the last 10 games. However, the Gauchos still average the third-most hits per game (7.15) in the conference and the fourth-highest batting average (.275). Trailing Fabian for the team-lead are Rayna Cohen (13 hits) and Sierra Altmeyer (12).

The Circle
Santa Barbara's defense has given up fewer than five runs in seven of 13 games, with the pitching trio of Veronika Gulvin, Felisha Noriega and Emily Schuttish combining for a 3.83 ERA, good for the fourth-lowest in the conference. Their combined 4.76 strikeouts per seven innings are also good for fourth. Noriega owns the team's lowest ERA of 3.46, placing her at No. 12 among Big West pitchers. She also leads the team with a 3-2 record thus far. Gulvin meanwhile currently holds the UCSB-high with 5.48 K/7, placing her sixth in the conference.

Close Ones
Three of the Gauchos' four wins this season came with at least a three-run margin of victory, with last week's 3-1 win over Army being the only exception. Close games haven't been a friend to UCSB so far this season though, as the Gauchos enter the weekend with a 1-5 mark in games decided by two runs or fewer. UCSB did win its only extra innings game so far though, going off for five eighth-inning runs in an 11-6 win over Montana during opening weekend.

Hit Streak
Outfielder Rayna Cohen owns the current longest hit streak on her team, having recorded a single hit in four straight games. With six RBI, the sophomore from Woodland Hills, Calif. is tied with freshmen Teah Thies and Tyler Goldstein for the team-lead.

Key Returners
Highlighting the 11-Gaucho returning faction is three-time All-Big West Teamer Sierra Altmeyer, as well as 2018 All-Freshman Team selections Sammy Fabian and Maci Fines. Altmeyer is coming off an All-Conference Second Team selection last year, when she led the Gauchos in runs (33), RBIs (31), doubles (11), home runs (8), walks (28), on base percentage (.420) and slugging percentage (557).

Second-year Gauchos Fabian and Fines return following standout freshman seasons. Playing out of left field last year, Fabian would go on to lead the team in hits (54), batting average (.335) and stolen bases (9), earning All-Big West Honorable Mention recognition in the process. Her 26 runs were also good for third-most on the team. Defensively, she was solid throughout the year, finishing with a .988 fielding percentage after tallying just one error.

New Talent
UCSB brings six newcomers to Campus Diamond in 2019, including Utah State transfer Devan Sperry Jr. (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Mt. Sac standout Carissa Felix (Montclair, Calif. / Ontario HS) along with four freshmen. Sperry posted career-highs across the board as a sophomore last year, finishing with 20 hits, four doubles, three homers and 15 RBI at USU. Meanwhile, Felix dominated at Mt. Sac, helping lead the Mounties to a 41-7 record while totaling 59 hits and 41 runs on a .415 batting average.

Rounding out the newcomers are Gaucho freshmen infielders Teah Thies (Laguna Hills, Calif. / Laguna Hills HS) and Ally Nodohara (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato HS), pitcher Alyssa Molina (Los Angeles, Calif. / Notre Dame S.O.) and outfielder Tyler Goldstein (Agoura Hills, Calif. / Agoura HS).