CSUF softball failed to match No. 1 UCLA’s 12 hits on Tuesday, losing 5-3 and snapping its own eight-game winning streak.
The Bruins secured their lead in the top of the fourth inning after a fielding error from the Titans third baseman Emily Randall, who started in place of Bryanna Ybarra, allowed two runners to score.
Fullerton scored one run in the seventh inning, but second baseman Irie Siofele struck out, leaving two runners on base to close the game.
“I think sometimes we psych ourselves out but we have the talent to do whatever we want,” pitcher Sophie Frost said. “I think seeing them right now boosts our confidence.”
The Titans struck out a season-high 11 batters and reached double digits for only the second time this season. Trish Parks retired five and gave up seven hits in her three innings pitched.
Frost allowed five hits, but left six Bruins empty-handed.
“I thought our pitchers did a great job. If we could’ve eliminated a few walks, that sure would’ve helped us out but Soph and Trish really stepped up,” Titans Head Coach Kelly Ford said.
Ybarra wasn’t the only starter absent from the infield. Shortstop Shianne Brannan missed Tuesday’s game to rehab a lingering shoulder injury.
Sam Kennedy, who usually starts at second, moved over to shortstop while Siofele filled in at second. Ford said she believed the infield adjusted well despite the late scratches from the lineup.
“They did a great job. They prepare every day at practice. You could tell we we’re a little bit off communication wise, a little bit off with coverages. But what really killed us were the three balls that got by us,” Ford said.
The Titans have played in the Bruins postseason regional for the last two seasons. Ford said the team handled the matchup against one of the nation’s best well and hopes it translates to the rest of the season.
“I hope our team walks away today saying ‘Well, there really wasn’t that much of a difference.’ The full stands, pressure and big game, we dealt it as a practice game to prepare what’s important for us,” Ford said.
CSUF will hit the road this weekend for a Big West conference series against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.