February 18, 2014

Titans Power Past Tar Heels

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FULLERTON, Calif.— Cal State Fullerton's Ariel Tsuchiyama and Gabby Aragon each struck for their first home runs on the season, respectively, to send reeling North Carolina to its third straight loss, 9-3, on Tuesday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.

The Titans improve to 9-3 on the season snapping a two-game losing streak while North Carolina falls to 2-6 on the year.

Jasmine Antunez (4-2) pitched four solid innings of three-hit ball, yielding only one run on four walks for the day. The sophomore right-hander surrendered her lone run early in contest, with a home run by North Carolina's Kristen Brown.

Fullerton had an immediate answer in the bottom half of the inning as Tsuchiyama singled into left center after Missy Taukeiaho reached after being hit by a pitch. Shortstop Aragon later followed with a low line drive round-tripper to left field off of Tar Heel starter Lori Spingola (2-4), recapturing the lead for the Titans, 3-1 after the first inning.

Two innings later, the Titan offense was off to the races once again. First baseman Melissa Sechrest drew a base on balls, later followed by another walk to first baseman Eliza Crawford. Senior Lauren Mario would hit a triple into the right center field gap to bring around another two runs. Senior Jena Rubio came through with a double over the center fielder's head, eventually scoring on an RBI-single Leesa Harris, tallying CSF's seventh run on the board.

The Tar Heels would make one last ditch effort to rally beginning with Aquilla Mateen's walk to lead off the seventh inning. Left fielder Amy Nece singled Mateen over to second base while shortstop Kristen Brown later followed with a fielder's choice, scoring Mateen and cutting the deficit down to 9-3. Catcher Jillian Ferraro would strikeout to end the game.  

Freshman Christina Washington would come in to pitch the final three innings in relief yielding only one run and scattering three hits and striking out one Tar Heel.

Fullerton travels to Palm Springs to compete in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Titans will have a full slate of four games with two on Friday (Feb. 21), against Baylor and LSU, and two on Saturday (Feb. 22), facing Notre Dame and Boise State. 

Game Notes: Taukeiaho extended her current hit-streak to five games with a 1-for-2 effort against the Tar Heels. Shortstop Aragon launched her first home run of the season, driving in three RBI on the day. Mario lined her first triple of the season after batting 2-for-4 against UNC. Starter Antunez (4-2) captured the team lead in wins with her fourth on the year. Tsuchiyama also hit her first round-tripper of 2014 over the right field wall collecting her fourth multi-hit game of the season.