Ashley Ludlow pitches as her teammates prepare to field the ball. Dustin Harris/Daily Nexus

Ashley Ludlow pitches as her teammates prepare to field the ball. Dustin Harris/Daily Nexus

The UCSB softball team got its first taste of conference play this weekend, going 1–2 against Cal State Fullerton.

On Saturday, the Gauchos kicked off the three-game series with an 8–6 win. UCSB dropped the final two games as they lost 8–4 in Saturday’s late game and lost 15–5 on Sunday.

The Gauchos now stand at 12–22 overall on the season and boast a 1–2 Big West conference record. Cal State Fullerton currently sits at 24–13 overall and holds a 2–1 conference record.

UCSB ended the weekend with a game that quickly slipped away in the late innings. After a 4–4 tie heading into the fourth inning, Fullerton put up 11 runs to crush any hopes of a Gaucho victory.

Fullerton tallied 18 hits on 31 at-bats including two walks. For the Gauchos, junior catcher MeShalon Moore had a fantastic game, going 2–2 with one RBI and two runs to her credit. Moore is hitting .362 this season with 23 RBI and 24 runs scored.

Junior pitcher Ashley Ludlow was charged with the loss for the Gauchos, giving up 11 earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched. Ludlow now holds a record of 2–14 on the season. Fullerton’s junior pitcher Jasmine Antunez picked up the win after allowing only one run on four hits over 2.1 innings pitched.

The Gauchos ran into trouble during the latter game on Saturday, as they once again could simply not stop Fullerton’s late surge of offense. The game was tied at 1–1 through the first three innings before UCSB took a 2–1 lead heading into the fifth.

However, Fullerton would put up three runs in the top of the fifth and four more runs in the top of the seventh to close out the contest. Fullerton redshirt senior Eliza Crawford had a great game at the plate going 2–3 with three RBI and a triple to her credit.

Ludlow was charged with her 13th loss of the season after giving up three earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched. Sophomore Christina Washington picked up her 12th win of the season after pitching 1.1 innings, giving up zero runs and only two hits.

UCSB began the weekend strong notching a comeback victory with key late runs. Fullerton jumped out to an early 5–1 lead in the top of the third, but the Gauchos would keep it close by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third.

Facing a 6–3 deficit in the fifth, Moore hit an RBI double and a fielding error by Cal State Fullerton cut the lead to just one. The Gauchos would seal the victory in the bottom of the sixth as junior infielder Arianna Palomares hit a two-RBI double in a three-run sixth inning.

Freshman pitcher Lena Mayer picked up her fourth win of the season allowing just one earned run in five innings pitched. The loss was charged to Antunez as she gave up three earned runs in one inning pitched.

The Gauchos will face San Diego at home this Tuesday at 1 p.m.