March 23, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
FIRST PITCH: Following a solid showing at its showcase event last week, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (5-24 overall) will host what is essentially 1 1/2 games at Anderson Family Field on Tuesday night (March 23) in a very light week of non-conference action. The Titans open the day with a complete game against DePaul at 6 p.m., then they will take a trip in the "way back" machine to continue their halted game against Oregon State from March 7 at the DeMarini Invitational.
CAN'T MAKE THE GAMES?: Live in-game statistics via CBS College Sports' Gametracker will be available for both contests on Tuesday night from Anderson Family Field. Fans can access the links from the softball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com. Live audio will also be available for both contests as veteran Cal State Fullerton broadcaster Mike Martinez will provide the play-by-play from Fullerton. Links to the free audio are available by clicking on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of FullertonTitans.com.
I SEE YOU!: Live video via the BigWestTV platform will be available for Tuesday's game against DePaul only. Please visit www.BigWest.org/TV for more information.
IN THE POLLS: DePaul enters the week receiving six votes according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches top 25. Cal State Fullerton and Oregon State are unranked.
ABOUT THE BLUE DEMONS: DePaul enters the weekend with a 13-11 overall record after finishing 2-3 at last week's Judi Garman Classic... the Blue Demons posted victories over No. 1-ranked Washington and Fresno State while falling to No. 7 Arizona State, No. 4 Michigan, and UNLV... Alex Morocco leads the team offensively, batting .316 with 10 runs and four RBI... Tara Voss is also batting better than .300 on the season, hitting .311 with 14 runs scored, four home runs, and 11 RBI... Brittney Yniguez, who is hitting .225 overall this season, led the Blue Demons at the Judi Garman Classic, batting .455 (5-for-11) with a home run and three RBI... Becca Heteniak is the ace in the circle for DePaul, posting a 7-8 record with a 2.10 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 90 innings... she has held opponents to a .197 average on the year while the entire staff has stymied opponents to the tune of a .213 average in 24 games this season... Heteniak was 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in tournament play.
ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State enters Tuesday night's "half-game" with an 12-14 overall record after posting a 2-3 mark at the San Diego State Aztec Invite last weekend, posting wins over Illinois-Chicago and San Diego while falling to Long Beach State, Massachusetts, and San Diego State... OSU has played only two other games since being rained out in Fullerton at the DeMarini Invitational, posting wins over Boise State (4-0) and North Dakota (11-3) at home as part of the Cascade Clash on March 12-13... the Beavers, who are hitting .304 as a team, are led at the plate by Paige Hall's .443 average, 10 runs scored, and 11 RBI... four other regulars are hitting better than .300 on the year with Audrey Roderfeld's eight home runs and seven more from Mary Claire Brenner providing the punch... Hall has seen the majority of time in the circle, posting an 8-11 overall record and a 3.44 ERA.
SERIES RECORDS: DePaul leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton by a 5-2 count, winning the last three straight in the series with the Titans... the Blue Demons hung on for a 5-4 win at the Judi Garman Classic last season and edged Fullerton in eight innings, 9-6, in 2007... all seven meetings in the series have been played on the Titans' home field... Fullerton is 9-7 all-time against Oregon State with the Beavers winning the last meeting between the two teams, 6-2, at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas last season... the Titans are 7-3 against OSU on their home field in the series.
BACK IN TIME: To refresh everyone's memory, Oregon State leads Cal State Fullerton, 4-2, with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Titans have pinch-runner Sammie Dabbs on second base with K.C. Craddick at the plate. Paige Hall (Oregon State) and Ari Cervantes (Cal State Fullerton) are in the circle for their respective teams. The Beavers struck first in the top of the first on a two-out, two-run home run by Audrey Roderfeld scored Lea Cavestany ahead of her for the 2-0 lead. The Titans answered back in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with one out before senior Kadie Baldwin came through with a two-run single through the right side to tie the game. After both teams left runners in scoring position in the second, the Beavers regained the lead in the fourth as Dani Chisholm walked to lead-off the inning, moved to second when Tarah Black reached on an error, and both were moved into scoring position on Nikki Chandler's sacrifice. That brought up Cavestany, who lined a sharp two-run single to centerfield, scoring both runners to make it 4-2 in favor of Oregon State.
HARRISON NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton sophomore Trina Harrison was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday morning following a powerfully productive weekend at the Judi Garman Classic. Harrison finished the weekend hitting .429 (6-for-14) in the team's five games - ranking among the tournament's top 20 hitters - scoring four runs, knocking two doubles, belting a pair of home runs (tied for fifth in tournament play), and driving in 10 runs on the weekend - the latter ranking second among all players at the Judi Garman Classic. She finished 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the opener against Purdue, 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI against No. 24 Louisville, and capped the weekend off with a 4-for-4 performance with two doubles and a home run while driving in seven in the finale against No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette. In the finale against the Ragin' Cajuns, she finished just a triple short of hitting for the cycle as her double down the right field line in the sixth inning was hustled back in by the defense, stopping her at second base, just 60 feet shy. She had doubled in the first, singled in the third, and homered in the fourth to set the stage. Thanks to her big weekend, Harrison raised her batting average almost 50 points on the year and is now batting .236 while leading the team in home runs and tying for the top spot in RBI.
LUCKY SEVEN: Harrison became the first Titan to drive in seven runs in almost eight years, matching the performance of former Cal State Fullerton All-American Jodie Cox, who finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a triple, and seven RBI in a victory at Utah State on March 30, 2002. Harrison becomes the fifth Titan since 1997 to drive in as many runs, joining Cox, Yasmin Mossadeghi (vs. UNLV on 3.29.00) and Dara Marzolo (vs. Georgia State on 3.19.97) with seven RBI, while Gina Oaks drove in eight runs against Kansas on a pair of grand slams on Feb. 2, 2001. Oaks' eight RBI are the most in program history dating back to 1987 when complete season box scores are available.
TORRIE ON A TEAR: After entering last week's Judi Garman Classic with just two hits in her previous eight games (20 at bats), junior outfielder Torrie Anderson found the pitching at the tournament to her liking, finishing the week with a tournament-best .583 average (7-for-12) to go with four runs, five walks, and a pair of RBI to help lift the Titans' offense. Anderson, who also led the tournament in on-base percentage (.706) and walks, finished with hits in four of the team's five games, including multiple hits in each of the last three contests to help Fullerton to a pair of wins over nationally ranked opponents. Anderson, who entered the tournament hitting just .225, raised her batting averaged better than 50 points and is now batting a solid .277 on the year to go with six home runs and 18 RBI.
LEADING LADY: Anderson became the second Titan to lead the Judi Garman Classic tournament field in hitting in the last three years, joining teammate Sheila Holguin, who hit .692 (9-for-13) with a double, two triples and three runs scored at the 2008 event en route to NFCA National Player of the Week honors. Former Titan Samantha Dollarhide also posted a top-three finish at the 2009 tournament as a freshman, batting .538 (7-for-13) to finish third.
BALDWIN ALSO "BAT"TY: Senior Kadie Baldwin also enjoyed hitting at home last week, ranking among the tournament's top 20 hitters after batting .438 (7-for-16) with three RBI in the Titans' five games, also raising her average better than 50 points to .231 on the year. The Corona, Calif., native surpassed her hit total for all of last season with her performance last week as the seven hits gave her 18 on the season after she had just 11 as a junior in her first year at the Division I level.
JOHNSON SETTLING IN: After going without a hit for the better part of a month due to injury, sophomore Nicole Johnson is settling back into a groove at the plate, batting .400 (8-for-20) over her last seven contests with six runs scored, a pair of doubles, two triples, a home run, and three RBI. She had two hits in three straight games against Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, and Purdue and had two triples in the Titans' tournament opener against the Boilermakers last week. Johnson enters this week leading the team with a .318 average in 17 games to go with a pair of doubles, a Big West Conference-best three triples, and four RBI.
STREAK COMES TO AN END... MAYBE: Thanks to Cal State Fullerton's 3-1 upset victory over then-No. 15 Texas, the Titans ended their school record losing streak at 13 games... or not. The streak could be amended to 14 games (or ended at six) depending on the result of their March 7 contest against Oregon State that will be continued on Tuesday night. According to rule 14.31.5, "For purposes of a streak, all performances in the completion of a halted game are considered as occurring on the date when the game officially began."
PULLING RANK: Fullerton's win over then-No. 15 Texas (and, subsequently, its victory over then-No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette) marked the Titans' first win over a ranked opponent this season in 10 tries and their first since they took two-of-three from then-No. 24 Cal Poly to kick off Big West Conference play on March 28, 2009. Fullerton is 2-10 against ranked opposition this season.
TITANS BACK OVER THE "MENDOZA LINE": After banging out 12 hits against No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, Cal State Fullerton climbed back over the "Mendoza Line" for the season as the Titans are now hitting .206 as a team entering Tuesday night's contest. It's the highest average for Fullerton since game four of the year when the Titans were hitting .222 as a squad and marked the first time they have climbed above the .200 plateau since March 6 when they were hitting .201 following a loss to Indiana.
OFFENSE TURNING A CORNER?: Fullerton's push above the "Mendoza Line" was due, in large part, to the Titans' best offensive week of the season as the Titans hit .275 at the Judi Garman Classic as a team to rank eighth in the 17-team field. It was the highest weekly average for Fullerton in six weekends thus far in 2010, surpassing the .236 they hit from Feb. 24-28 against UCLA and five opponents at the Cathedral City Classic.
THERE'S NO DEFENSE FOR THAT: Powered largely by the power-hitting exploits of sophomore Trina Harrison and junior Torrie Anderson, Cal State Fullerton is back to its home-run hitting ways in 2010, entering this week leading the Big West Conference in that category with 18 on the season - four better than second-place Cal State Northridge and one of four conference teams in double digits this season. Harrison ranks second in the league individually with her seven long balls on the year, Anderson is third with her six home runs, and junior Ari Cervantes is among a group of nine players tied for seventh with two round-trippers on the season.
THIS CHICK DIGS THE LONG BALL: Anderson enters Tuesday's contest with 20 career home runs to her credit - just one shy of breaking onto the school's all-time top 10 list, rapidly closing in on Jodie Cox (2000-03), who currently stands 10th on the list with 21 career home runs during her stellar All-American career
CATCHING ON FAST: Freshman Ariel Tsuchiyama has done a bang-up job behind the plate defensively 28 games into her rookie season, posting a .992 fielding percentage (one error in 125 chances) as the Titans' starting catcher while throwing out a league-best 10 baserunners attempting to steal in 48 chances.