Cal State Fullerton Closes Out Palm Springs Trip With 6-5 Upset of No. 8 Texas A&M
Feb. 26, 2006
CATHEDRAL CITY, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Ashley Van Boxmeer scored the go-ahead run on a two-out error in the fifth and added a much-needed insurance run on an RBI single by Katie Gollhardt in the seventh as the Titans hung on for the 6-5 upset of No. 8 Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon to close out play at the 2006 Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
The Titans trailed by a pair of runs entering the fourth, but sophomore Amanda Kamekona tied things up once again with her second home run of the season, a rocket over the fence in left centerfield, scoring Crystal Vieyra ahead of her to make it 4-4.
It stayed that way until the fifth as Van Boxmeer doubled down the left field line with one out, moved to third on a sacrifice, and scored when Gollhardt's potential inning-ending ground ball was bobbled by the Texas A&M shortstop, allowing Van Boxmeer time to score and make it 5-4.
The Titans rallied for what turned out to be the difference in the game in the seventh as sophomore Jenna Wheeler doubled to right center and scored on Gollhardt's sharp single to right off Aggies' reliever Lisa Gorzycki to make it 6-4.
Fullerton closed out the game in the seventh, but not without some drama. After a soft ground out for the first out, Texas A&M's Megan Gibson hit her second home run of the game to left field to cut the deficit to 6-5. However, Titans' starter Candice Baker (6-2) ended any more threats, getting Amanda Scarborough to fly out to center and Ronda Smith to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Baker struggled with her control early on, allowing four runs in the first three innings, but she recovered nicely, holding the Aggies to without a hit in the next 3 1/3 innings of work until Gibson's second home run. Baker finished with five strikeouts in winning her sixth game of the year.
Kamekona led all players with her 3-for-4 effort at the plate - her second three-hit game of the weekend - and is now 8-for-12 in her last three games. Van Boxmeer and Vieyra also had two hits on the day.
Gibson (5-2) suffered the loss for the Aggies, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings of work, and went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to the early lead for the second straight day as Kamekona and senior Molly Perez led off the game with back-to-back singles and were moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Baker. That brought up Van Boxmeer, who laced a single into right field, scoring Kamekona for the 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Jenna Wheeler then followed with a slow roller to the shortstop, whose only play was to first, allowing Perez to score the second run of the inning and make it 2-0.
One swing of the bat tied the game in the bottom of the first as Gibson helped her own cause with a two-run home run to left to tie the game at 2-2.
Texas A&M's Patty Wunderlich broke the tie in the third with a one-out RBI single up the middle after a pair of walks. Holly Ridley followed with a deep sac fly to left, plating Rocky Spencer to make it 4-2.
The tournament trail continues next weekend, but this time the Titans will feel right at home as they host the 2006 Worth Invitational at the Titan Softball Complex on March 3-5. Fullerton opens play on Friday night (Mar. 3) at 3:45 p.m. against Georgia and 6 p.m. against Northwestern.