Feb. 26, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Returning home for the first time since the beginning of February, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (6-6-1 overall) has a busy week ahead of them with a total of six games on the docket to be played at Anderson Family Field.
The Titans open the week with a single game against St. John's University on Wednesday night (Feb. 27) at 6 p.m. before Fullerton welcomes 11 other teams to Orange County for the 2008 Worth Invitational. The Titans will face Texas Tech, Purdue, Florida, Oregon State, and Notre Dame in round-robin play that begins on Friday (Feb. 29) and runs through the weekend (a complete schedule can be found in the PDF version of the release).
CAN'T MAKE IT?: Gametracker livestats will be available for all of Cal State Fullerton's games this week. Live streaming Internet audio and video will be available for Wednesday's game against St. John's. Audio links are available at www.FullertonTitans.com while the video is on a subscription basis only at www.BigWest.org/TV.
KEEPING TRACK: Box Scores and results from all of this weekend's tournament games can be found on the Worth Invitational Tournament page at http://fullertontitans.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/2008-worth-invitational.html.
IN THE POLLS: Cal State Fullerton dropped from both of the top 25 polls this week and is now listed among those receiving votes... the Titans are getting 27 votes according to the USA Today/NFCA poll and 13 votes according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll... Florida is the highest-ranked team in the tournament this weekend, standing at No. 5/7... Oregon State is also receiving votes in both polls while Purdue is getting votes in the USA Softball poll... Stanford is also ranked in the top 10, standing tied for No. 10 in the NFCA poll and No. 8 in the USA Softball poll.
SERIES RECORDS: Wednesday's meeting with St. John's will be the first in the history of the two programs... Fullerton is 6-1 all-time against Texas Tech, winning the last five straight, including a 5-0 victory over the Red Raiders in last year's season opener at the Kajikawa Classic... Fullerton has won the only meeting between the two schools at home - a 2-1 victory at the 2006 Worth Invitational... The Titans are a perfect 5-0 against Purdue, including a 2-0 mark at home - last winning by the score of 6-2 at the 2006 Worth Invitational... Fullerton is 4-1 against Florida, winning the first four meetings in the series until a 2-0 loss to the then-No. 21 Gators at home in 2004... The Titans are 8-6 against Oregon State all-time, including a 6-3 mark at home... Fullerton won last year's meeting with the Beavers, 1-0, to close out play at the Worth Invitational... The Titans are 6-2 all-time against Notre Dame, winning the last three meetings with the Fighting Irish... Fullerton defeated Notre Dame, 2-0, at the 2007 Palm Springs Classic and took a pair from the Irish in 2006.
A LOOK AT THE RED STORM: St. John's is 1-8 overall entering the week and will face Long Beach State in a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon before heading to Fullerton to take on the Titans and participate in the Worth Invitational... The Red Storm snapped their eight-game losing streak to start the season with a 6-4 win over UC Santa Barbara to split a doubleheader on Monday... Brandy Reyes leads all regulars with a .391 average while Danielle Estrada is hitting .292 qith a team-best five RBI... Kat Lawrence is 1-2 overall with a 6.04 ERA in six appearances to lead the way in the circle.
A LOOK AT THE RED RAIDERS: Texas Tech has struggled out of the gate to start the 2008 season, starting 0-12 heading into this weekend's tournament play... Leah Legler leads the team in hitting with a .415 average and nine runs scored while Montana Patin is hitting .346 with a team-best four RBI... Ashly Jacobs has started seven of the team's 12 games in the circle, going 0-5 with a 2.44 ERA... Tye Coats (0-4, 3.62) and Sarah Losleben (0-3, 8.40 ERA) have also seen significant action.
A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: Purdue is off to a strong start at 9-2 this season, winning its last seven straight since a loss to Alabama on Feb. 9... The Boilermakers are in the midst of a 29-game road trip to start the year before they make their home debut against Miami (Ohio) on March 19... Candace Curtis leads Purdue with a .517 average, two home runs, and 13 RBI... The Boilermakers are hitting .324 as a team as seven regulars are hitting better than .300 on the year... Suzie Rzegocki (4-1, 4.57 ERA) and Dana Alcocer (5-1, 5.11 ERA) have been the beneficiaries of that offense in the circle and have combined to hold opponents to a .236 average.
A LOOK AT THE GATORS: Florida is a perfect 19-0 overall on the season, having outscored its opposition by a 127-17 margin... Florida will take on Long Beach State on Wednesday before heading to Fullerton... The Gators are hitting .319 as a team while holding opponents to a .142 average on the year... Francesca Enea is hitting a team-best .372 with five home runs and 18 RBI while seven other teammates are hitting better than .300 on the season... Stacey Nelson is a perfect 11-0 in the circle with a 0.82 ERA while Stephanie Brombacher is 7-0 with a 0.75 ERA.
A LOOK AT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State enters the weekend with an 8-8 overall record after going 3-2 at the Palm Springs Classic last weekend in Cathedral City... Dani Chisholm leads the OSU offense, hitting .392 with 12 runs scored and seven RBI while Cambria Miranda is hitting .367 with a team-high five home runs and 12 RBI to supply the power... Stefanie Draper leads the Beavers in the circle, posting a 5-2 record with a 3.56 ERA while Kelly Dyer (3-6, 3.65 ERA) has also seen significant action.
A LOOK AT THE FIGHTING IRISH: Notre Dame enters the weekend with a 4-5 overall record after going 2-3 at the Aquafina Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend... The Irish have split their last six games with a pair of wins over North Florida and a 4-3 win over California at the Kajikawa Classic... Sadie Pitzenberger leads the team with a .355 average and six runs scored while Katie Laing is hitting .300 with a home run and six RBI... Brittney Bargar is 3-3 in the circle with a 1.55 ERA and 39 strikeouts and a .193 average against.
"WORTH" IT: Fullerton is 26-12 (.684) all-time in games at the Worth Invitational under its current moniker, including a 4-1 mark last season. Dating back to the 2001 season, the Titans have had a losing record at the Worth only once (2-4 in 2004) and posted a perfect 6-0 mark in 2002.
HOW `BOUT SOME OFFENSE?: Cal State Fullerton set season-high's for runs scored (14) and hits (16) in a game against Michigan State last weekend in Palm Springs. The run total was the highest since the Titans scored 15 runs on 17 hits on the road against UC Riverside on May 11, 2007.
HEY WE KNOW YOU: Wednesday's match-up with the Red Storm will be the first meeting between Cal State Fullerton junior Lauren Lupinetti and her old team. Lupinetti played her freshman season at St. John's in 2006 before returning home to California (Lupinetti is originally from Long Beach, Calif.) to play for the Titans in 2007.
TOUGH STRETCH: Six of Fullerton's last nine games have come against opponents ranked in the top 25 nationally and the slate doesn't get any easier this weekend with three more foes either ranked or receiving votes entering the week.
SHOPPING AT THE GAP: Cal State Fullerton's 31 doubles this season are almost twice as many as second-place UC Davis in the Big West Conference statistical standings, as the Aggies have split the outfielders for 18 two-baggers in 2008. Almost one-third of the Titans' 104 hits this season have been doubles while almost 40 percent of Fullerton's hit total have gone for extra bases.
MORE DOUBLES TROUBLE: Individually, five of the top nine doubles hitters in the Big West entering this week's games are Cal State Fullerton players: Jessica Doucette (t1st), Kiki Munoz (3rd), Katie Gollhardt (t4th), Torrie Anderson (t4th), and Lauren Lupinetti (t6th).
DOUCETTE IN THE CIRCLE: Senior right-hander Jessica Doucette struck out a career-high 10 batters in her team's tournament finale against Long Island, marking the fourth time in six starts that she has struck out at least eight batters.
DOUCETTE AT THE PLATE: Fullerton's dynamic lead-off threat also holds the team's longest hitting streak of the year at six games (and counting). Doucette is hitting .375 (9-for-24) during her current streak with three runs scores and six RBI. She has a hit in 10 of the team's 13 games, including a 3-for-4 day against Santa Clara on Feb. 10 at Anderson Family Field.
ANDERSON GETTING IT DONE: Freshman outfielder Torrie Anderson has had a solid start to her rookie season, standing second on the team (and eighth in the Big West this week) with a .364 average while co-leading the team with a pair of home runs and leading the Titans with 10 RBI. Seven of her 12 hits this season have gone for extra bases as she also ranks third in the league in slugging (.697).
I GLOVE YOU MAN: Cal State Fullerton's defense stands atop the Big West Conference with a .977 fielding percentage, committing only nine errors in 388 chances thus far this season and turning five double plays.
CAN I GET A PITCH?: Freshman K.C. Craddick made her Division I debut this past weekend in Palm Springs, but you may not have noticed it if you just glanced at the stat sheet. A disciplined Craddick walked in both of her plate appearances against nationally-ranked Ohio State and LSU, trying to help spark late rallies as a pinch-hitter.
CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL: After hitting just one home run in their first seven games, the Titans' bats recharged their batteries in the desert, slugging six home runs in five games at the Palm Springs Classic - including a pair by junior infielder Courtney Martinez.
QUICK STARTS: Fullerton's offense has broken through on the scoreboard first in nine of the team's first 13 games this season, including scoring in the first inning six times. The Titans have outscored the opposition 24-5 in the first two innings and 68-48 overall this season.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Kiki Munoz leads the team with three game-winning RBI this season while five different players have come around to score the winning run in the Titans' six wins this season.
PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Senior Kiki Munoz, the team's leading hitter a season ago with a .339 average, has continued to power the Fullerton offense as she leads the team (and ranks sixth in the Big West) with a .378 average to start the 2008 season. She stands tied for second on the team with four multi-hit games this season and shares the lead with teammate Torrie Anderson with three multi-RBI games.
DO RUN, RUN, RUN: Senior Katie Gollhardt and junior Courtney Martinez have done well to put the Titans on the scoreboard when they get on base, sharing the Big West Conference lead with 11 runs scored apiece along with two other players.
THERE'S NO TYING IN SOFTBALL: Well, apparently, there is. Cal State Fullerton and Texas battled to a 4-4 tie in the second game of an inpromptu doubleheader with the Longhorns at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational as the Titans had to leave early in order to catch their flight. It was only the fifth tie in the history of the program and the first since April 8, 1991 - a 3-3, 16-inning battle at UNLV.
BALANCED: Cal State Fullerton's offense has shown it can hurt you no matter who's at the plate as all 10 batters with plate appearances this season have driven in runs, led by 10 RBI from Torrie Anderson and nine from Lauren Lupinetti. Not to be outdone, 10 players have also scored runs this season - eight of those with five or more runs scored.
TITANS DEBUT IN TOP 25: The Titans began the season ranked in the preseason coaches polls for the first time since 2004 following a season that saw them post a 41-15 overall record and a 20-1 mark in league play en route to their 22nd postseason appearance.
TITANS PICKED SECOND IN BIG WEST: The Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference according to a vote of the league's coaches. The Titans, who received 55 points overall, were edged out of the top spot by defending league champion Cal Poly (56 points) despite receiving three first place votes to the Mustangs' two. Long Beach State was picked third with 52 points in a tightly-contested race for the No. 1 spot and matched Cal Poly with two first-place votes. Pacific was fourth with 33 points followed by Cal State Northridge with 32 points (one first-place vote), UC Davis with 28 points, UC Santa Barbara with 20, and UC Riverside with 12.
UPSET: Cal State Fullerton's win over No. 5 Oklahoma marked the highest-ranked opponent that the Titans have defeated since they handed No. 3-ranked UCLA a 4-3 loss on Feb. 5, 2005.
FROSH FIRSTS: Freshmen Ari Cervantes (vs. Santa Clara) and Torrie Anderson (vs. Nevada) each logged their first career hits on the weekend while each drove in a pair of runs against No. 5 Oklahoma during a huge 10-run second inning. Cervantes also made her first career start in the circle versus the Wolf Pack, allowing three runs on three hits in four innings while earning a no decision.