A week after welcoming her new baby girl into the world, UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder will welcome the #1 team in the land to a visit.
As if giving birth wasn’t enough to worry about, Schroeder will lead her Gauchos to the diamond twice this afternoon against UCLA, her alma mater, at Campus Diamond. The first pitch is scheduled for noon and the second game is set to start at 2 p.m.
“She was a stud [at UCLA when she played there],” senior pitcher Loren Thornburg said.
At UCLA, Schroeder was a four-time All Pac-10 shortstop for a team that made four College World Series appearances, claiming national championships in 1991 and 1993. Oh yeah, and while she was busy dominating the infield, Schroeder also lettered in soccer and tennis, making her the only woman to have lettered in three sports in school history at UCLA.
Think the Gauchos want to win this one?
“We get pretty pumped up for games like this. With her coming back after two days [of giving birth], it makes you realize that there’s no excuses,” freshman infielder Kim Iversen said.
The Gauchos (15-5 overall, 0-0 Big West) are coming off another stellar weekend tournament, in which they posted a 4-1 record with wins against Michigan State, Kansas, University of San Diego and San Diego State. Santa Barbara is arguably playing its best softball that the program has ever seen. A win against the Bruins would surely help the Gauchos’ reputation.
“It’s like a whole new program with Coach Schroeder here. She makes us do our best,” senior utility player Jami Trinidad said.
Similarly to most great coaches, Schroeder’s effect on the team surpasses the base paths. Two days after delivering, Schroeder introduced to the team its newest member.
“She’s really been a good role model, someone we can all look up to. We kind of went through the pregnancy with her and it was awesome to know that you’re a part of that,” junior infielder E.J. Lauchland said.
Schroeder knows just as well as anyone that UCLA (14-1 overall) has a reputation for discarding Big West opponents without much effort. The Gauchos have recorded just two wins in 51 chances against the Bruins, but anybody in the UCSB softball program will tell you this is not your typical Santa Barbara team.
“[The Bruins] don’t know what’s coming,” Thornburg said.