FULLERTON, Calif. — The Cal State Fullerton softball team defeated Southern Utah, 9-1, in six innings before falling to Northwestern, 5-4, in eight innings to split day two of the Louisville Slugger Tournament co-hosted by the at Anderson Family Field on Friday.
With a split on Friday afternoon, the Titans reach 11-8, while Southern Utah falls to 2-9 and Northwestern climbs to 6-9.
Cal State Fullerton will continue to co-host the Louisville Slugger Tournament with Long Beach State, hosting a single-game matchup with Boise State tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.
GAME ONE: (Six Innings) Cal State Fullerton 9, Southern Utah 1
Dead locked at one apiece, Cal State Fullerton senior Eliza Crawford knocked in the go-ahead run with her first home run of the season in the fourth inning en route to a 2-for-2 performance with three RBIs to lead the Titans to a 9-1 run-rule victory in six innings.
After Southern Utah's offense manufactured a run in the opening frame, Cal State Fullerton's Samantha Galarza drove in the tying run off an RBI single to right center in the second inning off SUU starter Katie Greenberg (2-4).
Following Crawford's solo round-tripper to take the lead, the Titans' offense capitalized on three SUU errors to bring across six runs on four hits in the fifth frame. The barrage was highlighted by a two-run single from Courtney Rodriguez, sacrifice fly from Missy Taukeiaho, two-run double by Crawford, and an RBI single down the right field line by Galarza to cap off the outburst.
Fullerton sophomore Delynn Rippy produced the final dagger with an RBI single to center in the sixth to extend the lead to eight runs which by rule ended the contest.
Crawford (2-for-2), Rippy (2-for-4), Galarza (2-for-3), and Samantha Vandiver (2-for-2) each recorded multi-hit games and combined to score five of CSF's nine runs.
Jasmine Antunez was given the nod to start for the Titans, tossing two and 1/3 innings yielding one run on three hits while issuing four walks. Christina Washington (6-2) notched her team-high sixth victory of the season after throwing the final three and 2/3 innings scattering just two hits of shutout ball.
Greenberg was tagged for five runs on four hits, but the Thunderbirds' defensive mistakes aided the right-hander being pulled from the game after four innings. Hanna Wynn turned in the remaining one and 1/3 innings in relief, giving up four runs (one earned) on five hits.
GAME TWO: (Eight Innings) Northwestern 5, Cal State Fullerton 4
With Northwestern losing an early 2-0 lead, the late heroics came from Brianna LeBeau, who drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single to left center to rally the Wildcats for a 5-4 win to spoil Fullerton's attempt at sweeping the day.
This being the third game of a tournament, tie-breaker rules were in effect as NU chose to place speedster Amy Letourneau at second base as a lead runner to begin the eighth inning. LeBeau collected her only hit of the game to drive in Letoumeau and stun the Titans.
Along with scoring the winning run, Letourneau (4-7) tossed four innings of shutout relief, fanning eight while stifling the Titans' bats to zero hits. Kristen Wood was given the start for the Wildcats, yielding three earned runs on five hits over the first four innings.
Fullerton was also given its crack at responding as University of Arizona transfer Courtney Rodriguez was placed at second via the tie-breaker rule. Letourneau closed the door after striking out Delynn Rippy and Sarah Moore while forcing Eliza Crawford to groundout to end the game. CSF's Missy Taukeiaho (2-for-3), who launched a three-run home run to erase NU's 2-0 lead earlier in the contest, was walked intentionally and stranded alongside Rodriguez.
Northwestern's Andrea Filler carded half of the team's hits, logging a 4-for-4 performance with three RBIs and one run.
Desiree Ybarra (4-4) navigated herself through a season-high eight innings of work, surrendering four earned runs on eight hits while fanning another season-high of seven on the afternoon to be the hard luck loser.
Game Notes: The Titans now have a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series with Southern Utah, while Northwestern has come out victorious in four consecutive meetings, but still trail Fullerton by a tally of 16-10…The Titans have now scored three or more runs in 15 different innings over the 2015 campaign…CSF have posted a 4-2 record on Friday's and a 5-2 mark in home games... Rodriguez extended her hitting streak to a team-high nine games…Taukeiaho snapped her streak of reaching base at 15 games after batting 0-for-2 against SUU…Freshman Samantha Vandiver made her third start of her career against Northwestern, collecting career highs in hits (2) and runs (2)…Fullerton is now 5-6 when its opponent scores first while being 6-2 when the Titans manage to get on the board first…CSF is a dismal 3-8 when the offense produces five or less runs.