April 16, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team reached the .500 mark for the first time since the opening weekend of the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon, sweeping a Big West Conference doubleheader from visiting Cal Poly by the scores of 3-2 and 3-0 at a steamy Anderson Family Field in front of 241 fans.
The win evened the Titans' record at 17-17 overall on the season and kept pace with the leaders in the league standings by improving to 6-2 in conference play. It clinched Fullerton's third consecutive series win to start conference play and the first time the Titans have swept a conference series-opening doubleheader in 2011. The Mustangs fell to 6-28 overall and 2-6 in the Big West with the sweep, extending their losing streak to five straight games.
Fullerton will go for its first series sweep this season in the finale on Sunday (April 17) at 12 p.m. as the Titans host their third-annual "Power in Pink" event to support breast cancer awareness and research.
GAME 1: CAL STATE FULLERTON 3, CAL POLY 2
Sophomore Ashley Carter drove home the tying run with an infield hit and heads-up baserunning by freshman Leesa Harris in the sixth inning erased a one-run deficit and lifted Fullerton to the 3-2 win in the opener.
Trailing 1-0 after an RBI single by the Titans' Torrie Anderson in the first inning, Cal Poly rallied for the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth as Stephanie Correia and Rebecca Patton each tallied RBI singles to give the Mustangs the lead.
That set the stage for the Fullerton rally as a walk, infield single, and a fielding error that would have ended the inning loaded the bases for Ashley Carter, who chopped a ball to first base, but beat the throw with a slide, allowing pinch runner Jena Rubio to plate the tying run. In the confusion of Carter beating the throw, Harris scampered home, beating the throw back to the plate for the 3-2 advantage.
Senior Ari Cervantes (11-10) then shut the door in the seventh, setting the side down in order with a pair of ground balls and a pop-up to end the game. Cervantes, who also inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, allowed just the two runs on six hits in the complete-game effort, retiring seven straight at one point and stranding seven Mustangs on base - four of those in scoring position.
Patton (4-15) suffered the loss, allowing just one earned on nine hits while striking out a pair in six innings.
Harris finished 3-for-3 to pace Fullerton's nine-hit attack while Carter and K.C. Craddick also added a pair of hits for the Titans. Patton was 2-for-3 to lead Cal Poly.
GAME 2: CAL STATE FULLERTON 3, CAL POLY 0
Redshirt Sophomore Katey Laban scattered just five singles in recording her first career shutout while junior Nicole Johnson slugged her third home run of the year to give her teammate some breathing room late as the Titans swept a Big West doubleheader for the first time this season, posting a 3-0 win in the nightcap.
Laban (4-4) evened her record overall and improved to 4-0 in the circle in Big West Conference play this season, walking only one and stranding six would-be Cal Poly scorers on base - four of those in scoring position.
Anna Cahn (1-9) was stuck with the loss despite allowing just one hit through four innings before the Titans broke through late. She was charged with two earned runs on five hits while walking four in six innings of work.
Senior K.C. Craddick got the Titans out quickly once again, smacking an RBI single up the middle to score Lauren Mario for the 1-0 lead. It would be the only hit for Fullerton until Adriana Martinez reached on a single to the second base bag in the fifth and the only run until the sixth when Johnson took the first pitch over the wall in centerfield for a 2-0 lead.
The Titans would tack on another run in the inning as a pair of two out hits brought Martinez up, but her chopper back to the circle was thrown away, allowing Ariel Tsuchiyama to score from second base for the final 3-0 score.
Five different Fullerton players finished with hits as did five different Mustangs.