SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team was led by Monique Wesley's three-hit gem to salvage the series finale over Cal Poly, 5-3, at Bob Janssen Field on Sunday afternoon. Cal Poly clinched the overall series with a record of 2-1.
Wesley (4-6) tossed the full seven innings surrendering three earned runs while fanning one Mustang en route to her fourth win and fifth complete game of the season.
The Titans took advantage of four costly Cal Poly errors, three of which were translated into a four-run second inning to snap a three-game losing skid.
After scoring only one run in 14 innings over yesterday's doubleheader, the Titans offense was adamant to get going early against Cal Poly starter, Sierra Hyland. Missy Taukeiaho drew a five-pitch walk and Ariel Tsuchiyama moved her to second following a sacrifice bunt.
Eliza Crawford drew the second walk of the inning and was pinch run by freshman Delynn Rippy. Samantha Galarza struck for an RBI single up the middle, scoring Taukeiaho and placing Fullerton into a 1-0 lead.
Galarza was the only Titan to record a multi-hit game the entire series, batting 2-for-4 with one RBI. Taukeiaho didn't need the benefit of a hit to make an impact as she drew a pair of walks and scored twice from the leadoff position. Leesa Harris chipped in a 1-for-3 effort, scoring one run while driving in another.
Facing Hyland (22-8) in consecutive days, the finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year was tagged by the Titans for five runs, but only one of which was earned due to defensive struggles. The right-hander issued three walks while striking out four on the outing.
Both teams began to struggle in the field as the wind became a factor. Cal Poly responded quickly in the bottom of the opening frame with three runs on the aide of two Fullerton errors. Wesley surrendered two four-pitch walks in the inning that came back to hurt her, propelling the Mutangs into a 3-1 advantage.
Sydney Colenzo led off the crucial second inning with a sharp single up the middle. Jena Rubio later followed by reaching base on a fielder's choice with Colenzo out at second. A throwing error by Cal Poly catcher Mariah Cochiolo advanced Rubio into scoring position. Harris singled down the left field line, scoring Rubio. Taukeiaho was intentionally walked and Tsuchiyama followed by reaching base being hit by a pitch to load the bases.
After a lengthy at bat, Aragon lifted a fly ball to shallow right center field that was misplayed by the Cal Poly second baseman Ashley Romano, bringing home Taukeiaho and Harris. Galarza challenged Romo at second again with an infield pop fly that was dropped scoring the third unearned run of the inning giving the Titans a 5-3 lead that proved to be the final tally.
Cal State Fullerton returns home for a non-conference single game tilt against Santa Clara on Thursday, May 1 at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif., first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: The Titans are now 3-2 in Big West series this season…Wesley now leads the team with five complete games…Fullerton is just one win short of last year's total of 28 with still seven games remaining…Fullerton is now 3-2 on Sunday games…Cal Poly has now won two consecutive series over the Titans after sweeping Fullerton at Anderson Family Field last season…Galarza chalked up her 11th multi-hit game on the season, good for second on the team behind Taukeiaho's 18 multi-hit games