May 2, 2010
STOCKTON, CA - Junior Natalie DeLeese's second home run of the season, a pinch-hit two-run shot in the seventh inning, erased a 1-0 deficit in the Titans' final at bats Sunday afternoon, lifting visiting Cal State Fullerton to a 2-1 win over Pacific in the series finale between the two squads at Bill Simoni Field.
The victory gave Fullerton (12-35 overall, 7-8 in the Big West Conference) only its second league series win of the year and its first since sweeping UC Santa Barbara on April 2-3. The Tigers fell to 20-28 overall and 6-9 in conference play with the loss.
After a bases loaded walk to Brittany Hendrickson in the fifth drove home the first run of the game, the Titans rallied back to snatch victory away from Pacific for the second-straight contest. Sophomore Morgan LeMond, whose two-run home run in the seventh innings of game two on Saturday helped Fullerton to an extra-inning win, singled with one out to start the rally and was pinch-run for by junior Sammie Dabbs.
That brought up DeLeese who lifted a 1-0 pitch to short right field, but the ball found the jet stream and carried over the wall and out of the stadium down the right field line for her second home run of the year and a 2-1 Titan lead.
Krystal Heinle (4-7), who allowed just three hits in the complete-game effort, then shut the door in the seventh, getting a flyout and a pair of ground balls to end the game and nail down the win. It was Heinle's first win since game two of the UC Riverside series on April 10 and her first start since shutting down the Highlanders on four hits in that 2-1 home victory.
She outdueled her counterpart Nikki Armagost (10-11), who allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out seven for the Tigers. She retired nine in a row at one point and allowed just two hits through the first six innings before Fullerton's rally in the seventh.
Junior K.C. Craddick led the Titans with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, one of only four players with a hit for Fullerton on the afternoon. Armagost, Karrie Wilson, and Megan Allen accounted for the Tigers' three hits.
Cal State Fullerton has now homered in its last five consecutive contests with DeLeese's shot on Sunday and nine of the team's 12 runs in the series came courtesy of the long ball.
The Titans return home next weekend for the final time in 2010 as they welcome Long Beach State to Anderson Family Field for a three-game series on May 8-9. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN-U.