Balanced Attack Lifts 49ers to Twinbill Sweep

May 5, 2012

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2

FULLERTON, CA - Long Beach State's Karli Sandoval finished 5-for-6 with two runs driven in and the 49ers got strong pitching performances from both Taylor Petty and Erin Jones-Wesley, lifting them to a doubleheader sweep of Cal State Fullerton by the nearly identical scores of 5-1 and 5-2 on Saturday afternoon in front of an ESPNU nationally televised audience at Anderson Family Field.

The sweep dropped the Titans to 19-28 overall and 7-10 in Big West Conference while Long Beach State improved to 25-22 overall and 13-4 in league play.

Fullerton senior Anissa Young reached base safely in six of her seven plate appearances on the day, including going 2-for-3 in the opener, slugging her ninth home run of the season game one before walking three times and being hit by a pitch to reach base in four times in the nightcap. Sophomore Leesa Harris and junior Kirsten Lambertson joined Young with two hits on the day while redshirt freshman Eliza Crawford blasted her second home run of the season in game two.

In the opener, Sandoval's RBI triple got the 49ers on the board first after Fullerton starter Desiree Ybarra (13-14) retired the first nine batters she faced, carrying a no-hitter into the fourth. Long Beach State added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on Bree Stephan's two-run single up the middle before Crawford's blast to centerfield made it a two-run ballgame.

That would be as close as the Titans would get as Hannah De Gaetano's two-run double in the seventh gave the 49ers some breathing room and Petty (7-1) was dominate in the circle, scattering just three hits and striking out nine over five innings to earn the win. Jones-Wesley entered in the sixth and allowing just one hit while striking out three over the final two innings to earn her third save of the season.

Ybarra allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out three in the loss, standing six Long Beach State baserunners - four in scoring position.

Three quick runs in the top of the first got the 49ers off and running in game two as Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi (RBI single) and Nalani St. Germain (two-run double) put Long Beach State up, 3-0.

Crawford then answered in the fourth with her second home run of the season - a shot to centerfield for only the second hit of the game by the Titans to that point - to make it 3-1, but the 49ers pulled away with clutch hitting in the fifth as De Gaetano led-off with a single and scored on Sandoval's RBI double for a three-run lead. Two batters later St. Germain doubled to left centerfield for a 5-1 advantage.

Fullerton tried to put together rallies over the final three innings, getting the lead-off hitter on in each of the final three frames, but could push across only one run on a passed ball in the seventh. The Titans stranded nine runners in the nightcap - six in scoring position.

Jones-Wesley (18-12) earned the win, allowing one earned on five hits while walking four in the complete-game effort. Katey Laban (1-7) suffered the loss for the Titans, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Freshman Vanessa Garcia entered in the fifth and allowed just one hit over the final 2 2/3 innings to keep her side in the game.

De Gaetano and Sandoval each finished 3-for-4 while St. Germain added two hits for the 49ers. Harris finished 2-for-3 to pace Fullerton's offense.

The two teams complete their three-game series on Sunday afternoon (May 6) at 12 p.m.