Titans Begin Season Hosting SoCal Tournament on Friday

A jam-packed Anderson Family Field
A jam-packed Anderson Family Field

SoCal Collegiate Challenge Schedule Adobe PDF icon
SoCal Collegiate Challenge Tournament Page 

Purdue at Cal State Fullerton 

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 | 4:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  | Purdue Release Adobe PDF icon    

Idaho St. at Cal State Fullerton 
Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 | 6:30 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | Idaho St. Release Adobe PDF icon     

Northwestern St. at Cal State Fullerton 
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 | 4:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  | Northwestern St. Release Adobe PDF icon    

Notre Dame at Cal State Fullerton 
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 | 1:30 PM
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 | 10:00 AM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: 2/7 Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  | Notre Dame Release Adobe PDF icon
Game Coverage: 2/8 Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  | Notre Dame Release Adobe PDF icon

The 36th varsity season of Cal State Fullerton softball opens this week at Anderson Family Field as the Titans co-host the SoCal Collegiate Tournament. The Titans will face Purdue at 4:00 p.m. and Idaho St. at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. and Northwestern St. at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and wrap up against Notre Dame for a second meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Fans can keep up with the latest in Cal State Fullerton athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans), Instagram (FullertonTitans) and YouTube.com (Youtube.com/CSFAthletics). In addition, the softball team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/csufsoftball), Twitter (@CSUFSoftball), and Instagram (csufsoftball) accounts.

Live stats will be provided for all games this weekend. To access live stats for the games, log onto www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats. Links are also provided above. 

Come out to Anderson Family Field on Feb. 8 as the softball team hosts Notre Dame at 10:00 a.m., followed by an autograph session which includes a free softball poster! Posters are for all fans in attendance while supplies last.   

Notre Dame is the lone Cal State Fullerton opponent that is ranked in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball (21) and the USA Today/NFCA (22) preseason polls. Neither the Bengals, Boilermakers, Demons or Titans are currently ranked in the polls. However, Cal State Fullerton is receiving votes in both polls to enter the top 25. 

Cal State Fullerton endured a challenging 2014 schedule in which the Titans jumped out to a 6-0 record, chalking up the best start for the program since the 2000 squad reeled off 11 straight wins to open the season. Tallying an overall record of 33-21-1, CSF reached the 33-win mark for the first time since 2007 and will look to build on that this season. Fullerton finished fourth in the Big West standings with a 13-11 record. The Titans will face another impressive schedule in 2015, competing against 10 of the top 25 teams ranked in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. This includes No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 Michigan.  

Cal State Fullerton head softball coach Kelly Ford sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2015 campaign. Fans can read the entire Q&A here or find it on the right ledger of the softball page under 2015 Season Preview by first visiting www.FullertonTitans.com.

Purdue finished the 2014 season with a 27-28-1 overall record after posting a 13-10 mark in league play. First baseman Ashley Burkhardt is the team's top returning offensive threat after batting .346 with a team-best 43 RBIs, 33 runs, 13 doubles and 10 home runs. In the circle, the Purdue staff combined for 281 strikeouts in 361 innings. Lilly Fecho (21-16) did the bulk of the pitching, striking out 196 batters in 223 innings, including 28 complete games. The Titans have posted a 6-3 record against the Boilermakers, but have dropped three consecutive including a pair of home losses. 

Idaho St. concluded its 2014 setting a program record with an overall record of 35-20 and 13-4 in the Big Sky Conference.  The Bengals return Big Sky Player of the Year Hailey Breakwell, who hit at a .367 clip with 40 RBIs, 39 runs, 14 doubles and nine home runs in 2014. In the circle, ISU is led by Jessica Tolmie (8-5), navigating her way to a 3.84 ERA, with a pair of complete games and 69 strikeouts over 82 innings. The Titans and Bengals have clashed only once all-time with a 5-0 decision in favor of CSF in Fullerton, Calif., in 2013.

No. 21/22 Notre Dame registered a 41-13 record with a second place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 16-5 tally. Top offensive returners include a pair of second team NFCA All-Americans in Micaela Arizmendi (.382 avg., 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 61 RBIs) and Karley Wester (.455 avg., 50 runs, 81 hits, 26 stolen bases) followed by a third team nod in Emilee Koerner (.433 avg., 65 runs, 28 doubles, 11 home runs, .825 slugging pct.). In the circle, sophomore Rachel Nasland returns after posting a 6-1 record in 47 innings, fanning 33 batters with a 2.98 ERA. The Titans have dropped three straight contests (outscored 27-0) to Notre Dame including an 8-0 defeat last season, but own an 8-6 edge in the overall series. 

The Titans have been on the losing end in both all-time match-ups with Northwestern State, 4-1 and 2-0, at neutral sites. The Demons posted a 30-22 overall record and 15-10 mark in the Southland Conference. The Demons return sophomore catcher Kellye Kincannon who tallied a .357 batting avg., 34 runs, 45 hits, 12 home runs and team-high .706 slugging pct. In the circle, the Demons will be led by a pair of right-handers in Shelby Sells (6-8 record, 5.05 ERA, six complete games, 75 strikeouts, 92 and 2/3 innings) and Baylee Gray (7-5 record, 4.54 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 81 and 1/3 innings). 

Fullerton finished fourth in the Big West race a season ago with a 13-8 mark in conference play to go along with a 33-21-1 overall record. The Titans return 12 letter winners and three pitchers while welcoming 14 newcomers (four transfers) to the fold for the 2015 campaign. 

Six Titans garnered 2014 conference honors including Missy Taukeiaho who became the 11th Titan in program history to capture Big West Player of the Year.  To cap off the season, Taukeiaho garnered third team NFCA All-American status, while recently being named on the USA Softball Top 50 "Watch List" for national player of the year consideration.

CSF's Ariel Tsuchiyama joined Taukeiaho on the All-Big West First Team followed by Leesa Harris and Samantha Galarza on the second team, Eliza Crawford as an honorable mention, and Christina Washington on the conference's inaugural All-Freshman Team. A quartet of all-conference honorees return for the 2015 campaign in Crawford, Galarza, Taukeiaho, and Washington. 

Left-handed sophomore Christina Washington proved to be a key force for the Titans in the circle, pioneering the pitching staff with a 12-6 record and team-best 3.56 ERA. The Inglewood, Calif., native fanned 55 batters over 131 and 2/3 innings. Riddled with injury last season, Fullerton looks for 2013 Big West Freshman of the Year Jasmine Antunez (10-9 record, 4.05 ERA, four complete games, team-high 91 strikeouts, 109 innings, team-low .255 batting avg. against opponents) and 2013 NFCA All-West Region Desiree Ybarra (4-0 record, 0.61 ERA, 23 innings, 11 strikeouts) to support a much healthier pitching staff heading into the 2015 campaign.   

The Titans were picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in 2015 as selected by the eight head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Cal State Fullerton received three first-place votes and 56 points overall. Long Beach State is the favorite to repeat as Big West Softball champions as the 49ers secured four first-place votes and 59 points for the top nod this season. Cal Poly garnered the remaining first-place vote and collected 50 points for third place.

1. Long Beach State (4) - 59       
2. Cal State Fullerton (3) - 56   
3. Cal Poly (1) - 50      
4. UC Santa Barbara - 40  
5. Hawai'i - 31
6. CSUN - 24
7. UC Davis - 24
8. UC Riverside - 9

() First-place votes

Head softball coach Kelly Ford announced that three area prep athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play softball for the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Sydney Golden, Raeanne Martinez and Ariana Williams all hail from California and will begin their careers with the Titans at the beginning of the 2015-16 academic school year. 

For the first time in recent memory, head coach Kelly Ford has designated juniors Missy Taukeiaho, Samantha Galarza and the lone senior on the squad, Eliza Crawford, as team captains. 

Decorated with national recogniton, Taukeiaho was a menace to opposing pitchers from the leadoff spot as she hammered a conference-leading 19 home runs. The performance placed her at No. 2 in Big West single-season history, trailing only former CSF slugger Stephenie Little, who owns the record with 23 round trippers in 1999. The third baseman also set a Big West single-season record with 62 runs scored, and landed at No. 6 in RBI (51) and No. 9 in average (.429). The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native produced 21 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games. 

In 2014, Galarza was one of two players to start all 55 games totaling 54 hits, five home runs, 24 runs scored and 29 RBIs. Recognized as a member of the All-Big West Second Team, she batted a clip of .329, collecting 75 total bases, six doubles, three stolen bags and a slugging percentage of (.457). The Moreno Valley, Calif., native also shows a strong showing in the classroom being tabbed on the 2013-14 CoSIDA Academic All-District squad with a 3.95 GPA as a communications major. 

Coming in the clutch with five game-winning RBIs last season, Crawford launched a career-high 12 home runs en route to 36 RBIs, 82 total bases and 23 walks. The Lakewood, Calif., native concluded the year in the conference's top-five in home runs, sacrifice flies (3), and slugging percentage (.607). The first baseman also became the first Titan since 1996 to post a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000 (minimum of 100 chances), refusing to surrender an error in 176 chances.   

Cal State Fullerton consists of nine freshman, six of which are position players and the remaining three on the pitching staff. Rookie Shianne Brannan is looking to have a promising season at the shortstop position, filling the void of the graduated Gabby Aragon. A quartet of Titans have transferred to the 2015 team, with all four in contention to crack the starting lineup or make an immediate impact. 

University of Arizona junior transfer Courtney Rodriguez looks to make a big splash in the outfield, while Oregon St. sophomore transfer Kylie Padilla will be leaned on for catcher duties as she also looks to fill another void in graduated Ariel Tsuchiyama. 

Missouri junior transfer Sarah Moore will support the outfield, while Padilla's OSU teammate, sophomore Lexi Gonzalez, is expected to aid the Titans in multiple facets. 

Cal State Fullerton head softball coach Kelly Ford announced the promotion of Jorge Araujo to the role of first assistant coach and Claire Sua-Amundson as an assistant coach in mid-August. Araujo enters his third season as an assistant on the softball staff where he will continue to be the recruiting coordinator and defensive specialist for the team. 

Sua-Amundson joins the Fullerton softball staff after completing her third season with the Stanford softball program, and her second as the associate head coach. Last season, Sua-Amundson helped lead Stanford to a 39-21 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Pac-12 Conference (13-11). The Cardinal finished the season with a No. 21/22 final national ranking. Under her guidance, the Cardinal made their 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.



In 2014, Cal State Fullerton led the Big West in drawing base on balls with 170 as a team, 15 more than the nearest competitor Hawai'i with 145. Three Titans eclipsed 20 walks or more, Missy Taukeiaho led the league with 40, followed by Eliza Crawford with 23 and Gabby Aragon registering 22 free passes.

A whopping ten different Titans drove in a game-winning RBI to create a lead that was never surrendered by Fullerton in 2014. Gabby Aragon led the team with eight game-winning RBI hits, followed closely by Missy Taukeiaho with seven. Eliza Crawford (6), Sam Galarza (3), Leesa Harris (2) and Melissa Sechrest (2) round out the top-five contributors. Amongst the 31 hits in total, 10 of those were via the long ball. 

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 March 30, 2014. Missy Taukeiaho blasted a grand slam in the third inning to erase a five-run lead while Samantha Galarza launched another four-bagger in the sixth frame to break a 7-7 tie to stun the Gauchos and capture the series. The slugfest remarkably produced three total grand slams as UCSB's Stacy Cavazos accounted for another earlier in the third inning. 

Five Titans recorded a multiple-hit 10 times or more this season: Missy Taukeiaho (21), Samantha Galarza (15), Ariel Tsuchiyama (14), Leesa Harris (12) and Gabby Aragon (12). Two out of the five athletes collected four-hit games, one apiece by Taukeiaho and Harris, respectively. 

Due to darkness and the lack of lights at Bakersfield on March 26, 2014, 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.

Over the 2014 season, the Titans owned a commanding 76-28 scoring edge in the third inning. The offensive outburst resulted in a 26-3 record when Fullerton led after that very frame.  

Fullerton played exceptional defensively marking a (.967) fielding percentage, good for second-best in the conference for 2014. The Titans posted the second-lowest errors total with 52 on the season, 22 less than league leaders UC Davis with 74. Out of the six individuals in all of the Big West who own a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage over the season, four wore a Titans uniform: Leesa Harris, Eliza Crawford, Lauren Mario and Jena Rubio. 

To cap the 2014 season off, the Titans placed second in the Big West in batting average with a team clip of (.300). It is the highest average by a Titan team since the 2000 and 2001 squads batted .304 and .298, respectively. Four Fullerton starters posted averages above that mark: Missy Taukeiaho (.429), Leesa Harris (.347), Ariel Tsuchiyama (.329), and Samantha Galarza (.329). Fullerton also finished second in the conference in home runs (57) and runs scored (303), and first in slugging percentage (.479) and on-base percentage (.385). 

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 

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