April 7, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Junior Katie Gollhardt's two-run double in the sixth snapped a 4-4 tie and helped lift host Cal State Fullerton to a 6-4 victory over Cal State Northridge and a series sweep of the Matadors on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.
The win extended the Titans' winning streak to seven straight games as they improved to 24-15 overall and remained perfect in the Big West Conference at 6-0. Northridge fell to 13-16-1 overall and 1-5 in Big West play, dropping its fifth-straight contest.
Trailing by a run entering the fifth, Fullerton took advantage of a fit of wildness by Matadors' starter Sam Schroeder, who surrendered a two-out infield single to Courtney Martinez before uncorking three wild pitches during Ashley Van Boxmeer's at bat to plate Martinez and tie the game.
The Matadors would strand the go-ahead runners in scoring position in the sixth against Fullerton reliever Brooke Weekley (6-3) before the Titans struck for the winning runs in their half of the frame.
Junior Kiki Munoz drew a walk to open Fullerton's half of the sixth and Crystal Vieyra reached when she was hit by a pitch to put a pair on. Both Vieyra and pinch-runner Amanda Fernandez moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Jenna Wheeler to bring up Gollhardt.
Gollhardt, who had been just 1-for-9 at the plate in the series, then stroked the first pitch from Schroeder (0-2) into the gap in right centerfield, plating both runners for the 6-4 advantage.
Weekley then shut the door for her second win of the series, setting the Matadors down in order in the seventh, including a strikeout of Northridge star Amanda Peek to end the game.
Weekley pitched the final two innings of the game, allowing just one hit with a walk and a strikeout for the win. Starter Candice Baker was stuck with the no decision, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out three in five innings of work.
Schroeder went the distance for the Matadors, allowing four earned on four hits while striking out two in six innings of work.
Fullerton got on the board first in the opening inning as Martinez walked with one out and moved all the way to third on an error by the second baseman on a fielder's choice by Van Boxmeer.
That brought up Lauren Lupinetti, who grounded into a fielder's choice, plating Martinez for the 1-0 lead.
Cal State Northridge rallied to tie the game in the second as Megan Smith slugged her second home run of the season over the fence in left field with two outs to knot the score at 1-1.
The Titans rallied to take the lead in a wild fourth inning, plating a pair of runs with some help from the Matadors' defense. Van Boxmeer and Lupinetti led off the inning with back-to-back singles and both moved up 60 feet on a deep fly ball to center by Munoz.
Van Boxmeer would come home during the next at bat on a passed ball and pinch-runner Whitney Kroh would score on a squeeze by Vieyra that was mishandled by the catcher to make it 3-1.
The lead didn't last for very long, however, as the hard-hitting Northridge offense would answer with three runs of its own in the fifth. Kelly Zakosek slugged her second home run of the season with one out to cut the deficit to 3-2 and the Matadors would take the lead three batters later as Peek hit her ninth of the year, scoring Jackie Duree ahead of her for the 4-3 advantage.
The two teams combined for 10 home runs in the series - seven of those hit by Cal State Northridge, including two apiece for Peek and Smith.
Four different Titans accounted for the team's hits on the day while Smith, Zakosek, and Duree each had two hits to lead the Matadors, who outhit Cal State Fullerton, 8-4, for the game.
The Titans return to action next weekend as they continue Big West Conference play against archrival Long Beach State in a three-game series at the 49er Softball Complex. First pitch on both day is scheduled for 1 p.m.