No. 12 Florida State at Cal State Fullerton
Date: Tuesday, March 8
Time: 6:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Anderson Family Field
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: CSF leads 8-4
A LOOK AT THE WEEK
On the heels of the Judi Garman Classic, the Cal State Fullerton softball team will welcome No. 12 Florida State to Anderson Family Field for a mid-week, non-conference contest on Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m.
Following the game agaisnt the nationally-ranked Seminoles, the Titans will head to Long Beach, Calif., to take part in the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by Long Beach State. At the Invitational, Cal State Fullerton will go up against Utah Valley (March 11), Mississippi State (March 12 and 13), Princeton (March 12) and Iowa State (March 13).
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME
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Fans can keep up with the latest in Cal State Fullerton athletics by following us on Facebook (FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Instagram (FullertonTitans). In addition, the softball team has established its own official Facebook (csufsoftball), Twitter (@CSUFSoftball) and Instagram (csufsoftball) accounts.
KEEP UP WITH TITAN SOFTBALL
Live stats will be provided for all games this weekend. To access live stats for the games, log onto www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats.
WATCH THE TITANS
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 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.
RECAPPING THE JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC
Cal State Fullerton went 4-1 at the Judi Garman Classic last weekend. The Titans opened the Classic with a pair of wins over No. 19 Arizona State (3-2 in 8 innings) and San Jose State (6-3). On Friday, March 4, CSF suffered a one-run loss to Wisconsin, 3-2, but bounced back on Saturday and Sunday with victories over Northwestern (2-0) and North Carolina (6-5).
LAST TIME OUT
Trailing North Carolina 5-3 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Cal State Fullerton scored three runs in the frame to rally and earn a walk-off win over UNC on a single to left field by sophomore shortstop Shianne Brannan as the Titans defeated the Tar Heels 6-5 on the final day of the Judi Garman Classic.
Cal State Fullerton allowed two runs in the top of the first as North Carolina took an early 2-0 lead on three walks, a single and a sacrifice fly. Senior right-hander Desiree Ybarra got the start for the Titans and struggled early in the game, surrendering the pair of runs in the first before making way for Cerissa Rivera.
Down by two, the Titans showed their resiliency and evened the score in the bottom of the frame on a two-run homer off the bat of Alexis Gonzalez. The home run marked her third of the season and made it a brand new ballgame heading into the second inning.
In the Titans' half of the second, they added another run on an error by the UNC shortstop which gave Cal State Fullerton its first lead of the game.
Rivera did a solid job in the circle as she matched North Carolina's starter, Kendra Lynch (7-7), and kept the game close. In the fourth, however, Rivera gave up a solo home run to Tracy Chandless as the Tar Heels evened the score again (3-3).
Three batters later, Christina Washington (1-0) came on in relief of Rivera and got the final two outs of the inning.
Washington and Lynch were a good match up as they battled each other for the remainder of the game.
Heading into the seventh inning tied 3-all, Washington surrendered what looked to be the game-winning solo homer by Kristen Brown.
Following the home run by Brown, the Tar Heels loaded the bases with one out and Leah Murray sent a sacrifice fly to leftfield, scoring the second run of the inning and to give North Carolina a 5-3 lead over Cal State Fullerton.
Down to their last three outs, the Titans would not go away quietly as they mounted a comeback with four consecutive base hits, the final of which was an RBI-single by Sarah Moore which scored Samantha Vandiver to cut the Tar Heels' lead to one (5-4).
A line out to shortstop put the Titans' rally on pause, but did not stop it completely as Courtney Rodriguez followed and grounded out to second but drove in Taukeiaho to tie the game.
With Adele Leuma, who pinch ran for Gonzalez, on third and Moore at second, Brannan came up and drilled a single to leftfield to score Leuma and win the game for the Titans in dramatic fashion.
Brannan finished the game batting 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while Gonzalez also had a big night at the plate going 2-for- 3 with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Taukeiaho finished the game 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Washington earned her first win of the year after pitching the final 3.2 innings of work and allowing two runs on one hit, with four walks and a strikeout.
Lynch suffered the loss as she tossed 6.2 innings while surrendering six runs, five of which were earned, on 12 hits. She struck out five and walked one.
North Carolina left 12 runners on base in the game as Cal State Fullerton did a good job of getting out of jams.
IN THE POLLS
On Tuesday, Cal State Fullerton will welcome No. 12 Florida State to Anderson Family Field. The Seminoles are one of many nationally-ranked teams the Titans will face this season.
The Louisville Slugger Invitational is littered with ranked teams and tough opponents. However, Cal State Fullerton will not face any ranked opponents while in Long Beach, Calif.
However, the Titans will also go up against Mississippi State this weekend which is receiving votes.
Remianing ranked teams on the Titans' schedule include No. 4 Alabama, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Oklahoma, and No. 22 Fresno State.
100 AND COUNTING
Head coach Kelly Ford recorded her 100th win at the helm of the Cal State Fullerton softball program against Santa Clara on Feb. 19. Ford now owns 108 victories and looks to finish off the Louisville Slugger Invitational with 114.
GOOD AS GOLD
Freshman right-hander Sydney Golden continues to work her magic in the circle as she improved to 7-1 on the year and has pitched three complete games and one shutout. Her seven wins are good for second in the Big West Conference. The Riverside, Calif., native owns a 2.24 ERA, which rank in the conference.
Senior centerfielder Courtney Rodriguez has been swift on the base paths this season as she has stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts thus far. Rodriguez is tied for third in the Big West Conference with 11 stolen bases on the year.
THREE GONE FOR GONZALEZ
Junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez leads the Titans with three home runs on the year. She belted two homers in one day at the Santa Clara Bronco Classic against Seattle and Santa Clara on Feb. 21 and helped lead Cal State Fullerton to a 6-5 victory over North Carolina with her third home run of the season just last Sunday.
This season, the Titans' defense has turned six double plays. Three of those came in Fullerton's 10-0 win over Santa Clara. Their six DP's rank third in the Big West Conference.
THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
Cal State Fullerton has made the most of scoring early in games. When the Titans score first, they are 12-0 on the year. Additionally, Fullerton is 8-0 when it scores in the first inning. Fullerton has scored the majority of its runs in the first this season. The Titans have scored nearly 30 percent of their runs in the first frame and are out-scoring opponents 29-11 in the first.
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
After 20 games played, Cal State Fullerton is undefeated when leading after the fifth inning. The Titans have won seven of their 13 victories holding onto a lead after the fifth inning.
The Titans were one of the most prolific offenses in the league a year ago as they ranked second in the Big West in runs (278), hits (465), doubles (71), triples (12), total bases (638), walks (170) and stolen bases (49).
Cal State Fullerton did not waste any time showing off its hot bats as the Titans are out-scoring their opponents 109-71 while batting .315 with a slugging percentage of .419.
RETURN OF THE ALL-AMERICAN
Three-time All-American Missy Taukeiaho was selected as one of 50 student-athletes on the "Watch List" for the 2016 USA Collegiate Softball Player of the Year award. The is the second straight year she has been selected to the "Watch List."
This season the senior third baseman is leading the Titans with a .419 batting average and a .645 slugging percentage. She has scored 15 runs, drove in seven, roped nine double and belted one homer, while drawing 13 walks on the season.
GOOD IN PRESSURE SITUATIONS
As a team, Cal State Fullerton is hitting almost .375 with the bases loaded. The Titans are 9-for-24 this season with bases full. Brooke Clemetson and Alexis Gonzalez are both 1-for-1 in that situation, while Delynn Rippy and Sarah Moore are 2-for-3, while Samantha Vandiver is 2-for-4 with bases full of Titans.
WALK THIS WAY
Missy Taukeiaho and Alexis Gonzalez are leading the Titans in walks this season. The duo have combined for 24 walks on the year as Taukeiaho leads the squad with 13 and Gonzalez has drawn 11 walks. Taukeiaho's 13 walks ranks her second in the Big West, while Gonzalez is tied for fourth.
Missy Taukeiaho leads both Cal State Fullerton wiht nine doubles on the year. She roped three doubles in one game earlier this season against UT-San Antonio. Hot on Taukeiaho's heels with eight doubles is Sarah Moore, while Melissa Sechrest boasts seven. As a team, the Titans have recorded 35 doubles which leads the Big West Conference.
The Titans have a pair of Ybarra's on the team in senior left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra and sophomore infielder Bryanna Ybarra. Desiree sports jersey No. 15, while Bryanna wears No. 16. With the same last name and consecutive jersey numbers, you'd think the duo are sisters - they're not.
Following the Louisville Slugger Invitational, Cal State Fullerton will return home to Anderson Family Field to host Yale and Princeton on Tuesday, March 15 at 4 p.m., and 6 p.m., respectively.
After the Ivy League mid-week doubleheader, the Titan welcome some of the top teams in the nation in Alabama, Arkansas, DePaul, Grand Canyon, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and UNLV to Fullerton, Calif., for the Easton Tournament. The tournament will run from Thursday, March 17 - Sunday, March 20.
Cal State Fullerton will play Alabama Thursday at 5:30 p.m., before taking on Oklahoma on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday will pit Fullerton against Arkansas at 6:30 p.m., while Sunday the Titans will close out the tournament against New Mexico at 12:30 p.m.