Three Ranked Foes on Deck for Softball

March 11, 2008

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FULLERTON, CA - A big weekend on the diamond for the Cal State Fullerton softball team (12-10-1 overall) kicks off on Wednesday as the Titans take on a traditional foe in a mid-week game before heading south for the San Diego Classic II hosted by San Diego State and the University of San Diego. The Titans open the week against No. 3 UCLA on March 12 at 2 p.m. at Easton Stadium to kick off a stretch that sees them face three nationally-ranked foes in their next five games. Fullerton then heads to the campus of San Diego State where it will meet Iowa State and the host Aztecs on Friday (March 14) before taking on Utah and Texas A&M on Saturday (March 15) to close out its stay in "America's Finest City."

CAN'T MAKE IT?: Gametracker livestats will be available for Wednesday's game at UCLA via www.UCLABruins.com and for this weekend's tournament in San Diego by visiting SDSU's athletics website at www.GoAztecs.com.

IN THE POLLS: With a down 1-3 record over the last week, Cal State Fullerton has fallen out of both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches polls entering this week's games... UCLA is ranked as high as No. 2 in the USA Softball poll and No. 3 by the NFCA... Texas A&M is the unanimous No. 5 team in the country while San Diego State is ranked No. 25 by the NFCA and tied for No. 23 in the USA Softball poll... Iowa State and Utah are unranked.

SERIES RECORDS: UCLA leads the all-time series, 35-31-1, and has won four straight from Cal State Fullerton dating back to a Titans 2-1 victory over the Bruins in 11 innings at the 2005 NCAA Regionals at Easton Stadium... Fullerton is 11-16-1 all-time on UCLA's home field, losing the last three... the Bruins defeated the Titans, 8-1, at Anderson Family Field in the only meeting between the two last season... Fullerton is 2-2 against Iowa State, but the two haven't met since the 2003 season (a 1-0 loss)... The Titans are 45-11 against San Diego State, but has lost three of the last five dating back to 2005... Fullerton is 12-8 against Utah, defeating the Utes, 5-2, last season... The Titans are 20-15 against Texas A&M, winning the last two meetings.

A LOOK AT THE BRUINS: UCLA enters the weekend with a 25-2 overall record, having won its last 19 straight dating back to the second weekend of the season... The Bruins posted a perfect 5-0 record at the Long Beach Invitational last weekend in Lakewood, defeating Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Northwesterm, and the host 49ers... GiOnna DiSalvatore leads UCLA in hitting at .429 to go with a pair of home runs and 30 RBI... Six regulars are batting better than .320, helping the Bruins to a .339 average as a team... Freshman Donna Kerr (9-1, 0.61), sophomore Megan Langenfeld (4-0, 0.65), and senior Anjelica Selden (12-1, 0.80) have all been stellar in the circle for UCLA, holding opponents to just 38 runs and a .140 batting average.

A LOOK AT THE CYCLONES: Iowa State enters the week with an 18-4 overall record, winning six of its last seven contests... The Cyclones posted a 4-1 record at last weekend's Shocker Invitational hosted by Wichita State... ISU is led at the plate by Courtney Wray, who is hitting .426 with 14 RBI... Ariel Coburn, one of four players hitting better than .300, is batting .406 on the year with a team-high six home runs and 19 RBI... Rachel Zabriskie (8-1, 1.38) and Charissa Carlin (7-3, 2.58) have seen the majority of the action while Amie Ford (3-0, 1.63) has also appeared in 10 games.

A LOOK AT THE AZTECS: San Diego State enters the weekend with a 19-8 overall record after going 2-3 at the Diamond Devil Invitational hosted by Arizona State last weekend... This week's tournament hosts are 11-1 on their home turf this season... Tamani Wells leads the team in hitting at .369 while Erin Floros has driven in a team-best 23 runs... Christina Ross (11-7, 0.96) has seen the majority of time in the circle for the Aztecs, striking out 98 and holding opponents to a .200 average.

A LOOK AT THE UTES: Utah enters the week with a 10-10 overall record and meet Southern Utah in a doubleheader on Tuesday (March 11) before the Utes head to San Diego... Utah has lost seven straight heading into its doubleheader with the Thunderbirds after opening the year with wins in seven of its first 10... Angie Boardman leads the team offensively, batting .356 with 11 RBI... Kara Foster supplies the power, batting .345 with eight home runs and 12 RBI... Ashley Smuda (7-5, 2.67), Brittany Parker (3-5, 2.54), and Haili Squire (0-0, 1.24) have all seen action in the circle.

A LOOK AT THE AGGIES: Texas A&M enters the weekend with a 25-4 overall record, having its four-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette, but the Aggies have won 17 of their last 19... Dual threat Megan Gibson is hitting .342 with seven home runs and 26 RBI while also posting a 14-0 record with a 0.85 ERA and 91 strikeouts in the circle... Amanda Scarborough is hitting a team-high .447 as one of four Aggies hitting better than .300 on the year.

IN A POSITION TO WIN: Junior Courtney Martinez has been in the right place at the right time, notching her team-best fifth game-winning run last week in the Titans' victory over Rutgers at the Long Beach Invitational.

AND "C" MAKES 12: Senior Crystal Vieyra finally broke on to the stat sheet last weekend in Lakewood, logging her first hit of the year in the Titans' 10-1 win over Rutgers. Vieyra had missed 15 straight games after suffering an injury in the team's regular season opener against Santa Clara.

HITS = WINS: We're no math majors, but it seems like a simple equation. The Titans are an impressive 11-1 this season when they outhit their opponents, winning 10 straight since a 5-4 loss to Nevada that saw Cal State Fullerton outhit the Wolf Pack, 11-6.

CIRCLE OF TRUST: Senior right-hander Jessica Doucette has found her stride in the circle, posting a perfect 4-0 record in her last four starts to go with a 1.56 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 27 innings combined. She has gotten plenty of run-support in those games, as the Titans have outscored their opponents by a 28-6 margin. Offensively, Doucette has also helped out her own cause, hitting .400 (6-for-15) in those four starts to go with two home runs, four runs scored, and three RBI from the leadoff spot.

TOUGH LUCK: Cal State Fullerton freshman Christine Hiner has been on the wrong end of some tough losses as of late. The rookie righthander has allowed only one earned run in her last four starts, but has only a 1-3 record to show for it. That span has included losses on unearned runs to nationally-ranked Florida (2-0) and No. 8 Northwestern (3-0) and has also seen a three-hit 1-0 win over Notre Dame and a two-hitter against the Fighting Irish in a 1-0 loss. Hiner has a 0.26 ERA in those four starts, striking out 22 in 27 innings, and holding opponents to a .196 batting average.

UNDER PRESSURE: Hiner has been thrown into the fire against some of the nation's best teams this season as six of the freshman's 12 starts have come against teams ranked in the top 25 (with another appearance in relief against then-No. 12 Michigan).

SPREADING THE WEALTH: A diverse Fullerton offense has seen five different Titans drive in 10 or more runs thus far this season, giving oppponents fits trying to decide who is the most dangerous hitter in Cal State Fullerton's lineup. Senior Kiki Munoz is the only Titan among the Big West leaders entering this week as she is tied for 10th with 12 RBI this season.

DO RUN, RUN, RUN: They do run, run. Just as in the RBI category, if they aren't driving them in, they're scoring the runs as five Titans have scored 10-or-more runs this season. Of those five, only Munoz (12 RBI, 10 runs) and freshman Torrie Anderson (10 RBI, 11 runs) have reached double digits in both categories. Senior Katie Gollhardt

SHOPPING AT THE GAP: Cal State Fullerton's 41 doubles this season paces the Big West Conference and lead second place Long Beach State by eight two-baggers this season. One-quarter of the Titans' 164 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 10 doubles hitters in the Big West entering this week's games are Cal State Fullerton players: Kiki Munoz (t2nd), Jessica Doucette (t4th), Katie Gollhardt (t4th), Torrie Anderson (t7th), and Lauren Lupinetti (t7th).

OFFENSE REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS: The 10 runs on Saturday against Rutgers marked the third time this season that the Titans have reached double figures in runs scored while the 12 hits was the sixth time Fullerton banged out double digits in hits.

YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARD... YES!: Fullerton's offense has broken through on the scoreboard first in 13 of the team's first 23 games this season, including scoring in the first inning eight times. The Titans have outscored the opposition 29-6 in the first two innings and 102-71 overall this season.