UCSB Heads to Southern Utah for St. George Red Desert Classic

Genesis Ramirez (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)
Genesis Ramirez (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)

For the entire Week 4 Release in PDF form, click here.

• The Schedule
Friday, Mar. 3, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Utah Valley (0-4)

At The Canyons Softball Complex
All-time record vs. Wolverines: 5-0
Last time: W, 8-4 (3/10/16)

Friday, Mar. 3, 2017 at 2 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Iowa State (7-7)

At The Canyons Softball Complex
All-time record vs. Cyclones: 5-9
Last time: L, 2-0 (3/11/16)

Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017 at 10 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Nevada (8-5)

At The Canyons Softball Complex
All-time record vs. Wolf Pack: 10-5
Last time: W, 9-5 (3/8/14)

Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017 at 3 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Southern Utah (1-7)

At The Canyons Softball Complex
All-time record vs. Thunderbirds: 8-0
Last time: W, 10-2 (6) (2/28/16)

Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017 at 9 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Nebraska-Omaha (4-9)

At The Canyons Softball Complex
All-time record vs. Mavericks: 1-1
Last time: W, 4-3 (8) (2/19/17)

• Mary Nutter Classic Recap

Last weekend, UCSB faced its best competition so far this season at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, with four of its six opponents boasting top 25 national rankings. While the Gauchos came away with a 1-5 record, they did manage to pull off an upset win over No. 24 Missouri, 6-5, thanks to a pair of home runs from sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer and a 5-0 run to end the game. It was Santa Barbara's first win over a ranked team since they swept a home doubleheader with No. 23 Houston back on Feb. 23, 2012. The Gauchos didn't fare as well against the other ranked teams, losing by eight runs in five innings to both No. 8 Washington, 10-2, and No. 20 Arizona State, 8-0. They also fell by final scores of 8-3 to No. 15 Tennessee, 6-4 to Purdue, and 4-3 to Oklahoma State.

• Altmeyer Named Athlete of the Week

Sierra Altmeyer turned up the heat over the final four games of the Mary Nutter Classic, recording a team-leading six hits, five RBIs and three home runs. Her final swing against then-No. 20 Missouri gave the Gauchos two runs and their first walk-off homer of the season. On her prior at bat, Altmeyer smashed a solo homer, kickstarting a 5-0 game-ending run that saw the Gauchos take a 6-5 win. She is currently tied for the team-lead in RBIs (9) and leads the way in home runs (3), slugging percentage (.667), walks (5) and total bases (28). Her efforts this past weekend also led to her being named the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Athlete of the Week.

• Rewriting the Record Books

It wasn't exactly a weekend to remember for senior left fielder Kristen Clark, who went 4-20 (.200) in six games. However, she still holds a team-leading .383 season batting average and has more hits (18) and steals (3) than any other Gaucho. Now with 249 career hits, she is nine away from matching Christine Ramos (258, 2006-09) for the most in program history. Furthermore, three more stolen bases and six more runs will move her into the top two and top five all-time, respectively, for career steals and runs. She currently has 54 career stolen bases and 110 runs.

• Johnston Fills It Up

Junior outfielder Jessica Johnston continued her solid start to the season, finishing with seven hits, four runs and two doubles in Cathedral City. She is now UCSB's leader in runs (10) and doubles (4) for the season and ranks second in hits (15), batting average (.366), home runs (2), total bases (25) and slugging percentage (.610). Her 0-3 outing in the Gauchos' last game against No. 8 Washington ended a run of seven straight games with at least one hit. She has recorded a hit in 10 of 14 games this season, second only to Kristen Clark (11).

• Freshman Fever

First baseman Alyssa Diaz has gotten off to a stellar start to her freshman campaign, ranking in the top four on the team in nearly every single important statistical category. That includes RBIs (9), runs (8), hits (12), home runs (2), doubles (3), triples (1), total bases (23), slugging percentage (.523), walks (3), and putouts (82).

• Gulvin Leading UCSB on the Mound

While it hasn't exactly been an easy schedule for UCSB to open the season, the Gauchos won't be winning too many Big West games in April and May if they continue giving up eight runs per game, as they have through 14 outings this year. Pitcher Veronika Gulvin's team-leading 5.86 ERA isn't particularly flashy, but the sophomore has shown an ability to get the job done in crucial moments, as evidenced by her owning three of the Gauchos' four wins. Perhaps her best performance of the season came against No. 24 Missouri, when she held the Tigers to two runs in just under six innings to help lead the Gaucho defense in the comeback victory. 

• Crunch Time

UCSB hasn't blown anyone out of the water this year, going 0-6 in games decided by five or more runs. However, the Gauchos have been winning the close games, going a perfect 2-0 when it goes to extra innings and 3-1 in games decided by one run. When their offense scores at least four runs, UCSB is a near perfect 4-1.