May 8, 2010
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton freshman Gabby Aragon finished with four hits while sophomore Morgan LeMond homered twice and drove in six to help power the host Titans to a doubleheader split with Long Beach State on Saturday, falling 4-3 in the opener before rebounding for a 5-1 victory in the nightcap in front of an ESPNU national television audience at Anderson Family Field.
The split moved Fullerton to 13-36 overall and 8-9 in Big West Conference play while the 49ers moved to 22-26 overall and 6-11 in league action.
Aragon finished 2-for-3 in both contests while LeMond slugged a three-run home run in the opener and added a two-run shot in game two. LeMond's three home runs this season have all come in the team's last four games while the Titans have homered in seven consecutive contests as a team.
The opening contest was decided in the seventh inning by a burst of offense that broke up a pitcher's duel between Fullerton freshman Katey Laban and Long Beach State junior Brooke Turner. Both hurlers matched one another zero-for-zero through six innings, allowing just nine hits combined before both offenses finally broke through in the seventh.
Pinch hitter Casey Burba started the rally for the 49ers with an infield single and moved to second on Ashley Levine's sacrifice. That brought up Bree Stephan, who sent a 1-0 pitch from Laban (3-7) over the wall in left for her first career home run and a 2-0 lead.
The hits kept coming as Ashley Weber and Caitrin DeBaun followed with singles to bring up Brandy Reyes, who laced a double into the gap in right centerfield, plating both runners for what would turn out to be the deciding scores.
Laban was then pulled in favor of junior Ari Cervantes, who needed just four pitches to stop the bleeding, getting a lineout and a fly ball to end the inning.
Then, it was Fullerton's turn to rally as the offense finally clicked against Turner, who had allowed just three hits to that point. Aragon led-off the inning with a single up the middle and Nicole Johnson followed with a hit to centerfield to put a pair on for LeMond, who launched an 0-2 offering from Turner over the wall in left to make it a one-run contest.
Senior Kadie Baldwin then singled to knock Turner from the game, but the Titans could not bring home the tying run against Taylor Petty as a sacrifice moved Baldwin into scoring position, but Petty got a strikeout and a foul out to end the game and cement her second save of the year.
Baldwin also finished with two hits for Fullerton while Stephan was 3-for-4 to pace the 49ers. Turner (10-10) earned the win for the 49ers, allowing the three runs on seven hits and striking out three in six innings. Laban, who worked into the seventh inning for only the second time this season, allowing four runs on 11 hits and struck out one in 6 1/3 innings.
Saturday's game two picked up where game one left off, but this time it was the Titans who jumped out early, scoring all their runs in the first three innings en route to the victory.
Aragon's RBI single plated Torrie Anderson with one out in the first inning and LeMond followed two batters later with her third home run of the year, another shot over the left field fence to make it a 3-0 game.
Fullerton tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the third against Petty (9-14), taking advantage of a pair of Long Beach State errors to extend its lead. Freshman Ashley Carter reached on a throwing error with one out and moved to second on Aragon's single. After Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, the throw to the plate on LeMond's chopper to short sailed wide, allowing both Carter and Aragon to score for the five-run advantage.
Cervantes (6-18) held the 49ers in check, allowing just one hit through the first four innings before working out of a jam in the fifth to keep the game scoreless, stranding runners at second and third. Long Beach State finally broke through in the sixth against Krystal Heinle in relief as Weber reached on an error and moved to third thanks to a pair of wild pitches.
DeBaun then broke up the shutout with her run-scoring ground ball, plating Weber to make it 5-1. That would be all Heinle and the Titans would allow, however, as a double by Reyes in the sixth and a single by pinch-hitter Bridgette Pagano in the seventh went for naught after both were stranded at third.
The 49ers left six runners on base in game two, five of those in scoring position.
Cervantes allowed just one hit in five innings of work, working around three walks and striking out one for the game, while Heinle allowed an unearned run on two hits in her two innings of work. Petty was tagged with the loss, allowing three earned on five hits and striking out five in the complete-game effort.
Both teams return to the diamond on Sunday afternoon (May 9) at 12 p.m. for the rubber game of the three-game series. Cal State Fullerton's two departing seniors, Kadie Baldwin and Sheila Holguin, will be honored in pregame ceremonies prior to first pitch.