FULLERTON, Calif. – The very special night that was "No One Fights Alone" night ended in victory as Cal State Fullerton (16-19, 1-0) defeated UC Santa Barbara (13-21, 0-1) on Friday night to open up conference play.
Freshman Taylor Dockins got the start on the night dedicated to her and her fight against cancer, and she dealt all night long. Recording her seventh complete game of the season, the right-hander allowed just one run on eight hits while walking only one and striking out one.
The Titan offense was carried by junior Ari Williams tonight as she went 2-2 with a double, a triple, and both RBI's for Fullerton. But she wasn't the only standout… senior Brooke Clemetson went 1-1 on the night with a triple, two walks, and scored both runs for the Titans.
Sophomore Irieanna Siofele made her first start since game two of the season and had a nice game going 2-3 at the plate as the designated player. Freshman Sam Kennedy was the only other Titan to record a hit in the contest.
The night was started not at first pitch this day, but well before as the crowd began to fill with green in support of Dockins. With nearly 1,000 people in attendance it was truly a special night. To wrap up the pregame, Taylor's father, Rick Dockins, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and Taylor's aunt, Christa, sang the national anthem.
While it was an awesome (and emotional) pregame, it was game time as we had a Big West Conference opener to play. It was a rough start for Dockins in the circle as the Gauchos sparked a quick two-out rally to strike first courtesy of a double from Alyssa Diaz and an RBI single from Sierra Altmeyer.
However, the Titans responded right away as Clemetson would work a walk, steal second, and advance to third on a Sammie Vandiver sac bunt. To the plate came Ari Williams, as she laced a triple down the right field line to tie up the ballgame.
Fullerton would claim the lead in the third thanks to a Clemetson lead off triple and a Williams sac fly into right field.
That one-run lead was all Dockins and the Titan defense would need as it was cruise mode from that point on. Only two Gauchos would reach second base in the final six innings of play and only one would reach third, but the freshman right-hander had her stuff working tonight and shut them down.
It's a big win to start conference for the Titans and they'll come back tomorrow looking for the series win. It's a double-header starting at 2:00 p.m. against UCSB and it will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
Photo: Nick Allen, SportsLingo.com
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