Titans Host No. 3 Michigan ahead of Judi Garman Classic

Judi Garman Classic Schedule Adobe PDF icon  
Judi Garman Classic Tournament Page 

No. 3 Michigan at Cal State Fullerton 

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

Judi Garman Classic

No. 22 Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton 
Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 6:30 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | Arizona St. Release Adobe PDF icon

No. 14 Auburn at Cal State Fullerton 
Friday, March 6, 2015 | 8:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | Auburn Release Adobe PDF icon      

Iowa at Cal State Fullerton 
Saturday, March 7, 2015 | 5:30 PM
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | Iowa Release Adobe PDF icon   

San Diego State at Cal State Fullerton 
Sunday, March 8, 2015 | 5:00 PM
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon | SDSU Release Adobe PDF icon

The Cal State Fullerton softball team begins play this week welcoming No. 3 Michigan for a single game tilt at 6 p.m. on Wednesday before both squads participate in the prestigious Judi Garman Classic Thursday through Sunday. The four-day event features seven top 25 teams including No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Oregon. The Titans will compete against another pair of ranked opponents in No. 22 Arizona State on Thursday followed by No. 14 Auburn on Friday. CSF will wrap up the tournament facing Iowa on Saturday and San Diego State on Sunday. 

With a full slate of Fullerton home events including a three-game baseball series and men's basketball senior night, the parking for this weekend's Judi Garman Classic is allocated to Dumbo Downs (or lot D), and the lots adjacent to the Children's Center. Please note that parking in this area will also place you nearest to the softball entrance to the sports complex, while other entrances will be designated for baseball only. CSUF Campus Map Adobe PDF icon    

What better way to root on your Titans against an upset of No. 3 Michigan then to get your very own rally buff! Fans in attendance for tonight's game will not only be entertained by some of the best softball in the country, but will also receive a Titans rally buff while supplies last. Come out to Anderson Family Field and join all the action!   

Cal State Fullerton softball tickets are on sale for the 2015 campaign. Three types of items are available, single game tickets, tournament packages or, the best deal, the season ticket that includes all regular-season tournaments along with individual games. For details about all three ticket types, fans may click here. Always keep in mind that there are special opportunities for groups and promotional activities at Anderson Family Field (softball) and at Goodwin Field (baseball).

Cal State Fullerton students receive free admission to Titan home games with their Titan I.D. card. 

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 ontowww.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats. Links are also provided above.

The Titans received one vote to enter the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll while remaining out of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.  A trio of Fullerton opponents are ranked which includes No. 3/2 Michigan, No. 14/18 Auburn and No. 22/23 Arizona State. Neither the Hawkeyes or Aztecs are currently in the polls. 

ARE YOU LISTENING? WATCH ME NOW! 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 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. 

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. Posting 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 including No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 Michigan.  

Following a sweep in day one of the SoCal Collegiate Challenge over No. 21 Notre Dame, 8-7, and Northwestern State, 6-4, Cal State Fullerton eclipsed the 1,400-win mark in program history with a record of 1,400-727-6 (.656). Over the 36-plus year history of the program,  the Titans have captured one national championship (1986), eight conference championships (1986-87, 1993, 2000-03, 2006), 25 NCAA tournament appearances (1982-96, 1999-03, 2005-09), made six Women's College World Series appearances (1982-83, 1985-87, 1995), while producing 29 All-Americans for 38 selections.

Michigan is off to an 18-1 start to the season after competing in the ASU Louisville Slugger Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., notching a pair of impressive victories over No. 21 Arizona State, 7-5, and 6-2. The Wolverines are led offensively by junior outfielder Sierra Lawrence who earned her first-ever USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week accolade on Tuesday. Lawrence batted 11-for-14 (.786) with a 2.00 slugging percentage, while collecting 11 RBIs this past weekend via five home runs and two doubles. The native of Snellville, Ga., is batting .390 (23-for-59) with five home runs, 20 RBIs and 19 runs scored to go along with a .712 slugging percentage while leading the team with nine stolen bases. The pitching staff is lights out posting a team ERA of 1.44 with Sara Driesenga (4-0, 0.78 ERA, 27 innings, three complete games), Megan Betsa (8-0, 1.63 ERA, 43 innings, 58 strikeouts, .167 opponents average) and Haylie Wagner (6-1, 1.79 ERA, 43 innings, four complete games). Cal State Fullerton owns a 5-4 edge in the all-time series, but have dropped three consecutive (outscored 27-0) to the Wolverines including two straight at home. Fullerton last tasted victory at home in 2011 with a 10-0 victory.

Arizona State enters the Judi Garman Classic with a 15-7 record hosting five consecutive tournaments to open the season. ASU went 3-2 in last week's Louisville Slugger Invitational and suffered a pair of losses to Michigan, 7-5, and 6-2. The two foes will square off once again in the tournament opener at 11 a.m. on Thursday. The Sun Devils' offense is led by senior Amber Freeman, who headlines the squad in hits (25), hits, doubles (8), home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.750). In the circle, ASU's pitching staff consists of two main contributors in freshmen Dale Ryndak and Breanna Macha. Ryndak posts a 6-2 mark over 65 and 2/3 innings, carding a team-low 3.20 ERA. Machahas collected four complete games in 15 starts, tallying 65 strikeouts in 66 frames. The Titans and Sun Devils have a rich history with CSF owning a 24-21 all-time record. Although Fullerton also boasts an 11-6 mark at home, ASU has captured five consecutive, with the Titans last win coming at home in 2002 with a 7-2 decision at Anderson Family Field. 

The Tigers have won their last eight games to start the year 21-1, the program's best 22-game start in school history. Auburn recently defeated the likes of Texas State, Ohio State, SIUE and Samford to go undefeated in its final non-conference home tournament of the 2015 season. The Auburn pitching staff has a combined ERA of 2.15 with 115 strikeouts led by juniors Rachael Walters (7-0, 1.37 ERA, 41 innings, .181 opponents average) and Lexi Davis (10-0, 1.99 ERA, 45 and 2/3 innings, 47 strikeouts. Auburn leads the SEC in home runs (45), runs scored (217), hits (210), RBI (200), doubles (37) and walks (127). Tigers' sophomore Kasey Cooper turned in a .500 average over the weekend, to post a season clip of .418, good for third on the team. The Dothan, Ala. native has hit safely in her last six games and has blasted five home runs over that span while leading the team in doubles (7) and walks (17). The Titans and Tigers have a short history with only a pair of meetings with both squads earning one victory apiece. Back in 2009, CSF fell 6-1 to Auburn in the only meeting in Fullerton, Calif. 

Iowa (6-11) is the only Fullerton opponent this weekend with a losing record, but did capture three wins at the UCF Invitational over LIU Brooklyn, 10-2, No. 17 UCF, 3-2, and Florida A&M, 2-0. The Hawkeyes will have a full slate of games at the Judi Garman Classic, facing San Jose State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton, and No. 2 Oregon. In the circle, Iowa is largely pioneered by sophomore right-hander Shayla Starkenburg, who has tallied a 4-6 record with seven complete games and 61 strikeouts over 65 innings. The Hawkeyes' offense has struggled thus far into the 2015 campaign batting .240 as a team, but Culver City, Calif. native Megan Blank leads the squad in average (.319), hits (15), doubles (4) RBIs (9), slugging percentage (.404) and on-base percentage (.385). Iowa has been on the winning end of four of five all-time meetings with the Titans, garnering four consecutive and three straight in Fullerton. The only victory for CSF came at home all the way back on March 19, 1989, with a 2-0 decision.

San Diego State heads north to Fullerton with an 11-7 record after hosting the San Diego Classic, collecting three wins over St. Johns, 13-8, Cal Poly, 8-2, and Iowa State, 3-0. The Aztecs' offense has been powered by freshman catcher Jenavee Peres who was named the Mountain West Player of the Week on Tuesday. On the season, Peres is hitting .310 (13-for-42) with two home runs and 12 RBIs and six runs, while posting a .476 slugging percentage and a .341 on-base percentage. Both of her round-trippers and all 12 RBIs have come over her last four games. In the circle, SDSU's sophomore right-hander Erica Romero has done the bulk of the pitching with 82 and 1/3 innings of work to go along with a 9-5 mark and 3.49 ERA. The Corona, Calif. native boasts three shutouts in five complete games and 49 total strikeouts. Although the Titans hold a daunting 46-19 record in the all-time series with the Aztecs, Fullerton has dropped nine out of the previous 10 meetings. CSF's last win over SDSU at home was on April 4, 2002, tallying a 2-1 decision. 

Sophomore Christina Washington was an intricate part of the Titans' 4-1 record at the Louisville Slugger Tournament co-hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The left-hander tossed 17 and 2/3 scoreless innings while carding three wins and two complete game shutouts. The Inglewood, Calif., native fanned eight batters over the weekend en route to wins over Wichita State, 10-0, Southern Utah, 9-1, and Boise State, 2-0.

Following a four-game skid which was the longest losing streak since 2013 when the Titans lost five straight, head coach Kelly Ford shook up the batting order heading into the final day of the Mary Nutter Classic. The 1-2-3 order of Missy Taukeiaho, Courtney Rodriguez and Eliza Crawford was consistent through 13 games, but Ford placed Rodriguez at leadoff, inserted emerging sophomore Delynn Rippy into the two hole and longtime leadoff threat Taukeiaho was inked third in the order. With Crawford and Sarah Moore sharing clean up duties, Fullerton ended its losing streak and have notched a respectable 6-2 record since. 

Transitioning from near the bottom of the order to the every day two-hole batter, sophomore Delynn Rippy has flourished producing 21 hits while scoring 15 runs. The Oceanside, Calif. native has seven multi-hit games on the season while reaching base in five of the last six games.      

Juniors Courtney Rodriguez and Missy Taukeiaho are third and seventh in the conference standings in highest batting average with clips of .407 and .389, respectively. Emerging sophomore Delynn Rippy boasts the eighth best average in the league at (.368). Rodriguez is also the current Big West frontrunner in hits (28), while Taukeiaho headlines the offensive categories of on-base percentage (.554), runs (22), and walks (17). 

Titans' freshman Samantha Vandiver logged her first career at bat against San Diego, but was unable to breakthrough. Since then, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native has been a consistant producer batting ninth in the order, currently leading the team with a five-game hitting streak while collecting two multi-hit games over that span. 

In a back and forth game versus No. 21 Notre Dame an unlikely hero emerged in Fullerton, Calif., native Gabby Rodas. While the heated contest was littered with five home runs, in the bottom of the seventh with the bases-loaded and the game tied 7-7, Rodas fouled off pitch after pitch until  she finally earned a walk and drove in the game-winning RBI in stunning fashion.  

As if a bases-loaded walk was an unorthodox scenario to walk-off an opponent, the Titans once again manufactured a way to win in epic proportions against Oklahoma State on Feb. 22. With Missy Taukeiaho standing on second base and in scoring position, Sarah Moore stayed patient on a 3-1 count in the bottom of the seventh to draw a walk. The unique aspect of this is that the ball four was airmailed over the catcher for a wild pitch, and Taukeiaho rounded third to slide home safely and shock the Cowgirls and seal the 6-5 walk-off victory. 

Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West Conference with a .980 fielding percentage. The Titans have posted a league low 12 errors while forcing opponents to hit into a league best 12 double plays through 21 games.

The Titans have dominated on both sides of the field in the third inning limiting opponents to a combined six runs while the Fullerton bats have managed to bring across 30 runs in the same frame. In contrast, the Titans have been outscored in the opening frame 23-11, worst of any inning. 

After finishing second in the Big West Conference for being hit with the most pitches (12) last season, opposing pitchers continue to tag senior Eliza Crawford as she's already been struck a league high seven times. The   Lakewood, Calif. native has responded with a pair of home runs over the last four games including a 2-for-2 and three RBIs performance in a 9-1 win over Southern Utah on Feb. 27.

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. 

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

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.

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.

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. 

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