May 17, 2007
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Cal State Fullerton softball team¹s road to Oklahoma City will be a little different this season as the Titans make their 25th postseason appearance as the No. 3 seed at the Columbus, Ohio, regional hosted by Ohio State this weekend at Buckeye Field.
After clearing up an error that orignally had Fullerton (34-20 overall, 13-5 in the Big West Conference for second place) as the No. 4 seed and meeting No. 16 national seed Virginia Tech in the opening round, the Titans were switched to the No. 3 seed on Monday (May 14) and will meet the host and second-seeded Buckeyes in Friday¹s (May 18) second game at approximately 5:30 p.m. PDT. As a result, the top-seeded Hokies will meet fourth-seeded Canisius College in the day's first game at 3 p.m. PDT.
COLUMBUS REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Game 1: \#1 Virginia Tech vs. \#4 Canisius - 2 p.m. PDT
Game 2: \#2 Ohio State vs. \#3 Cal State Fullerton - 4:30 p.m. PDT
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner - 10 a.m. PDT
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser - 12:30 p.m. PDT
Game 5: Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 loser - 3 p.m. PDT
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner - 10 a.m. PDT
Game 7, if needed: Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser - 12:30 p.m. PDT
ON THE AIR: For those fans who can¹t make the trip to Columbus, all of Cal State Fullerton¹s games from Buckeye Field will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com with softball SID Jason Spencer handling play-by-play duties. Gametracker links will be available through both Cal State Fullerton¹s website as well as Ohio State¹s website at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
IN THE POLLS: According to the recently released ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll, Virginia Tech is the highest-ranked team in the regional, standing at No. 13 nationally while Ohio State stands at No. 21 after receiving votes last week. Cal State Fullerton is receiving two votes in this week¹s poll while Canisius is unranked. According to the USA Today/NFCA poll for the week of May 7, the Hokies are ranked No. 15 and the Buckeyes are No. 25. The final regular season NFCA poll will be released on Wednesday (May 16).
LEAVIN' ON A JET PLANE: Cal State Fullerton¹s upcoming trek to Columbus will mark only the third time in 23 trips to the NCAA Tournament that the Titans will have to leave the state of California to participate in postseason regional play. Fullerton traveled to Seattle in 1999 and made its furthest trip east in 2001 during its trip to Tucson. However, after having the privilege of staying in the Southern California area for their first 15 NCAA Tournament berths, the Titans will leave the Los Angeles basin for the seventh time in their last eight postseason trips.
TITANS IN THE POSTSEASON: Cal State Fullerton is making its third consecutive NCAA regional appearance and the 23rd in 26 seasons (not counting AIAW play in 1980 and 1981). The Titans are 64-49 all-time in the postseason since the program's inception in 1980, including a 52-43 mark in NCAA competition. Fullerton is 36-33 all-time in NCAA regional play and 16-10 in the Women¹s College World Series, including the 1986 NCAA National Championship. The Titans are 11-12 in the postseason under eighth-year head coach Michelle Gromackis Fullerton has not qualified for a super regional since the current format began in 2005 and has not qualified for the Women's College World Series since 1995.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton and Virginia Tech have never met in softball... The Titans own a 15-4 mark all-time against Ohio State, including a 5-4 victory in eight innings earlier this season at Anderson Family Field... Fullerton has won the only meeting with the Griffins by a 14-0 count in five innings back in the 1998 Kia Klassic in Fullerton.
PREVIOUSLY, AT THE REGIONALS...: Cal State Fullerton went 1-2 in regional play last season in Fresno, Calif., sandwiching losses to nationally ranked Fresno State (2-0) and Stanford (4-1) around a victory over Tulsa (6-2).
AGAINST THE FIELD: Cal State Fullerton is 17-12 this season against teams in the NCAA Tournament field, including a 9-5 record against teams in its half of the bracket with wins over Pacific, Ohio State, Oregon State, Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara, and Loyola Marymount.
BIG TIME IN THE BIG WEST: Cal State Fullerton is one of five teams from the Big West Conference to make the 2007 field, joining Pacific (at Tucson regional), UC Santa Barbara (at Los Angeles regional), Cal Poly (at Provo regional), and Cal State Northridge (at Palo Alto regional). The selection of the five squads by the committee extends the conference streak of multiple bid seasons to 23 every year the Big West has sponsored the sport.
A LOOK AT THE BUCKEYES: Ohio State, the 2007 Big Ten Conference regular season and tournament champions, enter the postseason on a five-game winning streak after sweeping through the conference tournament by outscoring the opposition 22-4, including a walk-off win over Northwestern in the title game... The Buckeyes are 38-16 overall this season and the host role may serve them well as they have not lost at Buckeye Field this season (19-0)... The top offensive team in the regional, Ohio State is hitting .297 as a team, including five players at .300 or higher... Sam Marder leads the way with a .378 average to go with team-high's in home runs (10), RBI (48), and walks (42)... Jamee Juarez leads the way in the circle with a 20-8 overall record and a 1.50 ERA, posting eight shutouts and 224 strikeouts in 173 innings... she has held opponents to a .210 average this season... Kim Reeder has split time with Juarez in the circle as she has posted a 16-7 overall record and a 2.57 ERA, striking out 131 and holding opponents to a .216 batting average.
A LOOK AT THE HOKIES: Virginia Tech enters postseason play with a 48-14 overall record and are both the regular season and tournament champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Hokies have won six straight contests dating back to a 9-1, five-inning loss to Boston College in late April. Virginia Tech swept through the ACC Tournament, outscoring opponents 13-1 in four contests. The Hokies are hitting .273 as a team and are led offensively by Caroline Stolle and Callie Rhodes, who are each hitting above the .300 mark at .330 and .320, respectively. Stolle also leads the team with 10 home runs and 46 RBI and is one of five regulars to have appeared in all 62 games. Virginia Tech¹s strength in the circle comes on the arm of ACC Tournament MVP and finalist for National Player of the Year Angela Tincher, who is 37-5 overall with a 0.55 ERA. In 46 appearances, she has struck out 581 batters in just under 292 innings, holding opponents to a .103 batting average and posting 22 shutouts. Heather Lowry (9-7, 2.47) has also seen time in the circle.
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Canisius College, the 2007 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions, enter the postseason with a 27-19 overall record and riding a seven-game winning streak. As a team, the Golden Griffins are hitting .262 collectively and are led by a pair of .300 hitters in Katie Miranto and Jenny Maheu... Miranto is hitting a team-best .378 with a team-high seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 44 runs scored... Maheu is right behind her teammate, hitting .370 on the year with 29 runs scored three home runs and 20 RBIs In the circle, Courtney Piar and Lindsay Garbacz have split the majority of the times Piar, the MAAC Pitcher of the Year, posted an 11-5 overall record with a 1.61 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 117.1 innings pitched while holding the opposition to a .194 batting average... Garbacz is 10-6 overall with a 2.06 ERA and a .186 average against and 97 strikeouts in 98.1 innings along with teammates Juliette Bowers and Mallory Aldred, the Golden Griffins have combined to hold opponents to a .194 average this season.