PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The Cal State Fullerton softball team gave up two runs early to Texas Tech and couldn't overcome the deficit, falling to the Red Raiders, 5-1, on Thursday night.
With the loss, the Titans (1-4) suffer their fourth loss of the year and sophomore pitcher Trisha Parks moves to 1-2. Fullerton will face Mississippi State and FGCU tomorrow in a doubleheader starting at 8 a.m. PT.
The Titans got off to a great start with Parks inducing a groundout to third and punching out the next two Red Raiders looking and swinging in the opening frame. Delynn Rippy and Parks both put solid contact on the ball in the first inning, but some great plays defensively prevented Fullerton from getting a hit.
After sitting down the first two batters in the second, Parks gave up a two-out walk and Texas Tech's Devon Thorney made the Titans pitcher pay. Thorney hit a liner over the head of Rippy and off the right field fence for an inside-the-park home run, putting the Red Raiders up 2-0 in the second.
After a strong bounce back inning from Parks in the third, the Red Raiders added another run in the fourth as Kierra Miles stole third and Fullerton catcher Kylie Padilla's throw to third went into the outfield, giving Texas Tech a 3-0 edge.
In the bottom half, the Titans had a rally in the making as Rippy, Parks got back-to-back base hits to kick off the fourth, but Gonzalez, Richard and Emily Randall couldn't get the ball out of the infield as the score stayed 3-0 after four.
With Fullerton struggling offensively, Parks kept the Texas Tech lead at three with two-straight scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth innings, where the Titans finally got on the board.
Samantha Vandiver drew a leadoff walk to begin the sixth with speedster Ariana Williams coming into pinch-run for the junior. Rippy stepped up to the plate and laced a ball to right field to knock-in Williams and cut the deficit to 3-1.
With Rippy on second, the Titans had the heart of the order stepping up to the plate with Parks, Gonzalez and Richard due up. However, Fullerton couldn't get a timely hit as new pitcher Mattison Maisel came in and prevented the Titans from doing any more damage.
Texas Tech went on to add two more in the seventh, scoring on an error and sac fly to put the Red Raiders lead at 5-1.
Irieanna Siofele reached first base on an error with one out in the seventh, but nothing came together after that as the Titans dropped their first game at the Puerto Vallarta Challenge, 5-1.
Parks was relieved by Kessler after a leadoff walk in the sixth and her final line was 6 IP, 7 strikeouts, 3 ER and 3 walks. Kessler came in for an inning of work and surrendered an unearned run on the sacrifice fly.
Overall, Fullerton finished with one run on five hits and three errors.
The Titans will look to bounce back tomorrow against Mississippi State at 8 a.m. PT, followed by a game against FGCU at 11 a.m. PT. Live stats for both games will be available on fullertontitans.com.
THE PERFECT 10 - GET 10 SOFTBALL TICKETS FOR $60!
Tickets come as vouchers and can be used all at one game, 10 games, the choice is yours!
Tickets are good for all games and tournaments excluding the Judi Garman Classic
For more information contact the Titans Ticket Office at 657-278-2783
FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) Instagram (FullertonTitans) and Snapchat (FullertonTitans). In addition, the softball team has established its own Twitter (@CSUFSoftball), Facebook (Cal State Fullerton Titan Softball) and Instagram accounts (@CSUFSoftball).