May 20, 2007
Columbus, OH - Candice Baker hit a pair of triples and a double for 4 RBI and pitched 6 innings of scoreless relief Sunday afternoon to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 10-3 victory at Ohio State for the championship of the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament in Columbus.
The Titans (38-21), who handed the Buckeyes a 6-5 loss earlier in the day, advance to the Super Regional at Tucson against the top-seeded Wildcats of Arizona, who went 3-0 and did not allow a run to win their regional.
Baker had a bases-loaded triple to cap a 6-run first inning that was triggered by Ashley Van Boxmeer's 2-run homer. Baker drove home Jenna Wheeler in the fifth inning with another triple and strolled home as Jessica Doucette hit her third home run of the day to make it 10-3.
The Buckeyes (40-18) committed four errors and the first cost them four runs in the first inning.
Doucette started in the circle for the Titans and allowed one run in the first inning and left with no outs in the second and the Buckeyes with one run home and the bases loaded. Baker (21-12) got three outs with only one more run scoring on a ground ball to make the score 6-3.
Wheeler doubled home a run in the third and a line-drive double play from Lauren Lupinetti in right field to Katie Gollhardt at first base stymied Ohio State in the bottom of the inning. Ohio State did not get a base runner against Baker in the fianl four innings while the Titans were padding their lead.
Fullerton had not won a Regional Tournament since 1995.
Attendance for the game was 822. Ohio State, which used two unearned runs to beat the Titans 2-1 on Friday, had not lost a home game until today.
The outocme was reminiscent of another post-season diamond encounter between the Titans and Buckeyes in Columbus. In 1999, the Titans' baseball team lost the opener of an NCAA Super Regional but came back to beat Ohio State twice to advance to Omah.