Titans Travel to Cal Poly For Crucial Weekend Series
Cal State Fullerton (26-18-1) at Cal Poly (26-17)
Saturday, April 26, 2014 | 2/4:00 PM (DH)
Sunday, April 27, 2014 | 12:00 PM
San Luis Obispo, Calif. • Bob Janssen Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | CSF Release | CAL POLY Release
Webcast: 4/26 BigWest TV 4/27 BigWest TV
Streaming Audio: www.FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at www.Fullertontitans.com
FULLERTON, Calif - Concluding a seven-game home stand, the Cal State Fullerton softball team travels to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to take on Big West foe Cal Poly in a three-game series this weekend. The teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m. and will wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m. All games will be contested at Bob Janssen Field.
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I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be provided for all games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule page then click live stats.
ARE YOU LISTENING? WATCH ME NOW!: Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. The Titans also offer 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. To access the links, click on the audio or live video link on the schedule page. This weekends road Cal Poly series will also be covered via live stream on Big West TV.
IN THE POLLS: In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches and USA Today/NFCA Coaches polls, neither the Titans or Mustangs are currently ranked.
SIZING UP IN THE 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 three teams currently ranked in the top-10 and against eight teams in the top-25.
TITANS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS*
|FEB. 7||No. 2 Oklahoma||Fullerton, Calif.||W, 3-1|
|FEB. 15||No. 23 California||San Diego, Calif.||L, 4-5|
|FEB. 21||No. 15 Baylor||Palm Springs, Calif.||W, 6-1|
|FEB. 21||No. 23 LSU||Palm Springs, Calif.||L, 1-8|
|FEB. 22||No. 24 Notre Dame||Palm Springs, Calif.||L, 0-8|
|FEB. 25||No. 2 Tennessee||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 4-8|
|MAR. 8||No. 14 Nebraska||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 2-9|
|MAR. 8||No. 7 Arizona||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 0-15|
|APR. 10||No. 2 UCLA||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 2-5|
*Ranking when game occurred
AT THE BREAK WITH HEAD COACH KELLY FORD: FullertonTitans.com sat down with Titans softball Head Coach Kelly Ford to look back on the first 38 games into the season and aspirations on upcoming Big West play heading into a possible postseason run.
SERIES HISTORY: Fullerton owns an overall advantage of 36-27 over the Mustangs with a slight edge of 27-26 in Big West play. Following a sweep in last year's series in favor of Cal Poly, 4-0, 3-2, and 1-0, the two teams have alternated series wins 2-2 with each winning at least two out of three as the visiting squad. The Titans own a 12-15 record on the road against the Mustangs while sporting a 4-11 mark in the last 15 games in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
ABOUT CAL POLY: The Mustangs have chalked up a season record of 26-17 while notching a home record of 10-4. Fighting for position in the Big West standings, Cal Poly has an identical conference mark of 7-5, tying with the Titans for third in the race. The Mustangs have found themselves playing in extra innings recently, three out of the last four games and five of the previous 13. Over those five games, Cal Poly marks a 3-2 record, all three wins decided by one run.
MUSTANGS IN THE CIRCLE: Four-time Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week honoree Sierra Hyland leads the pitching staff, starting 28 games in 34 appearances while tossing 216 innings over that span. The right-hander finalist for NFCA National Freshman of the Year Trophy has chalked up 22 complete games on the season while producing 231 strikeouts. Posting an ERA of (1.81), the native from Visalia, Calif., commands a 21-7 record heading into the weekend. Junior Chloe Wurst has tossed another 14 starts and nine complete games for the Mustangs, posting a (4.17) ERA over 89 innings. The right-hander has surrendered a total of 112 hits and 53 earned runs on the season, yielding an opposing batting average of (.299).
AT THE PLATE WITH CAL POLY: Senior Lauren Moreno heads the offensive attack for the Mustangs, posting a (.282) batting avg., while chipping in 42 hits and five home runs. The native from La Mirada, Calif., has 27 RBIs, scored 27 runs and manufactured six doubles. Hyland swings a potent bat as well, chipping in 42 hits, leading the team in doubles (8), home runs (5), total bases (65) to go along with a batting avg., of (.359). Batting from the lead off position, the right-handed hitter posts a slugging percentage of (.556) and on-base percentage of (.400).
MISS PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN: Missy Taukeiaho paced the Titans to their first series victory over rival Long Beach State since 2008 en route to earning Big West Softball Field Player of the Week honors this past week. The three Player of the Week accolades tie Taukeiaho for third all-time in Big West history. Former Titan Jenny Topping earned the award four times in 2001 and was a record five-time honoree in the 2003 season. Taukeiaho batted a whopping .600 (6-for-10) with four runs scored and four RBI to pioneer the offense. Batting from the right side, she collected two doubles, one home run and accounted for nearly half of the Titans' 17 total runs in the series with the 49ers. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native hit safely in all three games, recording multiple-hits twice. Her performance translated into a (1.100) slugging percentage and (.667) on-base percentage while drawing two base on balls.
WHY SETTLE FOR JUST ONE: Five Titans have recorded a multiple-hit 10 times or more this season: Taukeiaho (18), Leesa Harris (11), Ariel Tsuchiyama (11), Samantha Galarza (10) and Gabby Aragon (10). Two out of the five athletes have raked in four-hit games, one apiece by Taukeiaho and Harris, respectively.
ROUND-TRIP TICKET PLEASE: In 2014, Cal State Fullerton leads all of the Big West with 48 home runs. Heading the long ball attack is Taukeiaho with a league-high 15 round-trippers, followed by Eliza Crawford who has gone yard 10 times. Fullerton is followed by Hawai'i (47), and Long Beach State (35) for overall home run totals.
THIEVES ON THE BASE PATHS: The Titans are fourth in the conference with 35 stolen bases on the season including five bags in the three-game series against the 49ers of Long Beach State this past week. The five thefts mark the most swipes for Fullerton in any Big West series this year.
MORE THAN JUST AVERAGE: The Titans are second in the Big West in batting avg., and one of only two squads with an average over (.300) with a team clip of (.302). Four Fullerton starters post averages above that mark: Taukeiaho (.426), Harris (.377), Tsuchiyama (.328) and Gabby Aragon (.318).
DAMAGE CONTROL: The Titans have used their base running abilities to stay away from grounding into double plays this season. Remarkably, Fullerton is the only team in the Big West that is yet to ground into a two-outer, with UC Davis and Hawai'i leading the league with nine apiece, respectively. Long Beach State has seven GDP's this season to round out the top-five.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in drawing base on balls with 136 as a team, 10 more than the nearest competitor Long Beach State with 126. Four Titans have eclipsed 15 walks or more, Taukeiaho leads the league with 28, followed by Crawford with 20, Tsuchiyama registering 17 and Aragon has drawn 15 free passes.
SLUGGIN' IT TO THE BIG WEST: Fullerton leads the conference with a (.491) slugging pct., while placing in the top-four in hits (355), doubles (59), triples (9) and home runs (48) as a team.
OPENING THE FLOOD GATES: In Big West play, the Titans own a commanding 27-9 scoring edge in the third inning. The offensive outburst has resulted in a 4-1 record when Fullerton scores in that very frame.
PROTECTING THE ROCK: Fullerton has played exceptional in the field marking a (.963) fielding percentage, good for third-best in the Big West. The Titans post the third-lowest errors total with 48 on the season, 11 less than league leaders Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside with 59. Out of the eight individuals in all of the Big West who own a (1.000) fielding percentage, four wear a Titans uniform, Crawford, Harris, Lauren Mario and Jena Rubio.
DRIVING WITH THE CLUTCH IN: Five different Titans have drove in a game-winning RBI multiple times to create a lead that was never surrendered by Fullerton. Taukeiaho and Aragon lead the team with seven game-winning RBI hits apiece, respectively. The pair is followed by Crawford (4), Galarza (2) and Melissa Sechrest (2). Amongst the 26 hits in total, 10 of those are via the long ball.
BIG WEST OUTLOOK: The Titans were picked to finish third in the Big West Conference in 2014 as selected by the eight head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Defending conference champion Hawai'i, collected four first place votes and 59 points overall and are favored to repeat after making a big splash in 2013 by capturing the crown in their return to the Big West after a 16 season hiatus. Runner-up in the polls was Long Beach State who garnered three first place votes and 55 overall. UC Santa Barbara was fourth in the polls with 40 points, while UC Davis rounded out the top five at 30 points:
1. Hawai'i (4), 59
2. Long Beach State (3), 55
3. Cal State Fullerton (1), 46
4. UC Santa Barbara, 40
5. UC Davis, 30
6. Cal Poly, 25
7. Cal State Northridge, 24
8. UC Riverside, 9
TITANS REWIND: Fullerton finished third in the Big West race a season ago with a 13-11 mark in conference play to go along with a 28-28 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming 18 newcomers to the fold for the 2014 season. Leading the way for returners is senior catcher Tsuchiyama, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .323 to go along with 50 hits and 25 runs batted in. In the circle, sophomore Antunez returns after earning the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors a season ago, finishing 18-14 with a 2.58 ERA, 174 strikeouts and even a no-hitter on her resume vs. UNLV.
NEWCOMERS: Although the 2014 Titans return dynamic seniors Jena Rubio, Leesa Harris, Gabby Aragon, Lauren Mario and Ariel Tsuchiyama, there are plenty of young talent on this seasons roster. Coach Kelly Ford's team consists of eight freshmen, six of which are position players and the remaining two on the pitching staff. Freshman Christina Washington is looking to have a promising season pitching in the circle, alongside now sophomore Jasmine Antunez who had similar expectations one year ago. Three Titans have transferred to the 2014 team, one being to watch is University of Washington transfer Taukeiaho. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native is looking to make an immediate impact to the offensive potency of the 2014 Titans.