Softball Faces Tough Tests at Fresno State Invitational

Kayla Krantz (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Kayla Krantz (Photo by Jeff Liang)

• The Schedule
All games at Margie Wright Diamond in Fresno, Calif.
All times Pacific

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Fresno State
All-Time Record vs. the Bulldogs: 14-60
Last Meeting: March 9, 2019: at Fresno State 3, UCSB 1

Watch | Listen | Live Stats

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Pacific
All-Time Record vs. the Tigers: 42-68
Last Meeting: Feb. 18, 2017: UCSB 10, Pacific 9

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Ohio State
All-Time Record vs. the Buckeyes: 2-1
Last Meeting: Feb. 26, 2011: UCSB 11, Ohio State 3

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. University of Illinois-Chicago
All-Time Record vs. the Dragons: 7-2
Last Meeting: March. 15, 2008: UCSB 6, Illinois 4

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Ohio State

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. University of the Pacific

• Live Stats, Video, Audio Available for Fresno State game
The opening game of the Fresno State Invitational, between UCSB and Fresno State, will have live stats, audio, and video coverage available. Click any of the individual game links above or on the softball schedule page to be taken to the live stats page.

• 2020 Susan Craig Classic Recap
The Gauchos headed into week two at the 2020 Susan Craig Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. and came away with a 3-2 record over their five games played. Solid pitching performances helped UCSB secure a trio of wins in the tournament, improving the season-to-date record to 4-6. An eight-run eighth inning highlighted the Gauchos' 17-10 opener against Northern Colorado, in which the Gauchos came back from an 8-5 deficit On Sunday, pitchers Felishia Noriega and Alyssa Molina combined for seven shutout innings, and Rayna Cohen came in clutch with a solo home run in the Gauchos' 2-0 victory over Northern Colorado. In the final game of the weekend against New Mexico, Ally Nodohara and Sierra Altmeyer both hit two-run homers as the Gauchos emerged victorious 7-2. Emily Schuttish earned her second win after pitching all seven innings, allowing five hits, and striking out four on 127 pitches.

• Looking Ahead at the Fresno State Invitational
Fresno State is off to a strong start in their 2020 season with an overall record of 8-3, beating all the teams they faced in last weekend's tournament, and with its only losses coming against top-25 opponents in no. 7 Florida and no. 17 Michigan, and a bubble team in Stanford, which was receiving votes in the poll after the first week of play. Ohio State's started off strong with a 3-1 record in its opening weekend at the Carolina Classic, but the Buckeyes are now on a four game losing streak. Pacific has won its last two games, coming into the weekend at 5-3. UIC didn't start its season until this past weekend, but the Flames won three out of five at the FGCU Invitational.

• Getting Going at the Plate
Good starts to the season continued for several Gauchos, including reliable junior left fielder Sammy Fabian, who co-leads the team with 15 hits and is batting .455 through the first ten games. Sophomore right fielder Ally Nodohara is right behind Fabian with 13 hits and is just ahead of her with a .500 average in 26 at-bats. Senior first baseman Sierra Altmeyer drove in four runs on three hits this past weekend, while earning four walks in 16 plate appearances. She also only struck out once throughout the tournament and holds a .500 on-base percentage. The trio of Fabian, Nodohara, and Altmeyer have managed to reach base in 50% of their plate appearances so far this season.

• Home Run Heroes
It took a week, but the Gauchos got to the task of launching balls into orbit at the Susan Craig Classic. Devan Sperry blasted the first homer of the year to left field in UCSB's 5-4 loss against Northern Colorado, and since then UCSB has had at least once in each game. Sierra Altmeyer hit one in the Gauchos' 9-1 defeat to New Mexico, Rayna Cohen joined the club in the 2-0 win over Northern Colorado, and Ally Nodohara and Altmeyer each hit one in the final game of the weekend, a 7-2 win over New Mexico.

• Pitching Report
The pitching staff picked it up in the second week of play, allowing just seven hits and pitching 12 shutout innings in UCSB's final two games of the Susan Craig Classic. Senior Felisha Noriega and sophomore Alyssa Molina combined for seven shutout innings in the circle in the 2-0 win against Northern Colorado and junior Emily Schuttish pitched a complete game gem against New Mexico for a 7-2 Gaucho win. Schuttish is one of the Big West pitching leaders in several statistical categories, including the fourth-best ERA (2.88), eighth-best opposing batting average (.272), and fifth-least earned runs allowed (10). As a staff, the Gauchos have allowed the least amount of homers (4) and had the least wild pitches (2) in the conference.

• Welcome to the Show
Infielders Korie Thomas and Hannah Damore, outfielder Sam Denehy, and freshman pitcher Lexi Campbell all made their Division I debuts on opening weekend at the NorCal Kickoff. Thomas played in four games and had eight at-bats, earning a walk in the season opener against Idaho State. Denehy played in three games and stepped up to the plate twice, while Damore made her debut pinch hitting for third baseman Kayla Krantz in the sixth inning of the final game of the weekend against Sacramento State. In the circle, Lexi Campbell started the first two games against Idaho State and Cal Baptist, as well as the Sac State game. She pitched a total of 9.1 innings, striking out 10.

• All-Conference Accolades
At the end of the 2019 campaign, Sammy Fabian and Teah Thies landed on the All-Big West First Team and Freshman Team, respectively. Fabian ended the year with a seven-game hit streak, posting a .404 batting average for the year – the third-highest in program history – and making her just the third Gaucho ever to bat over .400 for a season. She also led the team in a majority of offensive categories, including runs (24), hits (67), doubles (8), stolen bases (9), on base percentage (.431) and slugging (.464). Teah Thies was the Gauchos' leader in RBIs with 17 last season. The Laguna Hills, Calif. native appeared in all 52 games for the Gauchos, ranking top-five on the team in hits (36), runs (14), doubles (4) and triples (2). Her 17 RBIs were also good for sixth among Big West freshmen.