Freshman pitcher Amy Ross was struggling with her screwball midgame when pitching coach Brie Galicinao called a timeout.
Galicinao approached the circle and told Ross “stop spilling your charcuterie board,” a metaphor that helped Ross keep her hand flat and not spin the ball too much.
“Coach B has been so fun to work with because of the way she works with us during games,” Ross said. “In between innings she talks to us and helps us with the best way to approach batters.”
Galicinao coached at UC Santa Barbara for 16 years and was the head coach for 15. As head coach of the Gauchos, she coached 63 All-Big West selections and 34 Big West All-Academic honors. She also remains ninth in conference history with 343 total wins, helping UCSB produce five 30-win seasons.
After leaving the Gauchos following last season, Galiciano joined Cal Poly’s coaching staff, specializing in those in the circle.
Cal Poly’s pitching staff is young, with no upperclassmen. The trio of freshman arms includes Sophia Ramuno, Ally Robbins and Ross, while Paige Maier and Kate Judy are sophomore pitchers. Maier has grown fond of Galicinao and her coaching approach.
“She has a different presence and we all really like her,” Maier said “We are doing a lot of readings on pitching mentality.”
Judy echoed this sentiment, highlighting her supportiveness with the pitchers and the team as a whole.
“During games, she’ll hang out with us in the dugout and cheer along with the team and joke around with us,” Judy said. “We are super lucky to have her as our new pitching coach.”
Before Galicinao was an established coach, she was a pitcher and utility player for Princeton, where she hit better than .350 three times and graduated with a 1.47 career ERA.
She also was the first player to earn both Ivy League Pitcher and Player of the Year honors in the same season as a junior in 2001.
After she graduated, she continued her career in Italy, where she played and led clinics. She then came back as an assistant coach for the Princeton Tigers for two seasons before taking an assistant coaching job at UCSB.
Galicinao started her position with the Mustangs last July and has been enjoying the staff and facilities at Cal Poly.
“It’s been a great transition, the support here from Coach Condon and Gina, and I can’t say enough about the players,” Galicinao said.
Galicinao’s coaching has already paid off, as the team’s 7-8 start was its best in 18 seasons.
Pitching is an obviously huge part of the game, and Galicinao believes this young team is hungry to continue having success in the circle.
“It has been a lot of fun as they are so eager and real students of the game and every week they have been getting better,” Galicinao said.
Sophomore catcher Julia Barnett has also benefited greatly from the hiring of Galicinao, as she is appreciative of how there has been better communication between the pitchers, catchers and the pitching coach.
“Coach B is very articulate with initializing each pitcher,” Barnett said. “I would say it is more of a personal approach for everyone.”
Galicinao believes that when a pitcher is in the circle, every pitch counts and has been coaching the pitchers to not throw tentatively.
College softball is a hitter’s game, so Galicinao has been trying to install the mentality that whether it be the first or 100th pitch, they all matter the same.
“Being aggressive and committing to every single pitch,” Galicinao said. “It is over said but it really is one pitch at a time.”
Cal Poly is now in the midst of the Big West season, and even though Coach Galicinao was at UCSB for 16 years, she values all of the conference games the same.
“I am excited for all of the conference opponents,” Galicinao said. “I know technically [UCSB] they are rivals, but I look at everybody in the conference as rivals.”