Titans Run-Rule No. 15 Rainbow Wahine
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team upset the No. 15 ranked University of Hawai'i 11-3 in the final game of a three-game series at Anderson Family Field on Sunday afternoon. The loss gives the Rainbow Wahine their first Big West loss of the season as they fall to 33-8 overall and 11-1 in the Big West, while the Titans improve to 17-25 and 4-8 in the Big West.
The Titans got out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after shortstop Gabby Aragon belted a three-run home run over the center field fence. With the round tripper the redshirt junior from Garden Grove, Calif. recorded her first home run of the season and sixth of her career. The Rainbow Wahine would answer back in the second after a two-out walk issued by Fullerton starter Monique Wesley allowed designated player Sharla Kleibenstein to hit a two-run home run to center, cutting the Titan lead to 3-2.
Fullerton would extend their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the second after a bunt by Tiffany Sheffler was thrown into right field by Hawai'i catcher Kayla Wartner, which allowed Carissa Turang to score from second. The Rainbow Wahine would again answer back after a Fullerton run getting a solo shot from senior Kelly Majam. However, the Titans would score seven consecutive runs over the final three innings to earn the run-rule victory.
The Titans would score five runs in the third inning started off by Eliza Crawford's triple to right center scoring pinch runner Lauren Mario. Aragon would add her fourth RBI of the game with a double to left center scoring Crawford, and the Titans would add three more runs in the inning off an illegal pitch by Parnaby and a RBI single by Ariel Tsuchiyama.
The Titans were able to run-rule the Rainbow Wahine in the bottom of the fifth inning after a two-run single by Tsuchiyama scored Carissa Turang and Tiffany Sheffler to end the game.
Wesley drew her second career start tossing two innings giving up three runs off two hits. The Fontana, Calif. native issued two walks, while striking out two. Ybarra (6-11) threw three innings giving up no runs and allowing just three hits to the Rainbow Wahine.
Kaia Parnaby (30-4) records the loss after giving up nine runs, five earned, off nine hits in 2 2/3 innings. Loie Kesterson relieved Parnaby in the third inning and threw the final 1 1/3 inning giving up two runs off three hits.
Tsuchiyama was 3-for-4 with three RBI's, and Turang and Sheffler both added two hits for Fullerton. Kleibenstein was 2-for-2 with two RBI's and a run scored for Hawai'i.
The Titans head onto the road Wednesday for a two-game set against conference foe UC Riverside. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. between the Titans and Highlanders.