Cal State Fullerton Splits Big West Opener With UC Santa Barbara

April 1, 2006

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team opened its 2006 Big West Conference schedule with a doubleheader split against UC Santa Barbara, falling in the opener, 8-6, before rebounding to win the nightcap, 6-4, in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon in Fullerton, Calif.

With the win, the Titans improved to 20-17 overall while the Gauchos fell to 15-10 overall. Both teams are 1-1 in league play.

The two teams battle in the rubber game of the series on Sunday (April 2) afternoon at 12 p.m. in Fullerton.

GAME 1: UC SANTA BARBARA 8, CAL STATE FULLERTON 6
The Gauchos broke open a tie game with four unearned runs in the fourth inning and survived a late offensive explosion by the Titans' offense as UCSB emerged with an 8-6 win in the opener.

The victory snapped a 24-game losing streak to Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton while handing the Titans only their second loss in the last seven Big West openers.

Kendra Singley got the Gauchos on the board in the first as she smacked a two-out home run to right centerfield for the 1-0 lead.

Fullerton rebounded to tie it in the second on a sacrifice fly by senior Marissa Marzan, scoring pinch runner Whitney Kroh to tie the game at one run apiece.

That's when the wheels fell off for Fullerton as UCSB loaded the bases with two outs. Junior Candice Baker (13-6) then induced Shelby Hensler into a potential inning-ending ground out, but the throw from the Titans' shortstop, trying to get the out at third base, hit Brittany Putich in the back, allowing Ericka Hansen to score at make it 2-1.

Christine Ramos and Jessica Hejna then drew back-to-back run-scoring walks to make it 4-1 and bring up Singley again, who reached on an error to drive home Hensler and make it 5-1.

Hansen, who fell a triple shy of the cycle while going 3-for-3 on the day, then led off the fifth with a solo home run and the Gauchos added another on an RBI double by Liz Walters to make it 7-1.

However, the Titans wouldn't go quietly as junior Ashley Van Boxmeer got one of the runs back with an RBI triple in the fifth and Jenna Wheeler added a two-out home run in the sixth to make it 7-3.

UC Santa Barbara got one of the runs back in the seventh as pinch-hitter Adrienne Anderson's RBI single drove Hansen home to make it 8-3, but the Gauchos would have to sweat out a two-out Fullerton rally before sealing the win.

Freshman Yvette Fernandez drew a one-out walk and pinch runner Amanda Kamekona later scored on Van Boxmeer's double to right centerfield to make it 8-4. That brought up Courtney Martinez, who cracked the first pitch she saw from Jennifer Davis (10-6) over the left field fence for her second home run of the season to make it 8-6.

However, Davis worked out of the jam, inducing Katie Gollhardt into a game-ending ground ball to end the game.

Van Boxmeer led all Titans with a 3-for-4 effort, falling a home run shy of also hitting for the cycle. Four other Fullerton players had hits.

Baker suffered the loss, allowing only one earned run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings while striking out five. Brooke Weekley pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out five.

Davis earned the win for the Gauchos, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in the complete-game effort.

GAME 2: CAL STATE FULLERTON 6, UC SANTA BARBARA 4 (10 INN.)
Cal State Fullerton sophomore Kiki Munoz homered twice, including the game-winning two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, as the Titans salvaged the doubleheader with a 6-4 win.

Munoz and Marissa Marzan each had two hits to lead the Fullerton offense while Munoz drove in four runs on the day, including another two-run home run in the third inning.

Candice Baker (14-6) earned the win, going the complete 10 innings, allowing three earned on eight hits, walking four and striking out 12. It is the fifth time this season that Baker has struck out 10-or-more batters.

Davis (10-7) suffered the loss in relief of starter Tami Weston for the Gauchos, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking six and striking out five in 7 2/3 innings of work.

Fullerton had golden chances to win the game in the seventh and ninth innings, but the Titans left the bases loaded in both frames and stranded 14 runners on base for the game.

The Titans rallied for the winning runs in the 10th as freshman Courtney Martinez reached on a hard infield bunt single and moved to second on Katie Gollhardt's ground out.

That brought up Munoz, who sent the first pitch she saw from Davis over the fence in left centerfield for the walk-off winner.

UCSB struck first on the scoreboard once again as Kendra Singley doubled home Jackie Conlin for the 1-0 lead.

Cal State Fullerton answered in a big way in its half of the third, as Gollhardt had a one-out two-run double to right centerfield off Davis for the 2-1 lead. Munoz then followed with her first home run of the season, driving home Gollhardt ahead of her to make it 4-1.

The Gauchos then began to chip away with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on a home run by Tiffany Wright and a double by Christine Ramos to make it 4-3.

It stayed that way until the seventh when Liz Walters sent a 2-1 offering from Baker down the left field line and over the fence to tie the game at 4-4 and set up Munoz's extra-inning heroics.