FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton (18-19, 3-0 BWC) came through big time today with a pair of walk off victories over UC Santa Barbara (13-22, 0-3 BWC). It marks the first time the Titans have swept the Gauchos since 2010.
Trish Parks got the start in game one of the Saturday double-header and she had a nice day in the circle going 4.1 innings only allowing three runs on four hits while striking out four. She was lifted for freshman Taylor Dockins in the fifth inning and she finished out the game, going 1.2 innings allowing three runs on five hits recording the first save of her career.
Offensively, the Titans had a great day at the plate collecting 14 hits in the ballgame led by Bryanna Ybarra's 4-4 performance. The senior had two singles, a double, and a home run driving in three runs. Brooke Clemetson also had a fantastic day at the dish going 3-4 with a pair of singles and a three-RBI triple.
The scoring got started in the first as UCSB jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However, the Fullerton offense answered back immediately putting up five in their half of the first courtesy of a Williams two-RBI single, an RBI bunt single from Brannan, and Ybarra's two-run home run.
The Gauchos kept themselves in the game though plating a pair of runs in the second inning after a pair of singles and a two-RBI double. That was it for the scoring until the home half of the fifth though.
Richard led off the home half of the fifth with a double and Ybarra would drive in the run with a single into left field. After a pair of hit by pitches loaded up the bases for Fullerton, Clemetson came to the plate and launched it over the left fielder's head. She'd end up on third with a bases clearing triple.
With Dockins in the circle, UCSB responded yet again plating three runs in the top of the sixth and brought the game within three yet again. But the freshman battled back and kept the Titans on top.
The first two batters of the bottom of the sixth got out, but as they have done all year the Titans rallied. A fielding error, a single, and a walk would load the bases. Sam Kennedy would come to the plate and get hit by a pitch to bring in the first run of the inning. Step in, Valenzuela…the sophomore got a pitch to drive and didn't miss sending it over the left field wall for a walkoff grand slam. Her second home run of the season.
With game one in the books, game two started shortly after with Sophie Frost in the circle for the Titans. She came through with yet another great game, recording her tenth complete game of the season. In her five innings of work, she only one hit and one walk while not allowing a run to come across.
The Titan offense stayed red hot in the second game led by Irieanna Siofele going 2-3 with three RBI in the contest. Sammie Vandiver and Zoe Richard also recorded 2-3 performances with Vandiver scoring two runs and Richard connecting for her second home run of the season. Bryanna Ybarra and Shianne Brannan also recorded hits in game two.
For the first time in the series, the Titans held the Gauchos scoreless in the first inning. The offense could not be contained in the home half though. After a Clemetson walk and a Vandiver single, a pair of sac flies from Williams and Ybarra would plate a pair of runs for Fullerton and that was more than enough for Frost.
A pair of scoreless frames in the second and third kept it a 2-0 game in favor of CSF, but Richard would break that score sending a monster shot down the right field line. It was her second home run of the season.
Up by three and down to their final out in the fifth, it looked like the game was going the full seven but just as they did in the first game and as they have done all season, the Titans sparked a two-out rally.
An RBI double from Ybarra would make it 4-0 and Brannan would follow that up with an RBI double of her own. After a Richard single, Fullerton had runners on the corners with Siofele coming to the dish. The sophomore got a pitch over the heart of the plate and she sent over the left field wall for her first dinger of the season. The three-run walkoff home run gave the Titans the five-inning run-rule victory.
The sweep of UC Santa Barbara gives the Titans a 3-0 start in conference play and it's the second time they've won on back-to-back walkoffs. Fullerton will be back in action as they travel to CSUN next weekend for games on Saturday and Sunday.
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