April 23, 2013

Fullerton Heads on the Road to Face Highlanders, Aggies

Weekly Release (PDF)

A LOOK AT THE WEEK

The Titans enter the week on a five-game winning streak after defeating both UC Riverside and UNLV twice last week. The Cal State Fullerton softball team (21-25 overall, 6-8 Big West Conference) heads on the road this week to face UC Riverside and then UC Davis for a three-game series. Fullerton will play a single contest versus the Highlanders on Wednesday, Apr. 24 at 3 p.m. and then will square off against UC Davis over the weekend. The teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday (Apr. 27) at 12 & 2 p.m. and then play one game on Sunday Apr. 28 at 12 p.m. at La Rue Field. 

IN THE POLLS

Neither the Titans, Highlanders, or Aggies are ranked in either the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll or ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches Poll. 

RPI

The Titans currently rank 52nd in the nation in Rating Percentage Index (RPI). RPI measures a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Fullerton has played against four teams currently ranked in the top 10 and against eight teams in the top 25.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Cal State Fullerton freshman Jasmine Antunez posted a 4-0 record, including her first career no-hitter, to claim the Big West Softball Pitcher of the Week award. Antunez's no-no came in the first game of a doubleheader against UNLV.  The hurler notched a 0.58 earned run average and allowed just 11 hits with 20 strikeouts on her stat line.

NO-NO!

Jasmine Antunez tossed her first career no-hitter. The no-no came in the first game of a doubleheader against UNLV.  The hurler walked three and fanned four on 87 pitches in the 3-0 victory. The no-hitter was the first for a CSF pitcher since March 2, 2007 when Candice Baker accomplished the feat in a 1-0 win over Stanford.

BE A FOLLOWER

Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Youtube (www.youtube.com/CSFAthletics). Also follow the softball Twitter (@CSUFsoftball).

I NEED STATS, STAT!

Live stats will be provided for all three games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? 

Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the audio link on the schedule page.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW? EVEN BETTER!

Cal State Fullerton Athletics now offers live streaming video for home softball contests over the Internet courtesy of the Big West  TV. Fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. For more information, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV.

SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE

The Highlanders (17-28 overall, 1-13 Big West) enter the mid-week contest having only won two games in the last 16. UC Riverside lost both contests last week to the Titans 11-0 and 3-1 and won one of three games versus UC Davis. The Highlanders are led by first year head coach Linda Garza. Garza comes to Riverside after serving two season at Cal Poly as the associate head coach. UCR is 13-12 at home this season. Kayla White leads the UCR offense, batting .321 with nine home runs, 26 RBI's, and 17 stolen bases. Dionne Anderson (.305, 14 RBI's) and Ashley Ercolano (.252, 26 RBI's) add to the Highlander offense, which is batting .260 as a team. The Highlander have three pitchers who have all seen equal time in the circle, Ercolano (6-9, 5.49), Alyssa Razo (7-11, 4.70), and Taylor Alvarez (2-5, 5.91). UCR has been outscored 259-155 this season. 

SCOUTING UC DAVIS

UC Davis (19-23 overall, 6-9 Big West) come into the three-game series versus Cal State Fullerton winning their last two. Prior to defeating UC Riverside, UC Davis had dropped four straight contests. The Aggies are led by Karen Yoder who is in her ninth season as the head coach. Davis is 3-5 this season at La Rue Field. Christa Castello leads the team with a .296 batting average and 13 stolen bases. Amy Nunez and Kelly Schulze have each belted three home runs and Chandler Wagner leads the team with 19 RBI's. The Aggies are hitting .233 as a team this season. UCD is led by 2012 Big West Pitcher and Freshman of the Year Justine Vela (12-7, 2.18) in the circle. Vela has tossed six shutouts in 138 innings, while striking out 155. Opposing hitters are batting only .184 versus Vela this season. Leah Munden (4-9, 2.67) and Jessica Thweatt (3-6, 2.92) also have produced for the Davis pitching staff. 

SERIES HISTORIES

The Titans control the series over UC Riverside 31-8, and have already clinched the series win this season after defeating the Highlanders 11-0 and 3-1 last week. However, the last few years the Highlanders and Titans have split the series contests. The Titans won the first 23 of 24 meetings between the two schools. Fullerton is 17-2 in Riverside, Calif. and are 27-8 in Big West play against the Highlanders. Cal State Fullerton is 16-8 overall against UC Davis in the all-time series, having won three of the last five, but Davis took two-of-three in Fullerton last season... the two programs have split their four Big West series against one another with each team taking two series on the other's home field... the two teams last met in Davis in 2011 with UC Davis taking the first game  9-1, but the Titans rebounded to take the next two games 11-4 and 1-0. The Titans are 11-1 against UC Davis in Northern California... Fullerton leads the series, 8-7, since both have been members of the Big West Conference.

CONFERENCE CALL

Fullerton has an all-time record of 377-171-1 (.688) against Big West Conference opponents. 

HITTING STREAKS

The Titans have four different players with hitting streaks entering Wednesday's matchups versus UC Riverside. Eliza Crawford and Carissa Turang both have six-game hitting streaks and Leesa Harris and Tiffany Sheffler have five-game hitting streaks. 

NUMBER NINE

As the number nine hitter in the lineup, junior Leesa Harris has recorded a hit in nine of the last 11 games. During that span she has 13 hits and four RBI's.

PLAYING SPOILER

The Titans have taken down four top 25 ranked opponents this season, which is tied for most in the Big West. This past weekend the Titans defeated No. 15 Hawai'i 11-3 at Anderson Family Field. On Feb. 26th, Fullerton defeated No. 10 11-5 at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles and defeated No. 7 Missouri 5-4 on Feb. 23, 2013 at Anderson Family Field. Fullerton also defeated No. 21 Virginia Tech 7-3 at the Judi Garman Classic on Mar. 16. The last time the Titans took down a top ten team was on March 15, 2009 when they defeated the University of Washington 3-2 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. 

RUNS, RUNS, RUNS

Against UC Riverside last weekend, the Titans tied their record for most runs this season. The Titans have scored 11 runs against Hawai'i (Apr. 14) and UCLA (Feb. 26). However, the Titans gave up 14 runs on Apr. 13 to Hawai'i, which is tied for the most allowed all season (Stanford 14-1 on Mar. 2). 

WEDNESDAY GAMES

After defeating UC Riverside last week on Wednesday, the Titans recorded their first hump day victory in three years. The last time the Titans won on a Wednesday was Mar. 16, 2011 against Notre Dame 10-0 in five innings.  The Titans have won only twice in their last nine Wednesday games.  

TRIPLES

UC Riverside leads the Big West in triple with 11 and Cal State Fullerton is tied for second with nine. The Highlanders are led by Kayla White who has four  and the Titans are led by Ariel Tsuchiyama who has two. Fullerton has allowed the least amount of triples this season in the Big West (3). 

HIGHLANDERS STOLEN BASES

UC Riverside leads the Big West in stolen bases with 76, including 22 from senior Ariel Shore. However, the Titans have thrown out the second most runners attempting to steal a base (17). UC Riverside has allowed the most (50) stolen bases this season in the Big West. Fullerton catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has thrown out 14 base runners this season, which is second most in the Big West.

WILD PITCHES AND ERRORS

The Titans rank 18th in the NCAA in fielding percentage and have committed 37 errors this season. However, UC Riverside has committed 63 errors, second most in the Big West, and rank 211th in the NCAA. The Highlanders have also thrown 37 wild pitches this season and have had 12 balks.

UC DAVIS HITTING

UC Davis enters the series with low hitting numbers. The Aggies have 98 RBI's, which ranks last in the Big West compared to Fullerton 148 RBI's. UC Davis is also last in hits (250), second least in runs scored (123) and second lowest on-base percentage (.314). However, the Aggies have the second most stolen bases in the Big West with 61. 

UC DAVIS IN THE CIRCLE

Led by Big West Pitcher of the Year Justine Vela,  UC Davis has a 2.39 ERA compared to Fullerton's 3.29 ERA. The Aggies have 249 strikeouts this season and have allowed 259 hits and 130 runs. UC Davis has allowed the most triples this season (13) and the third most home runs (21). 

PLAY THEM ALL

Only senior Ashley Carter and red shirt sophomore Eliza Crawford have played and started in all 46 contests so far this season. 

LABAN MOVING UP ON RECORDS

Senior Katey Laban recorded her second save of the season and fourth in her career moving her up to sixth all-time in career saves for a Cal State Fullerton pitcher.

PITCHING RECOVERY

In 51 games last season the Titans pitching staff finished with a 5.20 ERA. In 2013, the Titans pitching staff holds a 3.29 ERA, which  is the best earned run average by a Fullerton softball team since 2009 (2.59).

CRAWFORD ENJOYING BREAKOUT ROLE

After hitting only three home runs and recording 28 RBI's through her first two seasons as a Titan, red-shirt sophomore Eliza Crawford has batted .315 with seven home runs and 24 RBI's. Crawford leads the team in home runs and RBI's.  Through 14 Big West games, Crawford is batting .381 with three home runs and ten RBI's. The Lakewood, Calif. native has also managed ten multiple hit games this season and eight multiple RBI games this season. 

GETTIN' ON THE BOARD FIRST

When the Titans score first in a game they are 15-3 compared to 6-22 when the opposing team scores first. 

WE NEED HITS

The Titans are batting .257 this season and .291 in conference play, but when Cal State Fullerton out-hits the opponent they are 18-2 compared to 3-20 when the opponent out-hits them. The Titans produced their highest hit total against UNLV on Saturday with 15. The Titans had 13 hits in game one last time against UC Riverside. 

CONTROLLING THE LEAD

The Titans have been perfect so far this season when leading after five innings. Fullerton is 14-0 in games they have led after five innings and a whopping 16-0 after six innings. However, they are 4-18 when trailing after four innings. Cal State Fullerton came back to defeat UNLV in 12 innings on last Saturday (April 20). 

TAKE CARE OF THE SOFTBALL

Cal State Fullerton are only 12-10 when they commit no errors in a game and 7-16 when they do commit an error. Fullerton still ranks first in the Big West in fielding percentage (.972) compared to UCSanta Barbara (.968). The Titans rank 23rd in the NCAA in fielding percentage. 

CARTER STEALING BASES

Carter is finding a way to get on base and this season she leads the team with 11 stolen bases. The Fontana, Calif. native swiped three bases versus UC Santa Barbara Carter. The senior had only stolen 11 bases in her career (three seasons) prior to this season.

BIG WEST STOLEN BASES 

After 14 Big West Conference games, the Cal State Fullerton softball team leads the Big West in stolen bases with 22. The Titans have the third most stolen bases (55) in the Big West for the whole season. 

SACRIFICE FLIES

Sophomore Desiree Ybarra leads the NCAA in sacrifice flies with seven and the Titans as a team are tied for the most in the Big West with 13. 

SHOULDERING THE LOAD

In 38 appearances, 32 starts,  as a freshman, Antunez is second in the Big West in appearances (38), third in strikeouts (156), and third in innings pitched (161.2). Antunez is holding opponents to a .216 batting average this season, which ranks third in the Big West. 

YBARRA DOES IT ALL

Sophomore Desiree Ybarra was the Titan's ace last season, but this season she has contributed not only in the circle, but at the plate as well. Ybarra in the circle is 6-11 with one save. Ybarra has closed out 20 games for the Titans this season, which is the most in the Big West. Ybarra's bat has been a big addition for the Titans. The Riverside, Calif. native has a .259 batting average, two home runs, and 19 RBI's. 

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

11 different Titans have tallied game-winning hits this season, led by three from Jasmine Antunez and Eliza Crawford.

SOMEONE TURNED UP THE A.C

After blasting a triple to the center field fence in game two versus McNeese State on Feb. 11, 2013, Ashley Carter moved up to fourth on the all-time list in career triples with nine tieing Carey Hess, who played for the Titans from 1987-90.

IRON WOMEN

Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has started all, but two games behind the backstop for the Titans this season, while helping the Titans with eight doubles and has 20 RBI's to go along with her .309 batting average. She missed all of 2012 due to an injury. 

SAVES

Cal State Fullerton is tied with Long Beach State for most saves in the Big West with four . Each Titan pitcher has recorded a save this season, and senior Katey Laban has two. 

FORD UPDATES 2013 SEASON: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the 2013 season thus far. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.
 

GETTING ON BASE

The Titans are last in the Big West in on-base percentage (.312) compared to Hawai'i who has an on-base percentage of .375. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Eliza Crawford, Desiree Ybarra, and Ariel Tsuchiyama  have combined for 24 doubles this season. 

COMEBACK!

The Titans secured their second comeback win of the season over the weekend. Trailing 3-0 after  the third inning, Fullerton came back to win 5-4 in the 12th inning. 

HOME IS WHERE THE POWER IS

The Titans at Anderson Family Field  have belted 15 of their 21 home runs this season. On March 8 versus Charleston Southern the Titans slugged three round-trippers. 

ROAD WARRIORS

The Titans have played seven away games this season (6-3) coming against UCLA, Santa Barbara, and Long Beach State. The Titans last season were 5-10 on the road and have not had a winning road record since the 2009 season. 

SUPER MARIO

Cal State Fullerton second baseman Lauren Mario belted two home runs versus Charleston Southern, which is the first time a Titan batter has hit two home runs in a game since Anissa Young crushed two against Michigan State on March 4, 2012. 

RECYCLED NOTES:

NEW ERA 

Head Coach Kelly Ford began her first stint as the head coach of Cal State Fullerton softball program on Feb. 7, 2013. Ford recorded her first win in game two versus Southern Miss, 4-2. Ford spent 11 seasons at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., recording a 455-102-1 record overall (.812 winning percentage). Prior to her time at Mt. SAC, Ford worked under former coach Michelle Gromacki as an assistant in 2000 and 2001. 

NEW LOOK BIG WEST

The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced on Dec. 10, 2010 that Hawai'i will re-join the Big West as of July 2012. The Warriors, women's programs were previously part of the Big West from 1984-96. The Titans and Warriors will face off on April 13-14 at Anderson Family Field. 

DEBUTS AND TITAN CAREER FIRSTS

Freshman Monique Wesley made her first career appearance as a Titan in the circle tossing one inning versus Arizona State on March 14. Junior Kailey Mertz, transfer from San Jose State, recorded her first hit against Charleston Southern. Mertz hit an RBI single up the middle giving the Titans a 10-2 victory enforcing an eight-run rule. Freshman Cami Jacob managed her first hit of her career after driving a double down the left field line against Charleston Southern on March 8th during the Long Beach State Invitational. 

FORD PREVIEWS 2013: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford  and Associate Head Coach Dee Dee Kingsbury sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2013 campaign. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS

Fullerton finished sixth in the Big West race a season ago with a 8-13 mark in conference play to go along with a 20-31 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming nine newcomers to the fold for the 2013 season. Leading the way for returners is senior outfielder Ashley Carter, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .325 to go along with 55 hits and 27 runs scored. In the circle, sophomore Desiree Ybarra returns after earning all-conference honorable mention accolades a season ago, finishing 13-17 with a 4.66 ERA.

FIVE SIGN WITH CAL STATE FULLERTON FOR 2014

Cal State Fullerton softball Head Coach Kelly Ford announced that high school standouts  Sydney Colenzo, Megan Estacio, Olivia Martinez, Delynn Rippy, and Kayla Silverstein have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Titans beginning with the 2014 season. 

HAWAI'I'S FIRST BIG WEST LOSS

The Titans handed the University of Hawai'i their first Big West Loss of the season on April 14. Fullerton run-ruled the Rainbow Wahine 11-3. 

PLAYING JAPAN TOYOTA

The Titans played against the Japan Toyota professional softball team on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at Anderson Family Field, losing 7-1. The Titans and Japan Toyota played seven-inning exhibition contest, as Japan Toyota gets ready for their upcoming season. Team Toyota comes over to the United States annually to play collegiate and professional teams to prepare for the Japan Softball League. Team Toyota features USA Softball Olympians Monica Abbott and Natasha Watley, who have won back-to-back Japan Softball League Championships (2011 & 2012).

PRESEASON POLL

The Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish sixth in the race for the 2013 Big West Conference title according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Jan. 30, 2013. The Titans received 33 points to finish behind newcomer Hawai'i, which received four first-place votes and 76 points to top defending  champion Long Beach State (73 points):

1. Hawai'i, 76

2. Long Beach State, 73

3. Pacific, 58

4. UC Santa Barbara, 52

5. UC Davis, 51

6. Cal State Fullerton, 33

7. Cal Poly, 24

8. UC Riverside, 22

9. Cal State Northridge, 16

WE'RE HONORED

Cal State Fullerton placed seven players on the 2012 Big West Conference all-league honors: Ashley Carter, Leesa Harris, Nicole Johnson, Morgan LeMond, Adriana Martinez, Desiree Ybarra, and Anissa Young). Three of those all-conference honorees return for 2013: Ashley Carter, Leesa Harris, and Desiree Ybarra. 

TITANS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION RESULT

FEB. 17 No. 7 Oregon Las Vegas, Nev. L, 6-0

FEB. 21 No. 4 Tennessee Palm Springs, Calif. L, 5-0

FEB. 23 No. 7 Missouri Fullerton, Calif. W, 5-4

FEB. 23 No. 7 Missouri Fullerton, Calif. L, 7-0

FEB. 26 No. 10 UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. W, 11-5

MAR. 2 No. 15 Stanford Fullerton, Calif. L, 14-1

MAR. 7 No. 24 Virginia Tech Lakewood, Calif. L, 3-2

MAR. 14 No. 2 Arizona State Fullerton, Calif. L, 9-0

MAR. 16 No. 21 Virginia Tech Fullerton, Calif. W, 7-3

MAR. 17 No. 1 Oklahoma Fullerton, Calif. L, 9-0

APR. 14 No. 15 Hawai'i Fullerton, Calif. W, 11-3 

*Ranking when game occurred