Titans Split With Hawai’i, Capture Series

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Cal State Fullerton softball team split a doubleheader against Hawai'i at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Saturday. CSF scored a season-high 11 runs in the third inning to eventually run-rule UH in game two, 12-3, while dropping game one on a walk-off two-run single by Lindsey Willmon in a 6-5 decision for Hawai'i. Fullerton captures the overall series with a 2-1 record.

Following today's split in the doubleheader, the Titans move to (23-14-1, 4-2) while the Rainbow Wahine conclude the series with a mark of (19-16, 4-2).

Game Two: Cal State Fullerton 12, Hawai'i 3

Hawai'i and Cal State Fullerton split the first two games setting up a showdown in the final game of the series.

After a heart-wrenching walk-off loss in the early afternoon game, eight different Titans found a way to produce a hit while four recorded multiple-RBI games to capture the overall series.

You didn't have to look far to see the deciding factor in the rubber match as the Titans produced an 11-run inning in the third frame to leave the Rainbow Wahine in a hole that they couldn't come back from. The double-digit tally was three runs short of the all-time record of 14 runs in an inning when the 1993 team defeated San Jose State, 16-1.

The Titans outburst began with Missy Taukeiaho hitting a sharp single up the middle. The transfer finished the game batting 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI to lead the team. Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama immediately followed with an infield single. Melissa Sechrest reached base on an error by Hawai'i center fielder Lindsey Willmon, scoring Taukieaho. The wheels were about to fall off for Rainbow Wahine starter, Loie Kesterson.

Highlights of the inning include an RBI single by Gabby Aragon, RBI single from Samantha Galarza, RBI double by Lauren Mario, and a two-run double by Carissa Turang. Taukeiaho produced her second hit of the inning with an RBI single, later followed by a two-run single by Tsuchiyama, also her second hit of the frame. Sechrest and Aragon capped off the barrage with two sacrifice fly balls to score the 10th and 11th runs, placing Hawai'i in a 12-0 hole.

Sophomore Monique Wesley (3-2) tossed a complete game six-hitter, yielding three runs while fanning three Rainbow Wahine over a five inning span.

Kesterson (10-7) surrendered 10 hits and seven earned runs to suffer her seventh loss of the season.

Game One: Hawai'i 6, Cal State Fullerton 5   

Lindsey Willmon came through with a game winning two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk off the Titans in game one of the doubleheader. Willmon batted 2-for-5 in the lead off position, scoring one run and driving in two crucial runs in a come-from-behind victory for the Rainbow Wahine.

Trailing 5-4, Melissa Sechrest rallied Fullerton in the top of the seventh with a two-out solo home run to deep center field, tying the game up at 5 apiece shifting the momentum in favor of the Titans. That marked the only hit for Sechrest in the contest, batting 1-for-3.

Hawai'i quickly responded as Sharla Kliebenstein reached first base on a fielding error by third baseman Taukeiaho. Kliebenstein shortly stole second while tagging up to third base after Heather Morales lifted a fly ball. Freshman Sarina Jaramillo delivered an infield bunt single, but the Titans defense held the runner at third from scoring on the play. Jaramillo swiped second base to place two Hawai'i runners in scoring position. Willmon delivered the sharp single up the middle to bring both the tying and winning run across.

Starter Jasmine Antunez surrendered two runs in a wild opening frame for the Titans, walking two, hitting another pair of batters and throwing one wild pitch. After setting career-highs in innings pitched (8 and 2/3) and tying a season-high in strikeouts (8), the sophomore was chased after 2/3 of an inning.

Freshman Christina Washington (7-5) entered the game in relief for the Titans, tossing 6 innings of six-hit ball. The Inglewood, Calif., native yielded three earned runs on six hits to suffer her fifth loss of the season.

Sechrest wasn't the only Titan to show off power in her repertoire. Trailing 2-0, Aragon took the first pitch she saw in the fourth inning and deposited it over the center field wall for her fifth round-tripper of the year. Aragon batted 2-for-3 with one RBI while scoring one run.  

With the Titans down 3-1, Lauren Mario blasted a three-run homer to left center to put the Titans ahead 4-3 before the two teams alternated runs in the final frame and Hawai'i walked away with the victory.

Cal State Fullerton returns home to host the top-ranked UCLA Bruins opening series for a single game contest on Thursday. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.

Games Notes: The Titans used a team effort to clinch the series in game two in more ways than one; Eight different players produced a hit…11 different players scored a run…seven different produced an RBI…four of those batters manufactured a multi-RBI game…three players had multiple-hit games…five athletes recorded a double…all 12 runs were scored without a home run.