March 6, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Sophomore Ari Cervantes went 2-for-3 at the plate, including the go-ahead RBI triple in the sixth inning, to help lift host Cal State Fullerton to a streak-busting 4-2 victory over visiting Syracuse on Friday night at Anderson Family Field.
The victory for the Titans (6-11) snapped a school record seven-game losing streak as their seven hits were the most since a Feb. 19 win over NC State (13) and they scored as many runs against the Orange (9-5) as in their last six games combined.
Freshman Samantha Dollarhide started the rally with one out in the sixth, doubling to the gap in right centerfield. That brought up Cervantes, who took an 0-2 offering over the head of the Syracuse right fielder for her second career triple and her second RBI of the season to make it 3-2.
Fullerton added an all-important insurance run later in the frame as junior Sheila Holguin singled off the leg of the Orange first baseman, allowing enough time for Cervantes to score and make it 4-2.
The Titans then shut Syracuse down in the seventh getting a game-ending double play to Dollarhide at second base to end any sort of comeback.
Cervantes (3-5) won in the circle for the first since since Feb. 20 against Nebraska, allowing two runs on six hits, walking four and striking out a pair in the complet-game effort. Brittany Gardner (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits, walking five and striking out six.
The Orange got on the board quickly in the first, parlaying a lead-off walk into a 1-0 lead on an RBI single back through the box by Hallie Gibbs.
Fullerton struck back to tie the game in the second as Morgan LeMond led off with a single and later scored on Trina Harrison's single back up the middle to make it 1-1. Cervantes gave the Titans the lead in the fourth as her infield single with the bases loaded scored pinch-runner Sammie Dabbs to make it 2-1.
Syracuse rallied back to tie things up again in the sixth on an RBI single with the bases loaded by Nicole Miller, but the Titans avoided any further damage on a great throw by Torrie Anderson in centerfield. Anderson's strike to the plate erased Lacey Kohl and catcher Lauren Lupinetti smartly threw behind Jorden Rosen at second base, doubling her up to end the inning.
Six different Fullerton hitters accounted for the team's seven hits - including five of the seven from the bottom four hitters in the lineup. Amy Kelley led Syracuse with a 2-for-2 night, including a walk.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. as the Titans face Florida International as part of the Long Beach Invitational at Mayfair Park in Lakewood, Calif. Fullerton will then face Longwood University later in the day at 5:45 p.m.