A double from reigning Big West Field Player of the Week Jessica Johnston gave UCSB (25-20, 5-4) a 2-1 walk-off victory over Fresno State (25-18, 5-6) in the Gauchos’ non-conference season finale on Wednesday afternoon.
A winner in four of its last five outings, UCSB is now tied for the second-most wins (25) in the Big West this season.
“Fresno did a good job of holding off our offense. It was just a reminder that we need to make adjustments earlier,” head coach Brie Galicinao said. “[Johnston’s] another player that needed to adjust throughout the game and she just refocused herself and found a way to come up big. I was happy for her.”
Despite outhitting the Bulldogs 4-3 through six and a half innings, the Gauchos found themselves trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. As they have for much of the season, though, they got hot when they needed to, as seniors Jacqueline Hinojosa and Kristen Clark both notched singles with just one out on the board.
Johnston, who had gone 0-3 at the plate until that point, then stepped up to knock a hard double to right field, bringing home both runners to end the game at 2-1. The double was the junior outfielder’s Big West-leading 13thof the season. It also marked the fourth time this season that UCSB has had a walk-off win.