FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team used a team effort to defeat Weber State 9-7 and win the Titan Classic at Anderson Family Field on Sunday.
The Titan offense scored nine runs in the bottom of the first, while freshman right-handed pitcher Sydney Golden collected her third win in as many days and senior righty Jasmine Antunez earned the save to secure the victory for Cal State Fullerton (4-1) as it successfully held off Weber State (4-2).
The Titans came out swinging after collecting their only loss of the season to the Wildcats last night. The hosts were determined to come away with a win as they sent 15 batters to the plate in the frame.
"We really took the focus off of Weber State and put it on us and playing our game and doing the little things," Cal State Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford said. "I think we got caught up a little bit in their aggressiveness last night and today, we went full throttle."
Fullerton certainly did go full throttle as eight of the nine batters scored a run in the first. Samantha Vandiver led off the game with a single up middle and came around to score on a double to the right-center gap off the bat of Missy Taukeiaho.
The Titans registered their second run of the game after Courtney Rodriguez, who had reach base on an error, successfully stole second before the Wildcats' second baseman committed a fielding error that allowed Taukeiaho to score.
Sydney Colenzo drew a walk and Melissa Sechrest loaded the bases after reaching on a throwing error. The Titans took full advantage of the trio of errors in the frame as Sarah Moore dropped a single to center to plate Rodriguez and put CSF up 3-0.
After Weber State pulled starting pitcher Baylee Reeves (0-1) for reliever Bailey Seek, catcher Alexis Gonzalez drew a bases-loaded walk and Delynn Rippy laced a one-out single back up the middle to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
The Titans weren't done yet as Vandiver came up to bat for the second time in the inning and singled to left field driving in Moore, before pinch runner Gabrielle Rodas scored on an illegal pitch pushing the Titans' lead to seven (7-0).
Four consecutive walks brought in Rippy and Vandiver to bring the scoring total to nine runs before Seek managed to get out of the inning.
Despite a huge first inning, the Titans would not score the rest of the game.
"We were very aggressive," Ford said of her offense. "I would have liked to be offensive throughout and not just in [the first] because that's what they're capable of. They can be explosive. It's going to be an exciting season to watch the offense unfold because we've got power and we've got speed. I was also impressed with our pitch selection. In general, we're going after good pitches."
With a very comfortable lead, Golden (3-0) shutdown the Wildcats for three innings allowing just one hit in her first three innings of work.
However, the rookie found herself in a jam in the fourth and fifth innings as Weber State plated a pair of runs in the fourth before tacking on four in the fifth courtesy of a three-run homer from Sara Hingsberger to cut Cal State Fullerton's lead to three (9-6).
After a rough fifth inning, Ford sent junior right-hander Cerissa Rivera to the circle. Unfortunately, Rivera surrendered a solo home run to the first batter she faced in KyRae Kogianes and was pulled.
Antunez came on in relief and successfully shut down the first three batters she faced. When she came out in the seventh, she gave up a leadoff single before striking out the next two batters.
The game took an interesting turn when Antunez allowed another base hit and Weber State had runners at the corners and the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs. However, Antunez kept her composure and struck out the final batter to collect the save and preserve the victory.
On the day, Rippy went 3-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI, while Vandiver was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. They were the only Titans to record a multi-hit game.
The Titans finished the game with more runs than hits as they tallied seven hits in the contest, yet drew six walks.
Golden finished the game pitching 5.0 innings and allowing six runs (three of which were earned) on as many hits, while walking one and fanning four.
Antunez pitched 2.0 innings in relief without allowing a run and gave up just two hits with four strikeouts.
Cal State Fullerton will be back in action Friday, Feb. 19 at the Santa Clara Bronco Classic. The tournament will run from Friday – Sunday.