FULLERTON, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara softball team opened up Big West play on Friday night, falling 2-1 to the defending conference champions Cal State Fullerton at Anderson Family Field.
Sporting green bows in support of "No One Fights Alone" night, an event put on by the Titans in honor of their freshman pitcher Taylor Dockins who is battling cancer, the Gauchos broke through in the top of the first to take an early lead.
Cal State Fullerton answered back in the bottom half of the inning after conference steals leader Brooke Clemetson led off with a walk and promptly stole second to get in scoring position. An Ari Williams triple drove in Clemetson with the tying run.
Clemetson and Williams connected once more in the third inning, this time with Clemetson hitting a triple and Williams driving her home with a sac fly.
The Gauchos put the potential tying-run in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, coming 60 feet away from tying the game in the sixth after Genesis Ramirez doubled and reached third on a sac bunt by Rayna Cohen, but were unable to bring a run home.
UCSB outhit the Titans 8-6, but were held to just one run by Dockins, who improves to 7-4 this season with the win.
Emily Schuttish (2-2) had a strong outing of her own, holding CSF to six hits and two runs while striking out three in the loss.
Ramirez finished 3-for-3 at the plate while Diaz went 2-for-3 to lead the Gauchos offensively.
UCSB (13-21) rounds out the series tomorrow, Mar. 31, with a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. Both games will air on ESPN3.