Pixel Tracker

Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 1:22 am | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Gauchos Are Seventh in Coaches’ Big West Preseason Poll

UCSB returns three all-conference selections, prepares to open season next month.

UCSB’s softball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Big West Conference, according to the league’s preseason coaches’ poll released Tuesday. Defending Big West champion Cal Poly garnered the top spot in the poll, beating out Cal State Fullerton by just one point.

Cal Poly earned 56 points and two first-place votes to beat out Fullerton, which garnered 55 points and three first-place predictions. Long Beach State finished with 52 points and two first-place votes. Pacific claimed the fourth spot with 33 points, while Cal State Northridge was right behind with 32 points and the remaining first-place vote. First-year Big West member UC Davis was picked to finish sixth with 28 points, while UCSB (20) and UC Riverside (12) rounded out the poll.

The Gauchos, who are under the direction of first year head coach Brie Galicinao, return three All-Big West selections from the 2006-07 squad. All-Big West first-team pick Christine Ramos, who led UCSB with her .359 batting average and her school record-setting 66 hits last season, returns for her junior campaign.

First-team All-Big West pick Tisha Duran also returns after a breakout junior season. Duran, from Ventura’s Buena High and Ventura City College, batted .327 last year, tying Ramos with a team-leading 33 runs and led the squad in doubles (11) and RBIs (33). Tiffany Wright rounds out the trio of returning all-conference honorees. After hitting .268 with 44 hits, nine doubles and 27 RBIs, the outfielder earned an All-Big West honorable mention in 2007.

The Gauchos other starters this season include outfielder Nicole Churnock and catcher Ericka Hansen. Pitchers Lindsey Correa, MeLinda Matsumoto, and Tami Weston, a junior from Ventura High, will look to fill the void left by 2007 Big West Pitcher of the Year Jennifer Davis, the conference and Gauchos’ all-time leading strikeout queen.

Last season, UCSB earned its third NCAA Tournament bid in four years after going 30-23 overall and 7-11 in the Big West. The 30-win campaign was the third in five seasons for UCSB. Despite its strong overall season records, UCSB has had only one winning season in conference play in the last four years.

The Gauchos open the 2008 season Feb. 8, playing in the UCLA/Cal State Fullerton Freeway Series. UCSB will play Nevada, Oklahoma, Santa Clara and UCLA at the tournament.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >