SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton (23-13, 1-1) softball team split the first two games of the Big West Conference opening series with UC Santa Barbara (12-21, 1-1) capturing an 8-4 victory in game two, after falling 8-6 in game one at Campus Diamond on Saturday.
The Titans and Gauchos will complete the three-game series in the rubber match tomorrow at 12 p.m.
GAME TWO: Cal State Fullerton 8, UC Santa Barbara 4
Cal State Fullerton used a four-run seventh inning to hang on for an 8-4 decision to capture its first conference win of the season.
After the Gauchos fought back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4, the Fullerton offense capitalized on two UCSB errors to produce a four-run outburst. University of Arizona transfer Courtney Rodriguez led off the frame with a single up the box. Mizzou transfer Sarah Moore reached base by forcing an error on UCSB third baseman DeJanee Moore, as her throw was wide of first base and trickled down the line.
Senior Eliza Crawford put the Titans back in front 5-4 with a sacrifice fly to left, while Rodriguez tagged and sped home. Freshman Bryanna Ybarra also reached base after lifting a shallow fly ball to left center which was dropped by leftfielder Kristen Clark. Catcher Kylie Padilla drew a walk to load the bases and Samantha Galarza later followed by being hit by a pitch to drive in another run. Freshman Sammie Vandiver capped off the frame with a two-run single to left center.
Vandiver (3-for-5) led the squad with her third three-hit game of her career, driving in two RBIs and scored once. Crawford (2-for-3) drove in three RBIs and Rodriguez (2-for-4) added one RBI.
Fullerton sophomore Christina Washington (12-3) was the pitcher of record after tossing the final one and 1/3 innings to earn her team-high 12th victory of the season, scattering two hits to the Gauchos. CSF junior Jasmine Antunez was given the nod to start in the circle, yielding four runs on six hits over five and 2/3 frames. Antunez issued five walks and struck out one.
GAME ONE: UC Santa Barbara 8, Cal State Fullerton 6
UC Santa Barbara erased a three-run deficit by scoring five runs over the final two innings to steal the Big West Conference opener, 8-6.
With the Titans tallying runs in the second, third, and fourth innings to lead 6-3, the Gauchos responded with a pair of runs in the fifth beginning with an RBI double from MeShalon Moore. A second run came across following a fielding error by CSF centerfielder Courtney Rodriguez to make it 6-5.UCSB tacked on three more to take the lead behind a two-run double by Arianna Palomares and an RBI single from Shelby Wisdom. Fullerton managed only one hit in the final three frames.
UCSB's Lena Mayer (4-3) collected the win after tossing five innings in relief, scattering four hits and striking out one.
Fullerton's biggest inning was in the second as Kylie Padilla pulled an RBI single to left, Shianne Brannan was plunked with the bases loaded and Sammie Vandiver drove in the third run with a sacrifice fly out.
Moore (2-for-3), Padilla (2-for-3) and Rodriguez (2-for-4) each logged multi-hit games.
CSF pitching labored throughout the game as Christina Washington yielded five runs (four earned) on seven hits, while Jasmine Antunez (2-4) surrendered three runs in one inning of work to take the loss.
Game Notes: With at least one hit in both games, Vandiver now owns the longest hitting-streak in program history since complete box scores were available in 1989, sitting at 20 games in 20 starts…Fullerton now owns a 106-13 series record over the Gauchos…The Titans are now 8-3 on Saturday's and 1-2 on the road…A trio of Titans have reached base in 10 or more consecutive games; Vandiver (20), Rodriguez (15) and Taukeiaho (13).
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