Titans Close Out Regular Season Traveling to Northridge

Titans Close Out Regular Season Traveling to Northridge

Cal State Fullerton (30-21-1, 10-8) at Cal State Northridge (31-23, 8-10)
Friday, May 9, 2014 | 12/2:00 PM (DH)
Saturday, May 10, 2014 | 12:00 PM 
Northridge, Calif. • Matador Diamond

Game Coverage:
 Live Stats | Audio | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | CSUN Release Adobe PDF icon           

Streaming Audio: www.FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at www.Fullertontitans.com

FULLERTON, Calif. - 
The Cal State Fullerton softball will close out the regular season traveling to Northridge, Calif., for a three-game set at Cal State Northridge. The Titans and Matadors will compete in a doubleheader on Friday, May 9 at noon and 2 p.m., while wrapping up the final game of the season for both squads with a single game on Saturday, May 10 at noon.

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 all games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule page then click live stats.

Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. The Titans also offer live streaming video for home softball contests over the Internet courtesy of the Big West  TV. Fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. To access the links, click on the audio or live video link on the schedule page. 


IN THE POLLS: In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches and USA Today/NFCA Coaches polls, neither the Titans or Matadors are currently ranked. 


SIZING UP IN THE RPI: Currently 30-21-1 overall and in fourth place in the Big West (10-8), the Titans are the conference's third-highest rated team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at No. 60. RPI measures a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Fullerton has played against three teams currently ranked in the top-10 and against eight teams in the top-25.


FEB. 7 No. 2 Oklahoma Fullerton, Calif. W, 3-1
FEB. 15 No. 23 California San Diego, Calif. L, 4-5
FEB. 21 No. 15 Baylor Palm Springs, Calif. W, 6-1
FEB. 21  No. 23 LSU Palm Springs, Calif. L, 1-8
FEB. 22 No. 24 Notre Dame Palm Springs, Calif. L, 0-8
FEB. 25  No. 2 Tennessee Fullerton, Calif. L, 4-8
MAR. 8 No. 14 Nebraska Fullerton, Calif. L, 2-9
MAR. 8  No. 7 Arizona Fullerton, Calif. L, 0-15
APR. 10 No. 2 UCLA Fullerton, Calif. L, 2-5 

*Ranking when game occurred


SERIES HISTORY: Fullerton boasts an overall advantage of 64-36-1 over Cal State Northridge while holding a more narrow 33-20 record in Big West play. The Titans are 3-2 over the last five series with a daunting scoring advantage of 32-10 over those 15 games. In Northridge, Calif., the Titans are 10-5 over the past 15 contests, winners of four of five series. Overall, Fullerton has a 23-16-1 edge when playing the Matadors on the road. 


ABOUT CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Matadors have chalked up a season record of 31-23, while spliting the last 10 games, and posting a 5-5 record. CSUN is fresh off of a series victory at Hawai'i, capturing wins of 11-6 and 5-0, before dropping the series finale 7-3 to the Rainbow Wahine. The Matadors are currently sixth in the conference standings, five games behind first place teams Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara, respectively, while trailing the fourth place Titans by two games. CSUN posts a home record of 14-9, notching six more wins within the confines of Matador Diamond.  

Junior Brianna Elder leads the CSUN piching staff, notching two wins and her fifth shutout of the season in the series victory at Hawai'i. The native from Concord, Calif., clinched her third Big West Pitcher of the Week award this year after going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA as the Matadors took the season series with UC Riverside. For the season, Elder is 22-11 with a 2.25 ERA, while striking out a whopping 132 batters over 186 and 2/3 innings of work. Elder has started 32 games and gone the distance in 18 of those contests while even picking up three saves.


AT THE PLATE WITH THE MATADORS: Freshman Taylor Glover heads the offensive attack for the Matadors, posting a .375 batting avg., while chipping in 66 hits and six home runs. The native from Los Angeles, Calif., has 48 RBIs, scored 39 runs and manufactured eight doubles and six triples. The one-woman wrecking crew was named one of 25 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Freshman of the Year award, also swiping 18 bases and drawing 15 walks on the season. 


FAREWELL SENIORS: Five Titans will take part in their final games of their respective careers. In recognition of their dedication and hardwork as a Titan, listed below are some of Fullerton's senior accolades and accomplishments over their special careers:

 Rubio is in her fourth consecutive season as a Titan, and is one of only six players in the Big West to post a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage both in 2014 and in all of 2013. She concludes her career with 51 runs scored while swiping 22 bases. Jena poured in a career-high three RBIs while launching one of two career home runs in a game against UC Santa Barbara in 2012. 

 Mario has played in 153 games over her four-year career, recording at least 10 RBIs in three of those seasons. She showcased her power when belting two home runs, producing four RBIs and collecting eight total bases, all career-highs against Charleston Southern in 2013. Lauren also used her senior year to post a career-high eight-game hitting streak while manufacturing five multi-RBI contests. 

 Harris is on pace to start at least 50 games in each of the past three seasons while posting a career batting average of over .300. During a 12-4 rout over UNLV earlier this season, Leesa struck for four hits en route to driving in five runs, both career-highs and one of only two Titans to manufacture a four-hit game this year. Making a living on the base paths, Leesa is currently fifth all-time in program history with 36 stolen bases. 

 Tsuchiyama is a four-year starter behind the backstop, and during her career at Fullerton has started in a whopping 195 of 197 games. She will conclude her career in the top-10 in fielding percentage all-time, while garnering All-Big West second team honors as a catcher, twice in her career in 2011 and most recently in 2013. Ariel extended her career-high hitting streak to nine games earlier this year, while on pace to set career-highs in hits, home runs, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage. 

 Aragon has used her senior year to eclipse career-highs in runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs. She was named to the All-Big West second team twice over a career, in 2010 and 2013. During a 9-2 victory over Fresno State earlier this season, Gabby unleashed a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scoring one run while knocking in a career-high five RBIs. Gabby has started 131 games over her career while scattering 89 hits over that span. 


TAUKEIAHO CLIMBING THE LADDER: Sophomore Missy Taukeiaho blasted her league-high 17th round-tripper of the season with a three-run shot against UC Davis last weekend. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native is currently No. 2 on the Fullerton all-time list for most home runs in a single season. Taukeiaho still has plenty of work to do because headlining the category is Stephanie Little, who launched 23 long balls during the 1999 campaign. Batting from the right-side, she also leads the Big West in slugging pct. (.834), on-base pct. (.547), runs scored (57), doubles (13), total bases (131), and walks (39).   

In 2014, Cal State Fullerton is second in the Big West with 54 home runs. Heading the long ball attack is Missy Taukeiaho with a league-high 17 home runs, followed by Eliza Crawford who has gone yard 11 times. Fullerton trails Hawai'i (56), and is followed by Long Beach State (46) for overall home run totals.   

Sophomore Samantha Galarza chipped in a  4-for-11 (.364) effort while driving in two this past weekend against UC Davis. The right-hander raised her batting average to .314, manufacturing 49 hits, scoring 21 runs and collecting 69 total bases. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 2013-14 Softball Team last week. Hoisting a 3.95 GPA, the communications major has been named a Dean's Scholar, a President's Scholar and has earned Dean's List honors every semester at Cal State Fullerton. Galarza was a recipient of the CSF Big West Sportsmanship Award and Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013.


GETTING ON AND COMING HOME: Fullerton has pushed across 277 runs across this season, good for second in the Big West. The Titans trail Long Beach State (288) for the conference lead. To compliment the runs, CSF posts a league-high on base pct. of .385 while being second in in total bases with a whopping 649 on the season. 

Leesa Harris is second in the league with five triples on the year. The Los Angeles, Calif., native has also recorded four doubles, 32 runs scored and seven stolen bases in nine attempts. Making a living on the base paths, Harris is currently fifth all-time in program history with 36 stolen bases. 


TAKE THE RAKE OUT: The Titans are second in the Big West in batting avg., with a team clip of (.299). It is the highest average by a Titan team since the 2000 and 2001 squads batted .304 and .298, respectively. Four Fullerton starters post averages above that mark: Missy Taukeiaho (.427), Leesa Harris (.369), Ariel Tsuchiyama (.333), and Samantha Galarza (.314). 


THE SACRIFICE OF A SENIOR: Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama sacrifices her body everyday while playing behind the backstop defensively, but her unselfishness at the plate is something that shines as well. The La Habra, Calif., native leads the Big West with 17 combined sacrifice hits between bunts and fly balls. Her execution to move a runner over or drive a teammate in has translated into a .333 batting avg., while smacking 50 hits and 11 doubles. 


THIEVES ON THE BASE PATHS: The Titans have used their speed to challenge opposing catchers stealing at least one base in five out of the past 10 contests. There have been 13 different Titans who have been successful at stealing a bag, led by Missy Taukeiaho with eight, Leesa Harris with seven and Jena Rubio with six. 


COMING ALIVE IN THE THIRD: Over the season, the Titans own a commanding 68-28 scoring edge in the third inning. The offensive outburst has resulted in a 23-3 record when Fullerton is leading after that very frame. This is in contrast to the fifth inning in which Fullerton is outscored 44-29, the only frame that the Titans surrender a scoring advantage in favor of the combined opponents.  


GOOD EYE, GOOD EYE: Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in drawing base on balls with 161 as a team, 15 more than the nearest competitor Hawai'i with 146. Four Titans have eclipsed 15 walks or more, Missy Taukeiaho leads the league with 39, followed by Crawford with 22, while Ariel Tsuchiyama and Gabby Aragon have drawn 15 free passes each, respectively. 

DRIVING WITH THE CLUTCH IN: Nine different Titans have drove in a game-winning RBI to create a lead that was never surrendered by Fullerton. Gabby Aragon leads the team with eight game-winning RBI hits, followed closely by Missy Taukeiaho with seven. Eliza Crawford (5), Sam Galarza (2) and Melissa Sechrest (2) round out the top-five contributors. Amongst the 26 hits in total, 10 of those are via the long ball. 


DOING IT IN BUNCHES: Five Titans have recorded a multiple-hit 10 times or more this season: Taukeiaho (19), Ariel Tsuchiyama (13), Samantha Galarza (13), Leesa Harris (12), and Gabby Aragon (11). Two out of the five athletes have raked in four-hit games, one apiece by Taukeiaho and Harris, respectively. 


GRAND SLAM BREAKFAST: Fullerton opened up conference play with two victories against UC Santa Barbara including an 11-7 come-from-behind thriller in the Titans annual Pink Day game on Mar. 30. Taukeiaho blasted a grand slam in the third inning to erase a five-run lead while Galarza launched another four-bagger to break a 7-7 tie to stun the Gauchos and capture the series. The slugfest remarkably produced three total grand slams as UCSB accounted for another. 


MILESTONES: After capturing a total of 500 wins as a Head Coach between Mt. SAC JC and Cal State Fullerton earlier this year, Kelly Ford chalked up another milestone in Hawaii. The Portland, Ore., native captured her 50th win at the Division I level when Cal State Fullerton defeated Hawai'i, 5-3, on Apr. 4 in Honolulu, Hawaii. 


WE'VE GOT OUR HANDS TIED: Due to darkness and the lack of lights at Bakersfield on Mar. 26, the Titans and Roadrunners finished the game in a 10-10 tie. This was the first decision of this type for the Titans since Feb. 17 of 2008 when Cal State Fullerton and the Texas Longhorns ended in a 4-4 tie.


AT THE BREAK WITH HEAD COACH KELLY FORD: FullertonTitans.com sat down with Titans softball Head Coach Kelly Ford to look back on the first 38 games into the season and aspirations on upcoming Big West play heading into a possible postseason run.

: The Titans were picked to finish third in the Big West Conference in 2014 as selected by the eight head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Defending conference champion Hawai'i, collected four first place votes and 59 points overall and are favored to repeat after making a big splash in 2013 by capturing the crown in their return to the Big West after a 16 season hiatus. Runner-up in the polls was Long Beach State who garnered three first place votes and 55 overall. UC Santa Barbara was fourth in the polls with 40 points, while UC Davis rounded out the top five at 30 points:


1. Hawai'i (4), 59       
2. Long Beach State (3), 55   
3. Cal State Fullerton (1), 46       
4. UC Santa Barbara, 40   
5. UC Davis, 30
6. Cal Poly, 25
7. Cal State Northridge, 24
8. UC Riverside, 9

: Fullerton finished third in the Big West race a season ago with a 13-11 mark in conference play to go along with a 28-28 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming 18 newcomers to the fold for the 2014 season. Leading the way for returners is senior catcher Tsuchiyama, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .323 to go along with 50 hits and 25 runs batted in. In the circle, sophomore Antunez returns after earning the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors a season ago, finishing 18-14 with a 2.58 ERA, 174 strikeouts and even a no-hitter on her resume vs. UNLV.

: Although the 2014 Titans return dynamic seniors Jena Rubio, Leesa Harris, Gabby Aragon, Lauren Mario and Ariel Tsuchiyama, there are plenty of young talent on this seasons roster. Coach Kelly Ford's team consists of eight freshmen, six of which are position players and the remaining two on the pitching staff. Freshman Christina Washington is looking to have a promising season pitching in the circle, alongside now sophomore Jasmine Antunez who had similar expectations one year ago. Three Titans have transferred to the 2014 team, one being to watch is University of Washington transfer Taukeiaho. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native is looking to make an immediate impact to the offensive potency of the 2014 Titans.


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