FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team extended its winning streak to seven games behind shutout efforts by Christina Washington, Cerissa Rivera and Jasmine Antunez Tuesday night against a pair of Ivy League foes. In the first game, the Titans shut down Yale 8-0 in five innings and they followed that performance with a 5-0 victory over Princeton in the night cap.
The Titans improve to 20-8 on the year, reaching the 20 win plateau in just 28 games marking the fastest the team has attained that feat under head coach Kelly Ford.
Yale falls to 2-8 on the season, while Princeton drops to 3-10. This is the second time in five games that Cal State Fullerton has topped Princeton as the Titans defeated the Tigers 4-0 over the weekend at the Louisville Slugger Invitational.
"The standout to me was a shutout in both games," Ford said of the pair of wins. "Our pitching performances were a great combination – in game one Christina and Jazzy (Antunez) and in game two Cerissa and Jazzy.
"Any time you can keep a team from crossing home plate – especially in two games back-to-back – that's outstanding. They've really put the work in and are getting positive results."
Game 1: Cal State Fullerton 8, Yale 0 (5 innings)
Cal State Fullerton jumped out in front early taking a quick 8-0 lead after two innings of action over Yale. Washington (2-0) did a solid job in the circle keeping the Bulldogs off the board and not allowing the visitors to get a runner past second base.
The Titans sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the first as they scored three runs on as many hits. Leadoff hitter Samantha Vandiver got things started with a single to left and stole second. After a one-out walk to Alexis Gonzalez, senior first baseman Sarah Moore shot a base hit to centerfield which scored Vandiver for the first run of the game.
Sydney Colenzo loaded the bases after reaching on a catcher's interference call and junior catcher Kylie Padilla sent a base hit back up the middle to plate Gonzalez as the Titans went up 3-0 on the Bulldogs.
The final run of the frame came across on a bases loaded walk to Shianne Brannan which scored Moore as Fullerton took a 3-0 lead into the second.
Cal State Fullerton added to its lead in the second inning as the Titans batted around and tallied five runs on seven hits. Once again, Vandiver got things going as she singled to left and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Colenzo.
Missy Taukeiaho was the second run of the inning as she reached on a single up the middle and came around to score on an RBI-single by Padilla, her second of the game. The Titans went up 7-0 after Ariana Williams smacked a bases clearing triple to the right-center gap. Williams later came around to score on a single through the left side by Brannan as the Titans went up 8-0.
Washington pitched 3.0 innings of shutout softball in which she allowed just one hit – a single to Lauren Delgadillo.
Antunez came on in relief and pitched the final 2.0 innings. She continued to keep the Bulldogs off the board and preserved the shutout victory for the Titans.
Yale's starter Francesca Casalino (2-4) suffered the loss after pitching 1.2 innings and surrendering all eight runs on as many hits. She walked two and struck out one.
Offensively, the Titans were led by Padilla who hit 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Vandiver finished the game batting 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, while Moore was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Game 2: Cal State Fullerton 5, Princeton 0
After a 30 minute break between games, the Titans wasted little time getting on the board against Princeton as Cal State Fullerton took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Taukeiaho drew a one-out walk and Alexis Gonzalez followed with a single to left-center to put runners at the corners. Courtney Rodriguez shot a single through the left singe to score Taukeiaho and give the Titans a 1-0 advantage.
After designated player Desiree Ybarra drew a two-out walk to load the bases, Princeton starter Claire Klausner (0-2) walked in the second run of the game as Cal State Fullerton went up 2-0.
The Titans added their third run of the game on a solo shot to dead centerfield by Taukeiaho – her second of the year.
Rivera (2-1) pitched well with a 3-0 lead and kept the Tigers off the board. She scattered just three hits over 6.0 innings and struck out seven lowering her ERA to 1.62.
In the fifth inning, Fullerton added on a few more runs courtesy of three singles and a pair of stolen bases. Moore led off the frame with a single and stole second, then Rodriguez reached on a bunt single before swiping second to put runners in scoring position with two outs for Brannan. The sophomore shortstop ripped a single through the right side plating Moore and Rodriguez to extend the Titans lead to five.
After pitching six shutout innings, Rivera's night was over as she made way for Antunez who retired the side in order to close out the game
Taukeiaho was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, one RBI, one walk and a home run, while Rodriguez finished the game batting 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI, and Brannan went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Cal State Fullerton looks to continue its winning streak when it welcomes No.4/6 Alabama, No. 14/13 Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico to Anderson Family Field for the Easton Tournament which runs from Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March, 20.