Saturday, Apr. 27, 2019 at 1:00 / 3:00 p.m.
CSUN (21-24, 5-7) at UC Santa Barbara (8-35, 2-10)
at Campus Diamond in Santa Barbara, Calif.
2018 Series: CSUN 2-1
All-time Series Record: 36-57-1
Live Stats: Gm 1 | Gm 2 | Video
Sunday, Apr. 28, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
CSUN (21-24, 5-7) at UC Santa Barbara (8-35, 2-10)
Live Stats | Video
Long Beach State Recap
UC Santa Barbara closed out its six-game road stretch at Long Beach State last weekend, taking down the 49ers 6-2 in the Friday series opener before falling 6-1 and 6-5. Pitcher Felisha Noriega led the way in the 6-2 win, allowing just two hits and no runs in just under five innings of work. The Gauchos loaded the bases in the first inning, and would score their first three runs on three straight walks. They would increase their lead to 5-0 with RBIs coming from Melanie Menor in the third and Devan Sperry in the sixth. Menor went on to score the final run in the top of the seventh, scoring on a Maci Fines single. The Gaucho offense couldn't sustain things in the second game, putting up one run on five hits. The following day, UCSB would accrue a five-run lead through four innings, but the 49ers ended things with six unanswered to take a 6-5 win. Fines led the way with two RBI, while Sperry and Rayna Cohen finished with two hits apiece.
Return to Campus Diamond
The Gauchos (8-35, 2-10) begin their final home stretch this weekend, hosting CSUN (21-24, 5-7) in a Saturday doubleheader that begins at 1:00 p.m. at Campus Diamond and ends with a noon matchup on Sunday. Last year, the Matadors, who own a 57-36-1 edge in the all-time matchups, took the series 2-1 in Northridge. CSUN has put up similar offensive numbers to UCSB this season, sitting one spot behind at No. 7 in batting average (.246) and one spot ahead at No. 6 in runs scored (170). They enter the weekend coming off their first Big West series win, as they held Cal Poly to three runs in three straight games to take the series 2-1 at home.
Steady As She Goes
Outfielder Sammy Fabian continues to have one of the most consistent and efficient seasons in program history. Her 52 hits and .397 batting average place her in second and third in the conference, respectively. She put together 15 multi-hit efforts through her first 25 games of the season, currently leading the Gauchos with 16 total. The sophomore is also seventh in the conference in on base percentage (.432). Her current .397 batting average is the fourth-highest in a single season in program history. Fabian also has at least a share of the UCSB team-high in runs (15), doubles (5), total bases (57), stolen bases (7), sac bunts (6) and slugging (.435).
Ramirez Stepping Up
Junior Genesis Ramirez has been one of UCSB's top producers this season, as she holds a share of the team-lead in both runs (15) and walks (17). Her 12 RBIs are also tied for second on the team.
First-year Gauchos Teah Thies and Tyler Goldstein have made an impact for UCSB in their freshmen seasons. No Gaucho has recorded more RBIs this season than Thies, who has a team-leading 13, top-five among Big West freshmen. She opened conference play with a big offensive week in which she batted at a team-high .444 clip and tied a career-high with three hits in a game for the second time this season. Goldstein meanwhile joins Ramirez as the only two Gauchos to have reached double-figures in all of the following categories: runs (10), hits (27), RBI (10) and walks (13).
A Big Missing Piece
While the Gauchos' 6.7 hits per game place them just outside the conference's top-4, UCSB has struggled to put up runs, averaging just under 2.5 per contest. A big reason for this has been the absence of infielder Sierra Altmeyer, who has played in just 12 games this season. The senior boasts the most career accolades of any Gaucho currently on the roster, with three All-Conference selections. Last year, she was named to the All-Big West Second Team, after leading the Gauchos in a ton of categories: runs (33), RBI (31), doubles (11), home runs (8), walks (28), on base percentage (.420) and slugging (.557). Before coming out of the lineup this season, she was putting up career-bests in batting average (.375) and on base percentage (.512), both of which would place her in the top-10 of the conference.
Four different Gauchos have seen time in the circle this year, but pitcher Felisha Noriega has gotten the most consistent results thus far. The junior from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. leads UCSB in ERA (3.55), wins (6), strikeouts (72) and innings pitched (112.1).
Ally Nodohara and Genesis Ramirez both hit home runs at the Bulldog Classic in early March, the first two of the season for the Gauchos. Nodohara's solo blast against CBU on Mar. 8 – the first hit of her career – ended a run of 17 straight games without a Gaucho homer dating back to last May. Ramirez's home run came in the top of the sixth inning during the rematch against CBU just two days later. It was the third of her career. Surprisingly, UCSB's third home run of the year from Carissa Felix would also come against the Lancers, when the Gauchos met them for a third time at the LMU Tournament on Mar. 15.
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).