April 3, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Nicole Johnson hit a home run over the left center field fence with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to propel Cal State Fullerton to a 3-2 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Campus Diamond. The win gave the Titans the 2-1 Big West series victory.
With the loss, UCSB falls 13-18 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. Fullerton improves to 13-16 and 2-1 in league.
UCSB was trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning and had registered just two hits across the previous six frames. With their backs against the wall, the Gauchos did what they do best: they got scrappy.
Keilani Jennings led things off with a single hit to the shallow outfield, just over the Fullerton shortstop's head. Jessica Beristianos followed with a hard hit grounder that blasted under the second baseman's glove and into right center field. A blooper hit over the second baseman's head by Lauren Boser loaded the bases with no outs.
Amanda Zielger grounded out to second base on the next play and sent Jennings home in the process, cutting the Titans' lead in half. Lainey DePompa then hit another blooper, this one to first base, sending Beristianos home for the game-tying run. In an attempt to win the game right there, Boser tried to come home on the same play, but the throw just beat her out.
Johnson's homer was the lone hit in the extra innings as both pitchers did a commendable job of keeping their teams in the game.
Krista Cobb (5-9) suffered the loss for UCSB after allowing three earned runs on seven hits. She walked four and struck out five. For the Titans, Ari Cervantes (10-9) took the win after giving up just two earned runs on six hits. She struck out three and did not allow a walk in the effort. Johnson's home run was the only extra base hit allowed during the game.
Ashley Carter got the ball rolling for the Titans in the third inning when she led off with a single to center field before being bunted over to second by K.C. Craddick. A base hit to left field by Johnson followed, putting runners on the corners with just one out.
UCSB intentionally walked Torrie Anderson to load the bases, prior to Cervantes' at-bat. The pitcher sent a single just past third base, driving Johnson and Craddick home for the 2-0 lead. Cobb struck out the next two batters to escape the inning without further damage.
Boser led the Gauchos at the plate, going 2-for-4. Johnson went 3-for-4 to lead the Titans.
UCSB will play again tomorrow when it hosts South Dakota in a non-conference doubleheader at Campus Diamond. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. To purchase tickets, call (805) 893-UCSB or click here.