HONOLULU, O'ahu – The Cal State Fullerton softball team got an offensive boost from a pair of home runs by Delynn Rippy and Missy Taukeiaho as the Titans defeated the Rainbow Wahine 7-1 Friday night in Honolulu, O'ahu.
Rippy belted her first-ever home run of her collegiate career in the fifth inning and the three-run bomb was all that the Titans would need to defeat the Rainbow Wahine and improve to 36-10 overall and a perfect 10-0 in Big West Conference action.
With the win, Cal State Fullerton extends its winning streak to 11 games and matches its best conference start since 2003.
Hawaii falls to 20-23 overall and 4-6 in the Big West.
Cal State Fullerton sent freshman right-hander Sydney Golden (15-3) to the circle for her 16th start of the year and she turned in another excellent performance. The Riverside, Calif., native matched her counterpart, Brittany Hitchcock (9-12), through 5.0 innings.
The pitcher's duel kept both teams off the board until Cal State Fullerton broke through in the fifth. In that frame, the Titans batted around and scored five unearned runs as they took advantage of two Rainbow Wahine errors and belted a pair of home runs.
With two outs, Sydney Colenzo and Shianne Brannan reached base on back-to-back errors and Rippy came to the plate and sent a three-run home run over the centerfield wall to give the Titans a 3-0 lead. However, Cal State Fullerton was not done yet. Samantha Vandiver legged out an infield single and Taukeiaho sent her team-leading eighth home run to straight away centerfield as Fullerton jumped out in front to a 5-0 lead.
Hitchcock suffered the loss after pitching 5.0 innings of work and allowing five runs, all unearned, on five hits. She struck out two batters before Jennifer Iseri was brought in from leftfield to pitch.
With Iseri in the circle, the Titans added a run in the bottom of the sixth as they capitalized on four Rainbow Wahine miscues in the frame to bring their error total to six.
Hawaii scored its only run of the game in the sixth inning on a home run by Nicole Lopez.
Golden finished the game pitching 6.0 innings of work and allowing one run on six hits, while fanning three. She picked up her team-leading 15th win of the year and lowered her season ERA to 1.74.
Cal State Fullerton tacked on its final run of the game in the seventh on an RBI-double off the bat of Courtney Rodriguez which plated Ariana Williams who pinch ran for Kylie Padilla who had singled to right-centerfield.
The Titans sent senior left-hander Desiree Ybarra to the circle to pitch the final inning of action and she retired the side in order while collecting a pair of strike outs.
Rippy finished the game batting 1-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and a run scored, while Taukeiaho was 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with an RBI and Vandiver was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Cal State Fullerton closes out the three-game series at Hawaii on Saturday, April 23 with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. (PT).