LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Titans shut down Long Beach State in back-to-back games this Saturday afternoon at the LBSU Softball Complex. Kelsey Kessler shutout the Beach in game one 6-0, with Cerissa Rivera holding Long Beach State to just one run in game two.
With the two wins over the Beach, the Titans increase their overall record 28-19 and 11-3 in Big West conference play. Long Beach State drop to 20-24 overall and 8-6 in conference.
In game one, starting pitcher Kelsey Kessler dominated the game, pitching her seventh shutout of the season. Kessler improved her record to 16-6, allowing just three hits to the Beach, while striking out four. Long Beach State pitcher Cielo Meza (4-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits, in only three innings of work.
The Titans rallied in the fourth inning, when Lexi Gonzalez crushed a home run over the left field fence. Zoe Richard was next at-bat and singled to center for a base hit. Then, Shianne Brannan homered to left field to bring in Richard to take the lead for the Titans 3-0.
In the fifth inning, Lexi Gonzalez showcased again, starting another rally for the Titans. Gonzalez came to the plate with two runners on, and singled to left-center to bring in Brooke Clemetson from second for her second RBI, and advance Ariana Williams into scoring position.
Zoe Richard then singled up the middle to bring in Williams. To seal the first win in the doubleheader for the Titans, Shianne Brannan reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Gonzalez to stretch the lead to 6-0.
Cerissa Rivera took the win for the Titans in the second game of the doubleheader, improving to 5-2, while only allowing one run to Long Beach State on three hits in seven innings of work. Christina Clermont (9-10) earned the loss for the Beach, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits.
In the top of the first inning, lead-off hitter Brooke Clemetson reached on an error from the shortstop. Ariana Williams was next at-bat and singled, which advanced Clemetson to second. After a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, Zoe Richard hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Clemetson.
In the fourth inning, Ariana Burns singled to the left side and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kylie Padilla. Emily Randall got a base hit and advanced Burns to third. Then, Brooke Clemetson came to the plate and singled up the middle to bring in Burns for the Titans second run.
The Beach came back in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run, but it wasn't enough to best the Titans, with the game ending 4-1.
The Titans will play again tomorrow at Long Beach State at 3 p.m. at the LBSU Softball Complex. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
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