SFT: Fullerton dusts off Gauchos

UCSB (12-22, 1-2) dropped the rubber match with Cal State Fullerton (24-13, 2-1), as the Titans rode a nine-run fifth inning to the 15-5 victory.

The game was a tight battle between the teams through the first three innings, as the Gauchos scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score at 4-4.

Stacy Cavazos and MeShalon Moore led UCSB with a pair of hits each, as the team finished with nine hits. With her RBI single during UCSB’s two-out rally in the third, Moore has now recorded two hits in four consecutive games.

All three Gaucho pitchers made an appearance in the game, but Ashley Ludlow (2-14) was given the loss after allowing five earned runs.

Fullerton got on the board first with two runs in the second, but Samantha Stark provided UCSB’s response in the bottom half of the inning. After MeShalon Moore took a misfired fastball to her back, Stark hit a deep double to dead center field to deliver the Gauchos’ first run of the game.

The Titans kept rolling through into the third, as it took advantage of a bases loaded situation and brought home two runs with a Courtney Rodriguez single up the middle.

Down 4-1 going into the bottom of the inning, UCSB’s offense came through with three runs in a two-out rally. Over the entire series, UCSB scored all but one of its runs in two-out situations.

Arianna Palomares got the ball rolling with an RBI double to send Kristen Clark home from second. With the hit, Palomares continues to lead the league with 13 doubles.

Shelby Wisdom then singles through the left side to put runners on the corners for MeShalon Moore. The junior drove in another run after poking a single through the right side and moved into scoring position after DeLynn Rippy tried to throw Palomares out at the plate.

With two outs and runners on second and third, Fullerton chose to intentionally walk Stark to load the bases. However, the plan backfired, as DeJanee Moore drew a walk and gave UCSB’s its third run of the inning. The Titans were able to get out of the jam following a pitching change, but their three-run lead was gone.

Fullerton’s offense, though, went on to tally two more runs in the fifth and lit up the scoreboard with nine runs in the fifth to seal the mercy rule decision.

The Gauchos will be back in action on Tuesday when they will host a doubleheader with San Diego starting at 1 p.m.