Washington’s Stellar Relief Lead Titans to Opening Day Victory in Judi Garman

FULLERTON, Calif.— Freshman Christina Washington (3-3) tossed five shutout innings of relief against San Jose State to lead Cal State Fullerton's softball team to its third consecutive victory, 5-2, at Anderson Family Field on Thursday evening in the Judi Garman Classic.

Washington entered the game in the third inning as starter Monique Wesley had already been tagged for two runs over the first two innings. Shutting the door on SJSU for the remaining five innings, Washington scattered five hits while fanning four Spartans on the evening to notch her third win of the season.  

Leadoff hitter Missy Taukeiaho batted a perfect 4-for-4 off of SJSU's Allison Lang (6-3), including her sixth round-tripper on the season deep to right center. The four hits is a career-high for Takeiaho while the act of producing four hits in four at bats hasn't been done since Eliza Crawford accomplished that feat versus UCSB on Feb. 23 of last year. The third baseman also chipped in two runs to pace the Titans.

Fullerton starter Monique Wesley battled for the first two innings of the game, surrendering three hits and two runs while ringing up two Spartans. Both Welsey and Washington had good control in the circle, yielding only one walk combined from the tandem.

San Jose State jumped to an early lead after Sharon-Rena Estrada gapped an RBI-double off of Wesley, later followed by two wild pitches bringing home another Spartan, leading 2-0 after two innings of play.

The game took a turn for the worst defensively for the Spartans in the third frame. CSF's Leesa Harris lead off the inning reaching base on a throwing error by SJSU's shortstop Alyssa Martinez. Soon after, Taukeiaho lined a single to right which was bobbled by outfielder Michelle Cox, scoring Harris who was originally held coming around third. Two more infield throwing errors would incur as the Titans capitalized for four unearned runs behind the single hit off the bat of Taukeiaho against SJSU's Allison Lang (6-3). The Titans recaptured the lead, 4-2, in the third inning and never looked back.

Lang tossed 4 and 1/3 innings while laboring through all five errors committed by the defense behind her. The right-hander scattering five hits, one walk and two strikeouts on the evening while only one of her five runs given up were officially earned.

The five total errors committed by San Jose State was the most yielded by any opposing team since the Titans capitalized on six Boise State errors in a 10-3 triumph in Palm Springs, Calif., back on Feb. 22.

SJSU held one final stand in the top of the seventh inning as Devin Caldwell singled up the middle, later followed by Michelle Cox's infield single to place two runners on with nobody out. Washington struck out the next two Spartans while forcing a harmless ground out off the bat of Alyssa Martinez to nail down the 10th home victory for Fullerton.  

The Titans continue their home stand this week hosting the Judi Garman Classic. CSF has a full slate of four games remaining in the tournament, facing Fresno State on Friday, and two games on Saturday against Nebraska and Arizona, concluding with competition against Wisconsin on Sunday. All Fullerton games will be played at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.

Game Notes: Taukeiaho was the only Titan to record four at-bats in the game, reaching base on all four appearances…With four strikeouts on the night, freshman Washington has now eclipsed the 30 strikeouts mark with 32 total…Duo of Wesley and Washington combined to fan five different Spartans in the win…Taukeiaho raised her batting avg. over 10 points to reach a team-high (.406)…CSF clinched its 10th home win of the 2014 season.