April 21, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - UC Riverside's Jessica Vasser finished with four hits and drove in five runs on the night and the Highlanders combined for 21 hits on Saturday, lifting them to a doubleheader sweep of host Cal State Fullerton by the scores of 6-5 and 7-5 at Anderson Family Field.
The losses dropped the Titans to 16-23 overall and 4-7 in Big West Conference play while UCR improved to 20-23 overall and 3-8 in league action with the wins. Saturday's victories gave the Highlanders only their second series victory over Cal State Fullerton and the first since 2010 when they took two-of-three from the Titans.
Backed by Kayla White's four hits and three more from Vasser, UC Riverside struck early and held off Fullerton for a one-run win in the opener. The Highlanders sent eight batters to the plate as part of a three-run first inning as Vasser's two-run double and an RBI single by Yesenia Duenas gave them the early lead.
A two-run double by Anissa Young in the bottom of the inning got the Titans back to within a run, but Riverside plated two more on a single an an error in the second and got a sixth run on an RBI single by White for the 6-2 advantage.
Eliza Crawford's RBI groundout got one back for Fullerton in the third and the Titans inched closer with two runs in the fourth on a wild pitch and an illegal pitch to make it 6-5, but reliever Jordyn McDonald (9-12) silenced the Fullerton offense the rest of the way, allowing only one hit and working around a pair of walks in 3 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Freshman Desiree Ybarra (10-12) suffered the loss for the Titans, allowing just three earned on eight hits in three innings before giving way to Katey Laban, who limited UCR to just three hits over four innings to keep her side in the game.
Game two started out in a similar fashion as Vasser's second home run of the year, a two-run shot to right field, gave the Highlanders the early lead, but Fullerton answered with a big first inning of its own, plating its first run thanks to an illegal pitch and getting a three-run home run from Gabby Aragon (her first of the season) for a 4-2 lead.
That lasted until the fourth when the two teams traded runs on an RBI single by UCR's Jojo Mendoza and an RBI double by the Titans' Kirsten Lambertson to make it 5-3, before the Highlanders' bats came alive.
Eight batters came to the plate in a three-run sixth for UC Riverside as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for Duenas, who looped an RBI single just inside the chalk down the left field line to make it a 5-4 game. Dionne Anderson tied it with an RBI groundout and, after a walk to Mendoza, Alaina Thomas gave the Highlanders the lead for good with a single through the left side to make it 6-5.
Alexis Pickett, who finished 3-for-4, drove home the seventh run of the game with a two-out RBI triple in the seventh and Taylor Alvarez (7-5) shut the door, loading the bases with one out before inducing a line-out double play to end the game.
Alvarez allowed five runs on 11 hits in the complete game win while Katey Laban (1-4) suffered the loss, charged with six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Young finished 2-for-2 in the nightcap to extend her hitting streak to eight games -- the longest active streak and the second-longest by a Titan this season (Nicole Johnson, 9). Aragon and senior Morgan LeMond, seeing her first action since suffering a leg injury against Michigan State on March 9, each finished with two hits apiece.
The two teams meet in the series finale on Sunday (April 22) at 12 p.m.