Titans Split Pair of One-Run Duels

April 6, 2012

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2 | Photo Gallery

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team opened the home portion of its conference schedule with a pair of one-run duels, rallying to sink visiting UC Santa Barbara, 2-1, in the opener before watching the Gauchos rally for two in the seventh for a 5-4 win in the nightcap on Friday night at Anderson Family Field.

The split moved the Titans to 15-18 overall and 3-2 in Big West Conference play while UCSB moved to 16-24 overall and 3-2 in league play following its game two win.

Friday's doubleheader was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,611 fans - the second-largest non-tournament day crowd in school history at Anderson Family Field, falling just short of the record of 1,643 fans set in a doubleheader against UCLA on March 25, 2003.

Senior Nicole Johnson finished with three hits on the day, including a 2-for-4 effort in game two to help extend her hitting streak to six games - the longest active streak and the second-longest by a Fullerton player this season - and her reached base streak to eight-straight games.

The two teams conclude their three-game series with the rubber match on Saturday (April 7) at 12 p.m.

GAME 1: CAL STATE FULLERTON 2, UC SANTA BARBARA 1
Nicole Johnson doubled home the tying run in the sixth and Eliza Crawford followed with the game-winning single as the Titans rallied from a one-run deficit to top the Gauchos, 2-1.

UC Santa Barbara's Shelby Wisdom (10-11) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, retiring 12 consecutive batters before senior Adriana Martinez reached on an infield single, beating out a throw from the shortstop for Fullerton's first hit of the contest. That brought up Johnson, who smacked a double to the warning track in left centerfield, to score Martinez and tie the game.

Crawford then followed with her only hit of the night, a single on a 2-2 pitch back up the middle, for the go-ahead run and freshman Desiree Ybarra (10-9) shut the door in the seventh, working around a two-out walk to retire the side on a ground ball to first and end the game.

Jenessa Jeppesen had given the Gauchos the early lead, slugging her third home run of the year over the wall in centerfield to lead-off the third inning, but UCSB couldn't manufacture any more runs off Ybarra, finishing with just two hits and stranding a runner at third in the third.

GAME 2: UC SANTA BARBARA 5, CAL STATE FULLERTON 4
Allison Taylor's second home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot in the top of the seventh, erased a one-run deficit and helped propel the Gauchos to a 5-4 win.

The Titans scored four unearned runs in the first after a Keilani Jennings RBI single put UCSB up early, knocking starter Andriana Collins from the game after just two-thirds of an inning. Three errors in the inning killed the Gauchos as Martinez, who reached on a throwing error, came around to score on a miscue in the outfield on Johnson's single to tie the game.

Lauren Mario added the big blow three batters later as her two-run single to right chased Collins, and Jena Rubio made it 4-1 with an RBI single to right off Wisdom (11-11) in relief, scoring Mario.

UC Santa Barbara drew to within a run with a pair in a wild third inning as a one-out error, walk, and single by Taylor loaded the bases. Jennings drew a four-pitch walk to make it 4-2 and Lainey DePompa singled to right to score Kathryn Pilpil to make it 4-3.

That single knocked Fullerton starter Katey Laban from the game as Ybarra (10-10) entered to stop the bleeding, inducing Jeppesen into a fly ball to center that was thought to score the tying run, but Taylor was called out at third for leaving early on an appeal to end the inning.

Fullerton managed only one baserunner, a walk to Ashley Carter in the fourth, until the sixth inning, loading the bases with just one out. A walk to Rubio, an infield hit by Leesa Harris, and a single to left by Carter put the Titans in prime position to score, but Wisdom wriggled off the hook, getting an out at the plate on a fielder's choice and a strikeout to end the inning.

That set the stage for Taylor in the seventh as Jessica Soria reached on an infield single with one out, but Fullerton almost ended the game on Pilpil's popout to Martinez running into foul territory. Martinez made the catch running away from the infield as Soria attempted to tag up and advance. Martinez's throw into second was relayed back to first, but Soria slid back in safely to keep the inning alive.

Taylor then put UCSB ahead for good, roping an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left for the go-ahead runs. The Titans got a one-out walk from Vizcarra in the seventh, but two strikeouts by Wisdom ended any hopes of a rally.

Wisdom allowed just five hits and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings of relief to earn the win, while Ybarra allowed only the two runs on four hits while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings of relief, suffering the loss.