UCSB Kicks off Conference Play with Split at Fullerton
April 1, 2006
FULLERTON, Calif. - Ericka Hansen went 3-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored as the UC Santa Barbara offense erupted for an 8-6 victory over Cal State Fullerton in game one before Tiffany Wright finished 2-for-5 with a homerun in the Gauchos 6-4 loss in the nightcap. Jennifer Davis notched the decision in both contests and earned her tenth win of the year.
The Gauchos, who had won six straight before falling in game two, improve to 16-10 overall, 1-1 Big West, with the split, while the Titans ` record is now 20-17, 1-1.
Saturday's win was only the second ever for Santa Barbara in Fullerton and the first since 1992.
UCSB struck first in the opener on a solo homerun to right center by Kendra Singley in the bottom of the first inning. The homer was Singley's third of the year, a team high.
Fullerton answered with a run in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Marissa Marzan, tying the score at 1-1.
The Gauchos then exploded for four runs in the fourth to take a commanding 5-1 lead. With one out, Hansen doubled to left center. Shortstop Brittany Putich then drew a walk and designated player Liz Walters was hit by a pitch to load the bases. The next batter, junior third baseman Shelby Hensler, reached on a fielder's choice and Hansen scored on an error by the Titan shortstop. Putich and Walters came home on bases loaded walks to freshman second baseman Christine Ramos and junior left fielder Jessica Hejna. Hensler scored the fourth run of the inning when Singley reached on a fielding error by starting pitcher Candice Baker.
After Davis retired the Titans in the bottom of the fourth, Santa Barbara tacked on two more in its half of the fifth putting the game out of reach, 7-1. Hansen led off the inning with her first homerun as a Gaucho on a towering blast to left field. The next batter was Putich, who walked for the second time and then scored on a one-out double by Walters.
CSUF added a run in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI triple down the right field line by left fielder Ashley Van Boxmeer and center fielder Jenna Wheeler's solo homer to left in the sixth brought the Titans to within four, 7-3.
Santa Barbara got a run back in the top of the seventh when Hansen reached base for the fourth time with a leadoff walk. She scored on a RBI single by designated hitter Adrienne Anderson.
The Titans did not stop fighting, adding three runs in the final inning on an RBI double by Van Boxmeer and a two-run homer by second baseman Courtney Martinez, but the Gauchos held on for the 8-6 win.
Davis earned the victory for UCSB after allowing six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts in her fifteenth complete game of the year.
Baker took the loss for Fullerton, allowing five runs--one earned--on four hits with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. Brooke Weekley came on in the fourth inning and allowed three runs on three hits with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief.
Singley put UCSB on the board first in the nightcap as well, this time with a double to left center that scored freshman right fielder Jackie Conlin in the top of the third.
CSUF responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning. After freshman starter Tami Weston allowed a walk and hit a batter to start the inning, Davis came on in relief. With one out, first baseman Katie Gollhardt smacked a double to right field and both runners scored. The next batter, designated player Kiki Munoz homered to center field and the Titans took a 4-1 lead.
The Gauchos came right back with a run in the fourth on freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright's homerun to deep center field.
Ramos' RBI double in the top of the fifth brought Santa Barbara to within one at 4-3.
After Davis pitched her way out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth, Walters led off the seventh with a solo homerun down the left field line that knotted the game at 4-4.
Baker, the game two starter as well, battled Davis through the three straight innings, each pitching their way out of trouble in the games' final frames. The Gauchos put two runners on in the ninth, but Baker rebounded to retire the side.
Fullerton got things going in the tenth with an infield single by Martinez. Two batters later, Munoz homered for the second time, sending a long fly ball over the fence in left center field and the Titans outlasted the Gauchos, 6-4.
After falling in game one, Baker earned the win in the nightcap, allowing four runs on eight hits. She struck out 12 and walked four in 10 complete innings of work. Baker is now 14-6 on the year.
Davis falls to 10-7 after recording a 1-1 record. The junior allowed four runs on seven hits, while striking out five in game two.
The Gauchos and Titans wrap up their three game series Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at the Titan Softball Complex.