Big Hits Lift Titans to Saturday Sweep

March 26, 2011

Box Score - Ohio | Box Score - Canisius

FULLERTON, CA - Clutch hitting helped propel host Cal State Fullerton to a pair of softball victories in come-from-behind fashion as the Titans defeated Ohio, 2-1, and Canisius, 6-4, on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.

The wins snapped a three-game skid for Fullerton, which improved to 10-14 overall on the year. Ohio, which defeated Canisius by a 6-0 score in the first game of the day, moved to 11-13 overall while the Golden Griffins evened their record at 10-10.

The Titans return to the field on Sunday afternoon (March 27) at 12 p.m. as they host Cal State Bakersfield in a doubleheader to close out non-conference play.

GAME 1: CAL STATE FULLERTON 2, OHIO 1
Nicole Johnson tripled home pinch runner Jena Rubio with the tying run and scored the go-ahead run on an error on the play at the plate as the Titans rallied for a 2-1 pitchers duel victory in the opener.

Senior Ari Cervantes (8-8) tossed a three-hitter, allowing just an unearned run while striking out six. She was matched by Emily Wethington (8-5), who went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four in the loss.

The two teams matched zeros through four before the Bobcats broke through in the fifth as Jillian Van Wagnen reached on a one-out error and stole second with two outs. That brought up Paige Kemezis, who nearly left the yard on a shot to right centerfield, but the ball bounced squarely off the top of the fence and back into play for a double, scoring Van Wagnen for the 1-0 lead.

Fullerton, which left three runners in scoring position through the first five innings, then rallied for the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth. K.C. Craddick smacked a one-out single back up the middle before Rubio was brought in to pinch run. That brought up Johnson, who took the first pitch she saw to the fence in left centerfield, under the glove of a diving Van Wagnen, scoring Rubio all the way from first.

As the throw came home, the ball sailed over the head of the catcher and deflected away from another Ohio defender, allowed just enough time for Johnson to scoot home with the game-winning run.

Cervantes then struck out the side swinging in order in the seventh to clinch the victory.

Craddick led all Titans with a 2-for-3 day at the plate while four other Titans finished with hits, including a double by Torrie Anderson. Three different Bobcats had hits on the day for Ohio.

GAME 2: CAL STATE FULLERTON 6, CANISIUS 4
Freshman Lauren Mario (two-run shot) and senior Torrie Anderson (three-run home run) each homered during a five-run third inning, erasing a four-run deficit and helping lift the Titans to a 6-4 victory.

Four singles in the third produced the first two runs for the Golden Griffins, as Paige Freiberger and Katie Lancellotti each drove home runs to break the scoreless tie. Lizzy Gatto then dealt the big blow, smashing her first home run of the season on the first pitch she saw, scoring Lancellotti ahead of her for the 4-0 Canisius lead.

The Titans responded in a big way in their half of the inning as Natalie DeLeese walked to lead-off the frame, was sacrificed to second, and scored when Mario slugged her team-best third home run of the season to centerfield, cutting Fullerton's deficit to 4-2.

Ashley Carter followed with a single, but was productive on Craddick's ensuing ground ball, avoiding a double play by stalling the second baseman and being tagged out, allowing Craddick to reach first safely and continue the inning. Johnson was then hit by pitch to put two on for Anderson, who sent the first pitch over the wall in centerfield for her first of the year and a, 5-4, Titan lead.

Fullerton added an insurance run in the fourth as Mario walked with two outs and moved to second on a wild pitch. That gave Carter a chance and sophomore delivered with a single back up the middle, plating Mario from second for the 6-4 advantage.

Sophomore Katey Laban then shut the door in relief of starter Aly Fascetti (2-3), logging her first save of the year by allowing only one base runner over the final three innings to secure the win. Fascetti allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out two over the first four innings, while Laban allowed only a walk and struck out two of the three batters she faced in the seventh in three hitless innings of work.

Amanda Baun (5-4) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on five hits and walking four in the complete-game.

Carter finished 2-for-3 while four other Titans had hits on the day, including Mario, who scored twice. Lauren Hope, Freiberger, and Gatto each had two hits for Canisius.

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