Titans to Take Part in Long Beach State Invitational

Cal State Fullerton Softball vs. McNeese State (Feb. 11, 2013)... Photos by Matt Brown
Cal State Fullerton Softball vs. McNeese State (Feb. 11, 2013)... Photos by Matt Brown

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A LOOK AT THE WEEK:The Titans will compete in the Long Beach State Invitational this week, taking on Weber State and Virginia Tech on Thursday (Mar. 7), Charleston Southern (Mar. 8), and a doubleheader Saturday versus Utah and Idaho State (Mar. 9). Cal State Fullerton travels to Mayfield Park in Lakewood, Calif., against Weber State and Virginia Tech, but will host Charleston Southern, Utah, and Idaho State at Anderson Family Field. Fullerton went 2-3 during the Easton Invitational last weekend defeating Wisconsin and Indiana. 

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!: Mayfair Park is located at 5720 Clark Ave., in Lakewood between Candlewood and South St.

IN THE POLLS: The Hokies are ranked 23rd in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll and not ranked in the top 25 of the USA Today/National Fast Pitch Coaches Association poll. Neither the Wildcats, Buccaneers, Utes, Bengals, or Titans are ranked. 

NEW LOOK BIG WEST: The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced on Dec. 10, 2010 that Hawai'i will re-join the Big West as of July 2012. The Warriors, women's programs were previously part of the Big West from 1984-96. 

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Youtube (www.youtube.com/CSFAthletics). Also follow the softball Twitter (@CSUFsoftball).

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be provided for both games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, select Cal State Fullerton softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the audio link on the schedule page.

LOOKING AHEAD: After this weekend's tournament, Cal State Fullerton will welcome a star-studded field for the 2013 Judi Garman Classic at Anderson Family Field beginning on Wednesday (March 13) and running through Sunday (March 17). A complete schedule for the tournament is available here:https://csufullerton.prestosports.com/sports/w-softbl/2012-13/2013_Garman

ABOUT WEBER STATE: The Wildcats travel to Southern California with a 1-14 record. Weber State picked up their first win of the season last week versus Cal State Northridge 3-1 at the Eller Media Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. Desiree Mejia leads the Wildcats with a .292 average and Janel Cunningham has the only home run for the team and a team-high six RBI's. The Wildcats are batting .190 as a team. In the circle, Weber State has a 5.97 team ERA and has allowed 93 runs in 15 games so far this season. 

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies come to the Long Beach State Invitational ranked in the top 25 after starting the season 12-1. Virginia Tech currently holds a nine game winning streak and will play 10 games in California before returning to the east coast. Lauren Gaskill leads the Hokies with a .450 average and 12 stolen bases. Courtney Liddle leads the team with 12 RBI's. However, the Hokies are led by their starting pitchers. Kelly Heinz (4-0, 0.79) and Jasmin Harrell (6-0, 1.37) have combined for 88 strikeouts in 71 innings. 

ABOUT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: The Buccaneers travel to Long Beach, Calif. after losing four of their last five games. The Bucaneers defeated UNC Wilmington last week to improve to 4-11. Stephan Sbardella leads the team with a .400 average and has belted two home runs and 10 RBI's. Marci Christian and Jana Matthews have combined for five home runs and 22 RBI's this season. Charleston Southern is batting .241 as a team.  Jennifer Giles (1-9, 4.07) leads a Buccaneer's pitching staff that has allowed 92 runs in 15 games (4.30 ERA).

ABOUT UTAH: Utah enters the LBSU Invitational on a six-game winning streak since losing to Cal State Fullerton 8-0, on Feb. 16 at the Easton Desert Classic. The Utes will take on Idaho State, South Alabama, and Bethune Cookman. Kelsi Hoopiiani has three home runs and 16 RBI's on the season to lead the Utes. Utah is batting .298 and has 23 doubles as a team. Utah is led by Naomi Amu (4-2, 3.12) and Kayce Nieto (2-1, 3.32) in the circle. The Utes have a 4.07 team ERA and opponents are batting .317 against the staff. 

ABOUT IDAHO STATE: Idaho State enters the week with a 6-8 record coming off a 2-2 performance at the Santa Clara tournament. The Bengals offense is led by Vicky Galasso who has six home runs and 17 RBI's in 14 games. Amanda Fitzsimmons has crushed four homeruns and Hailey Breakwall has added three homeruns. Fitzsimmons is also 3-5 with a 4.98 ERA and four complete games. The Bengals pitching staff has a combined 5.11 ERA. 

SERIES HISTORIES: Cal State Fullerton is 4-1 all-time against Weber State and has won the last four meetings versus the Wildcats. The last time the teams met was on March 25, 1982 when Fullerton won 9-0. ...Fullerton leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech, 1-0 when they defeated the Hokies 1-0 in 2007...the Titans also lead the all-time series versus  Charleston Southern, 1-0. The teams met for the first time last year with Cal State Fullerton winning 5-0. Utah lost earlier this season to Fullerton and now trail the overall series 13-11. This weekend's matchup with Idaho State will be the first meeting between the two schools. 

CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is 47-34 (.580) all-time against the current configuration of the Pacific Coast Softball League, 16-9 (.640) versus the Atlantic Coast Conference, 2-0 against the Big South and 144-145-1 (.497) against members of the current Pac-12 Conference.

LONG BEACH STATE INVITATIONAL: This weekend will mark the fifth time in the last six seasons that the Titans will compete in their Big West rivals' tournament, going 3-1 last season with wins over Michigan State, Charleston Southern, and Utah State. Fullerton's only loss came against UNLV. 

2013 SEASON UPDATE WITH HEAD COACH KELLY FORD: Head Coach Kelly Ford updates Titan fans on how the 2013 season has gone after 19 games. 

PLAYING SPOILER: The Titans have taken down two top ten ranked opponents this season. On Feb. 26th, Fullerton defeated No. 10 11-5 at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles and defeated No. 7 Missouri 5-4 on Feb. 23, 2013 at Anderson Family Field. The last time the Titans took down a top ten team was on March 15, 2009 when they defeated the University of Washington 3-2 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. 

WINNING COMBINATION: The Titans are 5-3 when head coach Kelly Ford puts out the starting lineup of Ashley Carter cf, Ariel Tsuchiyama c, Desiree Ybarra dp, Eliza Crawford 3b, Melissa Sechrest 1b, Jasmine Antunez p, Lauren Mario 2b, Leesa Harris lf, Tiffany Sheffler rf, and Samantha Galarza as the flex/ss. The Titans have tried eleven different lineup combinations this season.

GETTIN' ON THE BOARD FIRST: When the Titans score first in a game they are 5-0 compared to 3-11 when the opposing team scores first. The Titans did not score first against Loyola Marymount and Southern Miss. 

WE NEED HITS: The Titans are batting .234 this season, but when Cal State Fullerton out-hits the opponent they are 7-0 compared to 1-10 when the opponent out-hits them. The Titans produced 13 hits against UCLA to score 11 runs at Easton Stadium on February 26. 

TAKE CARE OF THE SOFTBALL: Cal State Fullerton is 4-3 when they commit no errors in a game and 4-8 when they do commit an error. However, the Titans have had errors in the past four games, including five versus Stanford. 

CONTROLLING THE LEAD: The Titans have been perfect so far this season when leading after five innings. Fullerton is 5-0 in games they have led after five innings and a whopping 7-0 after six innings. However, they have not won a game when they are trailing after five innings. 

SHOULDERING THE LOAD: In 13 starts as a freshman, Antunez is tied for first in the Big West in appearances (16), tied for fourth in strikeouts (66), and fourth in innings pitched (62 2/3). Antunez is holding opponents to a .223 batting average this season, which ranks fourth in the Big West. 

KEEP THE STREAK ALIVE: Junior Ariel Tsuchiyama leads the team with a .326 average, 15 hits, and second on the team with 10 RBI's. Tsuchiyama snapped her streak of reaching base in the last 14 games last weekend. 

YBARRA DOES IT ALL: Sophomore Desiree Ybarra was the Titan's ace last season, but this season she has contributed not only in the circle, but at the plate as well. Ybarra in the circle is 2-4 with one save. Ybarra has closed out nine games for the Titans this season, which is second most in the Big West. Ybarra's bat has been a big addition for the Titans. The Riverside, Calif. native has a .310 average, two home runs, and 12 RBI's. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Eliza Crawford and Desiree Ybarra have combined for 11 doubles this season. Ybarra currently stands tied for third in the Big West in doubles, while Crawford is tied for fifth with five. Last weekend during the Easton Invitational, Crawford had three doubles in four games to go along with four RBI's.

SOMEONE TURNED UP THE A.C: After blasting a triple to the center field fence in game two versus McNeese State on Feb. 11, 2013, Ashley Carter moved up to fourth on the all-time list  in career triples with nine tieing Carey Hess, who played for the Titans from 1987-90.

IN THE CIRCLE: Even though the Titans are off to a 6-8 start the Titan's pitching staff ranks second in the Big West in ERA (2.78) behind Pacific's (2.48). Titan opponents are batting .260 against the staff and have held teams to under six hits five times in nine games. 

IRON WOMEN: Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has started all, but one game behind the backstop for the Titans this season, while leading the Titans with a .326 batting average as the starting catcher. 


NEW ERA: Head Coach Kelly Ford began her first stint as the head coach of Cal State Fullerton softball program on Feb. 7, 2013. Ford recorded her first win in game two versus Southern Miss, 4-2. Fordspent 11 seasons at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., recording a 455-102-1 record overall (.812 winning percentage). Prior to her time at Mt. SAC, Ford worked under former coach Michelle Gromacki as an assistant in 2000 and 2001. 

A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Fullerton finished sixth in the Big West race a season ago with a 8-13 mark in conference play to go along with a 20-31 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming nine newcomers to the fold for the 2013 season. Leading the way for returners is senior outfielder Ashley Carter, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .325 to go along with 55 hits and 27 runs scored. In the circle, sophomore Desiree Ybarra returns after earning all-conference honorable mention accolades a season ago, finishing 13-17 with a 4.66 ERA.

FIVE SIGN WITH CAL STATE FULLERTON FOR 2014: Cal State Fullerton softball Head Coach Kelly Ford announced that high school standouts  Sydney Colenzo, Megan Estacio, Olivia Martinez, Delynn Rippy, and Kayla Silverstein have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Titans beginning with the 2014 season. 

TAKING DOWN THE BRUINS: After defeating UCLA 11-5 on Feb. 26th the Titans  not only took home a victory to add to the win column, but a new record. The Titans scored the most runs against UCLA since April 25, 1989 when they scored seven runs. The 11-run tally is the most in 73 meetings between the two schools.

PLAYING JAPAN TOYOTA: The Titans played against the Japan Toyota professional softball team on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at Anderson Family Field, losing 7-1. The Titans and Japan Toyota played seven-inning exhibition contest, as Japan Toyota gets ready for their upcoming season. Team Toyota comes over to the United States annually to play collegiate and professional teams to prepare for the Japan Softball League. Team Toyota features USA Softball Olympians Monica Abbott and Natasha Watley, who have won back-to-back Japan Softball League Championships (2011 & 2012).

PRESEASON POLL: The Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish sixth in the race for the 2013 Big West Conference title according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Jan. 30, 2013. The Titans received 33 points to finish behind newcomer Hawai'i, which received four first-place votes and 76 points to top defending  champion Long Beach State (73 points).  

NOTHING BUT THE BEST: According to the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll and USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll the Titans will face eight teams ranked in the preseason top 25. 

WRATH OF THE TITANS:Among the league's top offensive teams in 2011, 2012 wasn't anything different as the Titans finished second in runs scored, second in stolen bases, and third in RBIs. The 2012 Titans finished with a .280 batting average topping 2011's .275 average. Cal State Fullerton also produced the most hits (365) in program history since 2007. 

WE'RE HONORED: Cal State Fullerton placed seven players on the 2012 Big West Conference all-league honors: Ashley Carter, Leesa HarrisNicole Johnson, Morgan LeMond, Adriana Martinez, Desiree Ybarra, and Anissa Young). Three of those all-conference honorees return for 2013: Ashley Carter, Leesa Harris, and Desiree Ybarra. 

FORD PREVIEWS 2013: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford  and Associate Head Coach Dee Dee Kingsbury sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2013 campaign. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.


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