July 19, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -- - Coming off the first-ever losing season in the history of the program, the 2005 Cal State Fullerton softball team had something to prove - that the largest roster in eight years, largely comprised of newcomers, could restore the pride and tradition that fans have come to expect from Cal State Fullerton softball.
Tremendous depth (19 players) and youth (12 underclassmen) did just that, propelling the Titans to a 31-20 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in 26 seasons, taking defending national champion and eventual national runners-up UCLA to the final day of regional play before falling.
Fullerton, picked by Big West Conference coaches to finish fifth in the league, finished conference play with a 14-7 mark for a third-place finish, one game back of second place Cal Poly.
Standing at the .500 mark (19-19 overall, 8-7 in the Big West) with three weekends left in the regular season, the Titans made their postseason charge. Fullerton swept a three-game series on the road at UC Davis to close out the month of April before returning to the Titan Softball Complex to post sweeps of Pacific and Cal State Northridge and nail down a tournament berth.
Despite their hot finish, the Titans were seeded No. 3 at a four-team NCAA Regional hosted by UCLA, paired up against No. 2 UNLV in the tournament's opening game.
Powered by Ashley Van Boxmeer's two home runs, the Titans hung on to beat the Rebels, 5-4, and advanced to meet top-seeded UCLA.
The long-time Southern California rivals battled through 10 scoreless innings before the Bruins broke through on a home run by Jodie Legaspi.
That, however, would not be the end of the Titans' season as Fullerton loaded the bases and tied the score in the bottom of the 11th on a wild pitch, and scored the game-winner on Katie Gollhardt's infield single for the 2-1 victory.
Now in the driver's seat, Fullerton had to beat the Bruins only once in two games on "Championship Sunday," but it was not to be. UCLA freshman righthander Anjelica Selden combined to strikeout 22 batters on the day while holding the Titan bats to only five hits combined in two games to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals thanks to wins of 6-0 and 3-1.
Fullerton's stellar season of team accomplishments wasn't without its individual honors. Five Titans were named to All-Big West teams as senior Lindsey Bashor and sophomore Tiffany Hoff were both named to the First Team, Candice Baker and Marissa Marzan earned second-team honors, and sophomore Ashley Van Boxmeer was named to the Honorable Mention squad.
Two Titans took things one step further as Baker was named a first-team All-West Region utility player and Bashor was selected as an All-West Region outfielder.