Gauchos Drop Doubleheader, Series to Titans

Samantha Lujan (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Samantha Lujan (Photo by Tony Mastres)

FULLERTON, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team lost both games in their doubleheader against the Cal State Fullerton Titans on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton. The Titans followed up their 2-1 win against the Gauchos on Friday night by clinching the series with their 14-6 win in the first game of the day and an 8-0 victory in the second. The series was the first for both teams in Big West Conference play.

Freshman centerfielder Rayna Cohen, senior catcher Samantha Lujan, and sophomore first baseman Alyssa Diaz each went 2-for-4 on the day for UCSB at the plate, with Cohen and Lujan each tacking on a double and 2 RBIs.

Game 1

Freshman right-fielder Alyssa Lazatin opened her home run account with a leadoff blast to deep right field to put the Gauchos up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.

Fullerton responded with a five-run bottom half of the inning to take the lead, cycling through eight batters and registering five hits, the last being a two-run home run from Titan third baseman Bryanna Ybarra.

The Gauchos closed the gap in the second inning, with leadoff singles from Cohen and freshman third baseman Maci Fines setting up Lujan's two-RBI double to center to make the score 5-3.

The Titans then scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to six after Ybarra hit an RBI single and right-fielder Brooke Clemetson, who went 1-for-2 with two walks in Friday's affair, slashed a three-RBI triple to deep left.

The Gaucho offense rallied to produce three runs in the top half of the sixth stanza through a two-RBI Cohen double and an RBI single through the 6-4 hole from freshman left-fielder Sammy Fabian, but it ultimately wasn't enough as the home side scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth, at which point the run-rule came into effect and the game ended 14-6 in favor of Fullerton.

Trish Parks (2-2) earned the win for the Titans, while Taylor Dockins picked up her first save of the season. Junior Veronika Gulvin (5-8) started the game in the circle for UCSB and was given the loss. Sophomore Felisha Noriega appeared in relief.

Game 2

The Gauchos were defeated 8-0 in the second game of the day after bursts of offense from the Titans in the first, fourth, and fifth innings.

Titan centerfielder Ari Williams, responsible for both of Fullerton's runs in their Friday night victory, and Ybarra both used sacrifice flies to score a runner in the first inning, putting the defending Big West champions up 2-0.

First baseman Zoe Richard homered in the fourth inning to extend the lead to three runs.

Two Titan doubles and a three-run home run in the fifth ended the game via the run-rule.

UCSB's lone hit in the series finale came through a Diaz single in the top of the first inning.

Sophie Frost (7-4) was credited with the win for Fullerton, while UCSB senior Lena Mayer (3-8) picked up the loss. Freshman Emily Schuttish pitched 2.2 innings of relief.

The Gauchos (13-23, 0-3 Big West) are back on the road next weekend to continue conference play, heading up north to battle the UC Davis Aggies (20-12, 2-1 Big West) at La Rue Field. First pitch for the Saturday doubleheader is at 12:00 p.m., and the final game of the series on Sunday also starts at noon.