FULLERTON, Calif. —The Cal State Fullerton softball team defeated Canisius, 7-2, behind Monique Wesley's career-high seven innings and 10 strikeouts while routing UNLV, 12-4, including three round-trippers in the third inning to sweep day one of the Titan Classic at Anderson Family Field on Friday.
With two victories in day one of the Titan Classic, the Titans advance to 17-10 on the season, while Canisius dropped to 3-9 and UNLV fell to 9-15.
Following the sweep, Head Coach Kelly Ford picked up her 500th victory as a head coach. Coach Ford led Mt. SAC JC to 455 wins including four California State Championships and seven South Coast Conference Championships during a 10-year reign between 2002-10, combining that with her second campaign at Fullerton, chalking up her 45th victory while leading the Titans.
GAME ONE: Cal State Fullerton 7, Canisius 2
The Fullerton bats set the tone early in the contest scoring at least two runs in each of the first three innings.
Transfer Missy Taukeiaho pioneered the offense batting 2-for-4 including a three-run homer to deep left center in the second inning, her seventh of the season. Taukeiaho produced four RBI and one run scored off Canisius' starter, Jen Consaul.
Wesley (2-1) pitched a complete game four-hitter for Fullerton, surrendering two earned runs for her second win of the year. Wesley set a career-high in innings pitched with 7 strong, also shattering her previous high of four strikeouts with 10 on the afternoon versus the Golden Griffins.
Outside of the opening three hitters of Jessica Berzins, Alexis Roman and Robin Kennery, the Golden Griffins were silenced by Wesley, batting a combined 0-for-17.
Consaul (2-5) tossed 6 innings in the loss, yielding five earned runs on 12 hits as Canisius suffered its ninth loss of the year.
Freshman catcher Olivia Martinez made her first start of her career batting 0-for-2, while fellow newcomer Gabrielle Rodas took her first collegiate at bat as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning, lining a single into left field.
GAME TWO: Cal State Fullerton 12, UNLV 4
UNLV struck for three early runs in the first inning off of three hits. Outfielder Stefany Valentino drew a walk off Titans starter Jasmine Antunez, later followed by a single to right field by Pauline Monreal. With two Rebels on, first baseman Tayler Van Acker gapped a two-run double, and UNLV concluded the first inning up 3-0.
The Titans had quite the response in the bottom half of the frame with three home runs off the bats of Taukeiaho, Eliza Crawford and Melissa Sechrest. Taukeiaho led off with a booming solo shot to center field, her second of the day overall, cutting the deficit quickly down to 3-1. Shortly after, Crawford took the first pitch she saw and deposited it over the left center field wall. Following a single by Aragon, Melissa Sechrest took a 2-2 pitch and pulled it to right field, adding a two-run homer to the inning, her first of 2014.
The Titans recaptured the lead 4-3, and eventually went on to clinch their 10th come-from-behind win of the season.
Freshman Christina Washington (4-3) notched the win in relief, tossing four innings of three-hit ball holding the Running Rebels scoreless the rest of the way while the CSF offense blew the game wide open.
Antunez pitched the opening two innings, surrendering five earned runs on five hits while fanning two Rebels.
Senior left fielder Leesa Harris used a perfect 4-for-4 outing to drive in five runs while setting career-highs in both hits and RBI. Fellow senior Lauren Mario chipped in a 1-for-3 performance, scoring all three plate appearance and driving in one run. Mario's three runs scored also capped a career-high for the outfielder.
Cal State Fullerton tacked on two runs in both the third and fifth inning, followed by a bases clearing triple off the bat of Harris in the sixth inning leading to an eventual walk-off of the Running Rebels.
The Titans continue their home stand this week hosting the Titan Classic. Fullerton has two remaining games on Saturday against Texas Tech and DePaul. Following the tournament, the Titans will compete with Canisius once more on Monday. All Fullerton games will be played at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.