Krista Cobb, Lainey DePompa, Keilani Jennings, Brooke Putich, and Amanda Ziegler will join the Gauchos for the 2008-‘09 season.

UC Santa Barbara head softball coach Brie Galicinao has announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period. Galicinao’s first recruiting class since being named head coach this past June consists of Krista Cobb, Lainey DePompa, Keilani Jennings, Brooke Putich and Amanda Ziegler. All five student-athletes will join the Gauchos for the 2008-09 season.

“The 2012 class will add great athleticism, game sense, and energy to our program,” Galicinao said. “The class is very well-rounded and talented both defensively and offensively.”

Krista Cobb, a 5’9” right-handed pitcher out of El Camino Real High School, will add to the Gauchos’ depth in the circle. She has played two years of varsity softball at El Camino Real. During her junior season, she posted a .892 ERA and 319 strikeouts in 196 innings played. Cobb recorded a 23-6 record including 16 shutouts, one no-hitter, and eight one-hitters. She has also posted a .202 batting average with one homerun and 14 RBI.

For her standout play, she was named the West Valley League¹s Most Valuable Player in addition to earning First Team All-League, First Team CIF All-City, and Los Angeles Daily News First Team All-Area honors. Also diligent in the classroom, Cobb has earned Scholar Athlete accolades as well. Cobb has played travel ball with So Cal Attitude 16U, So Cal Storm 18U, Synergy 90, Pacific Coast Predators 18 Gold, and most recently with SoCal Sliderz 18 Gold.

“Cobb has a remarkable command of all of her pitches and throws hard,”Galicinao said of the recruit. “The most impressive part of her game, though, is how great of a competitor she is on the mound.”

Lainey DePompa, a catcher and infielder, is completing her high school career this year at Crescenta Valley High School, where she has been a four-year member of the varsity softball team. During her career, she has posted a .407 batting average, .538 on-base percentage, a .562 slugging average, a .994 fielding percentage, and has posted a caught-stealing average of .815. DePompa is a three-year First Team All-Pacific League and All-Area Team selection.

She has also helped her team to three straight CIF Championship Playoff appearances and has served as a team captain for two seasons. A hard worker in the classroom as well, she has earned three-straight Scholar Athlete accolades and was named to the 2007 CIF All-Academic team. DePompa has played with So Cal Sliderz for seven years, participating in the 18 Gold Nationals in 2006 and the ASA Junior Olympic National Championship Tournaments at every age level.

“DePompa is a catcher who instinctively knows the game and her position well,”Galicinao said. “She brings her instincts to the plate as well, and swings from both sides of the plate.”

A player capable of playing shortstop, second base or outfield, Keilani Jennings is currently a senior at Newbury Park High School. A two-time All-Maramonte League selection and 2007 team MVP and captain; she has posted a .491 batting average and a .490 slugging percentage in her varsity career. A diligent student as well, Jennings is a three year honor roll member and Scholar Athlete Award recipient.

Jennings has played with So Cal Millennium, So Cal Scorpions and is currently a member of So Cal Diamonds 18U.

“Jennings is athletic and can play anywhere on the field with her strong arm and instincts. She also hits for power and will add speed to our offense,”Galicinao commented.

Brooke Putich, sister of former Gaucho Brittany Putich, is an outfielder that will join UCSB upon the completion of her four-year varsity career at La Serna High School. A First Team All-Del Rio League and First Team All-Area selection, she helped her team to its first Del Rio League Championship in 2007. Putich has posted a .449 batting average and a .617 on-base percentage while also leading her team in base hits, runs scored, and stolen bases. Putich plays travel ball with Jets Gold.

“Putich is another athlete who will add quickness to our team from the left side; she’s a natural outfielder who can play anywhere on the green,”Galicinao added.

Amanda Ziegler rounds out the recruiting class, and if her name sounds familiar too, it’s because her older sister, Jessica, is currently a sophomore on the UCSB softball team. Versatile as an infielder or outfielder, Ziegler is currently in her fourth season with the Palomar High School varsity softball team. The 2007 Athlete of the Year and Best Defensive Player, Ziegler helped her team to the 2005 and 2006 Palomar League Championships and the 2006 Division II CIF Championship. A three-time All-Palomar League selection, she has earned North County Times and Union Tribune Player of the Week honors during her high school career. Ziegler competes with the San Diego Renegades travel ball team.

Not only a standout in softball, she has also competed for four years in varsity soccer and field hockey, earning First Team All-CIF and several additional honors in both sports. Ziegler also excels in the classroom, landing herself on the honor roll and earning 2006 Union-Tribune All-Academic honors for each of the sports she competes in.

“Ziegler has the talent and experience to make big plays in both the outfield and infield. She also hits with excellent power from the right side,” Galicinao said.

“I think overall this class with mesh well with the returning players and we’re really excited to work with them next fall,” summed up Galicinao.

The UC Santa Barbara softball team will open the 2008 season on Feb. 8, when they head to the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament being hosted by UCLA.

During the tournament, which is also being referred to as the UCLA/Cal State Fullerton Freeway Series, the Gauchos will take on Nevada, Oklahoma, Santa Clara and UCLA.