Feb. 13, 2011
TEMPE, AZ - Junior Nicole Johnson drew a bases loaded walk with two out in the eighth inning to drive home Torrie Anderson with the game-winning run as the Cal State Fullerton softball team left Tempe with a 4-3 upset of No. 14 Oregon to close out play at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State on Sunday afternoon.
The Titans improved to 2-3 overall on the season while handing the Ducks their first loss of the year, dropping them to 5-1 overall. Facing its third ranked opponent of the tournament, Fullerton posted its first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette, 9-6, on March 21, 2010. Oregon was the highest-ranked opponent the Titans have defeated since they upset No. 2 Washington, 3-2, on March 15, 2009.
After Oregon left the go-ahead run on third in its half of the eighth, Anderson was placed on second per the international tiebreaker in the bottom of the frame and advanced to third on a bunt single by Sammie Dabbs to lead-off the inning. After a strikeout, Adriana Martinez was walked intentionally by Jessica Moore (3-1) to load the bases and the Ducks moved an out closer to extending the game with another strikeout for the second out.
That brought up Johnson, who worked the count full before taking ball four to drive home Anderson with the game-winner.
Senior Ari Cervantes (2-1) earned the win in the circle, allowing two earned on just four hits in the complete-game effort while striking out four. The Titans' offense banged out a season-high 10 hits in the game, led by two apiece from Cervantes and Dabbs.
Kelsey Chambers' solo shot in the second inning staked Oregon to the early lead, but Fullerton responded with single runs in the fourth and fifth on an RBI single from Anderson and a steal of home by Martinez to lead 2-1.
A pair of one-out errors and a passed ball led to the tying run in the sixth for the Ducks as Courtney Ceo reached on an error, moved to second on the passed ball and scored when Allie Burger's ground ball was thrown away. Oregon the put the pressure on with a run in the seventh on a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single by Christie Nieto, but the Titans responded once again to tie the score.
After leading off with a single, sophomore Ashley Carter tried to score when Johnson's sacrifice attempt was thrown away, but was thrown out at the plate to keep it a one-run game. Johnson, however, advanced all the way to third on the play, keeping Fullerton's rally alive. Leesa Harris then entered to pinch-run, but she wasn't in there for very long as senior K.C. Craddick followed with an RBI single to right on the very next pitch to tie the game.
The Titans then put two into scoring position following a single by Natalie DeLeese and a passed ball that moved both Craddick and DeLeese up 60 feet, but Moore, who reentered the game for Samantha Skillingstad got a strikeout and a ground ball to end the inning and set the stage for Fullerton's game-winning rally in the eighth.
A light week for the Titans awaits as they open their 2011 home schedule on Wednesday (Feb. 16) at 4 p.m. against top-ranked UCLA at Anderson Family Field.