The UCSB softball team heads to San Diego this weekend for the Campbell/Cartier Classic. Today, the Gauchos (1-3) take on Utah State (0-5) and then begin with an early-morning double-header on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. against Indiana (0-0) followed by Fresno State (2-0). The Gauchos finish off this event with Tulsa (2-2) as their final opponent on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
“Everybody’s been pretty calm at the plate just working their at-bats,” Head Coach Brie Galicinao said. “They were being smart up there. I think it’s just looking forward to going down to San Diego and getting more games under our belt and giving the pitchers more time.”
Last weekend, senior third baseman Tisha Duran quickly established herself as a major offensive force for UCSB with a five-for-13 performance including two homeruns and five RBI. Besides consistency from Duran, sophomore first baseman Jessica Ziegler emerged as a dangerous encore to junior second baseman Christine Ramos who leads off for the Gauchos.
“[Jessica Ziegler] did really well, too, with a lot of stolen bases and a lot of speed,” Galicinao said. “In that two spot, she’s following Ramos and she’s able to do a lot of different things with the defense. Having both of them on base, they’re a big threat at the top of the lineup.”
Briefly looking at each upcoming team, Utah State struggled since beginning their season with no wins and two mercy losses; Indiana has yet to play a game, but boasts quality experience with six seniors on the roster; Fresno State, always a strong softball program, was picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll and swept Pacific in a two-game series; finally, Tulsa split games on each of the two days the Hurricanes spent in Texas.
“San Diego has a nice stadium there,” Galicinao said. “Night games are always more fun. Everything seems so much more big-time under the lights. We left with the lights on and we’ll start with the lights on. As long as we finish up the game that we started, keep our lead and our pitchers’ nerves get better with each game, we’ll definitely be good.”
The first-pitch for today’s game against the Aggies is set for 2 p.m.