Titans Host CSUB Wednesday; Open Conference Play at UCSB

Titans Host CSUB Wednesday; Open Conference Play at UCSB

CSU Bakersfield at Cal State Fullerton - (DH) 
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 3:00 PM/5:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
ALL DAY PROMOTION: Youth Night! The first 300 youth (8th grade and under) in uniform will get in for free.
Game 1 Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSUB Release Adobe PDF icon  | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon  
Game 2 Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSUB Release Adobe PDF icon  | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   

Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara - (DH) 
Saturday, March 28, 2015 | 12:00 PM/2:00 PM 
Santa Barbara, Calif. • Campus Diamond 
Game 1 Coverage: Live Stats | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   
Game 2 Coverage: Live Stats | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon

Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara 
Sunday, March 29, 2015 | 12:00 PM 
Santa Barbara, Calif. • Campus Diamond 
Game Coverage: Live Stats | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   

The Cal State Fullerton softball team closes out its 13-game home stand hosting CSU Bakersfield for a mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday at Anderson Family Field. The Titans will then open up Big West Conference play traveling to UC Santa Barbara for a doubleheader on Saturday followed by a single-game on Sunday to wrap up the three-game series at Campus Diamond. 

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.

In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches and USA Today/NFCA Coaches polls, neither the Gauchos, Roadrunners or Titans are currently ranked.  

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. 

Sitting at 20-12 overall and heading into the first games of conference play at UCSB, the Titans are the Big West's highest ranked team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at No. 47. RPI measures a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Fullerton has competed against three teams currently ranked in the top 10 including No. 1 LSU and against seven squads in the top 25.  

CSU Bakersfield (11-12) travels to Southern California with a four-game winning streak being victors of six of its last 10 including  doubleheader sweeps of Western Carolina, 1-0, and 4-1 on March 11 followed by Boise State, 9-1, and 4-1 on March 15. In the circle, CSUB is largely pioneered by senior right-hander Kelsie Monroe, who has tallied a 7-5 record with eight complete games and 54 strikeouts over 85 and 2/3  innings. Monroe has garnered four shutouts to go along with her team-best 2.86 ERA. The CSU Bakersfield offense has been led by junior outfielder Sydney Raeber who turns in team- highs in average (.379), runs (9), hits (25), doubles (6), RBIs (12), slugging percentage (.470) and on-base percentage (440). Junior Alexandrera Simmons adds plenty of speed to the base paths, swiping five bags in six attempts to compliment her .304 average, 21 hits and nine runs scored. Cal State Fullerton owns a 3-1-1 edge in the series record, splitting a unique 1-1-1 three-game set in last season's meetings in Bakersfield. In a 10-10 tie March 27, 2014, the Titans surrendered a 7-1 lead en route to the first decision of this sort since the 2008 campaign. 

UC Santa Barbara posts an 11-20 record after going 3-1 at the Santa Clara Round Robin (Mar. 21-22) notching victories over Santa Clara, 3-1, Manhattan, 5-2, and Brown, 10-2. Overall, the Gauchos have won five of the last 10 while owning a 3-4 record at home. The UCSB offense has been headlined by Elk Grove, Calif. native Shelby Wisdom, who is hitting .307 with five home runs, 24 RBIs and a .653 slugging percentage. Junior infielder Arianna Palomares also swings a hot bat, tallying team highs in average (.422), hits (43), doubles (11) and total bases (60). In the circle, the UCSB pitching staff is comprised of a duo of Gauchos in junior right-handers  Alex Pingree (6-5, 4.55 ERA, 80 innings, five complete games), and Ashley Ludlow (2-12, 6.46 ERA, 78 innings, 42 strikeouts, three complete games). The Titans boast a daunting 105-12 record over UCSB, winning seven of the previous 10 meetings. Competing at Santa Barbara, CSF is a dominating 48-7, while being 6-1 in series victories since the conference transitioned to the three-game set in 2000. 

University of Arizona transfer Courtney Rodriguez notched Big West Player of the Week honors on March 16 after leading the offense with a .583 average following a 4-0 sweep of the Easton Tournament. The native of Scottsdale, Ariz. hit safely in all four games, collecting seven hits in 12 at-bats. In a 3-0 shutout over Nebraska, she turned in a perfect 3-for-3 performance to notch her team-high fourth three-hit game. The center fielder has also made an immediate impact on the Fullerton defensive effort, being one of three Titans to post a 1.000 fielding percentage with a minimum of 30 chances, logging 45 putouts and three assists in 48 chances. Batting primarily as either the leadoff or two-hole hitter in head coach Kelly Ford's line-up, Rodriguez boasts team-highs in average (.413), at-bats (111), hits (47), triples (5) to go along with her solid .423 average.

Since being inserted into the starting lineup on Feb. 26, freshman Samantha Vandiver has torched opposing pitching by logging at least one hit in every contest as her hitting streak sits at a team-high 16 games. Vandiver's remarkable streak ties the second longest stretch for any Titan since the 1989 season when complete box scores were available, equaling Monica Bagalayos' run in 1996 from Feb. 9-March 3. With a doubleheader against CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday, Vandiver will have the opportunity to tie the longest hitting streak in program history at 18 games, set by Marci White from April 3-May 3, 1993. 

Dating back to March 13, junior Desiree Ybarra has been absolutely lights out in the circle tossing 20 and 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Over that span, the left-hander notched three complete game shutouts and two saves. The native of Riverside, Calif. has  shown superior control, yielding only two walks while striking out 10 batters. In total, Ybarra leads the team in ERA (2.53), complete games (7), saves (3), and innings pitched (99.2) to go along with her 9-6 record. 

Following a 3-0 decision over Nebraska on March 15, Cal State Fullerton captured three consecutive shutout victories for the first time since the 2002 campaign when the Titans swept a three-game set against Big West foe UC Riverside by a combined score of 31-0 from April 27-28. CSF pitching had posted 26 straight scoreless innings before surrendering a run to Charleston Southern in the sixth inning of a 5-1 victory also on March 15. 

Reigning Big West Player of the Year and 2014 Third Team All-American Missy Taukeiaho launched her team-high eighth home run of the season in an 8-4 victory over Buffalo on March 17. Transferring from the University of Washington following her freshman campaign, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native now has 27 career round-trippers at Fullerton, placing herself in a tie with Amanda Hockett for sixth place in the program record books. Next up on the list is Torrie Anderson (28) and Monica Lucatero (29) in fifth and fourth place, respectively. 

Courtney Rodriguez has used her speed on the base paths to disrupt opposing pitchers in swiping a team-high eight bags thus far into the 2015 campaign. In an 8-4 victory over Buffalo on March 17, Rodriguez tied a program record by stealing three bases, joining Torrie Anderson (at UC Riverside, April 4, 2009) as the only Titans to accomplish such a feat in any single game since complete box scores were available in 1989.

Over the prestigious Judi Garman Classic weekend, the Titans set a single-tournament record for attendance at Anderson Family Field with 2,286 fans attending day three's action on March 7 breaking the previous mark of 2,096 vs. Fresno State on March 21, 2008 also at the Judi Garman Classic. 

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.

Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West Conference with a .978 fielding percentage. The Titans have surrendered only 21 errors which is a league low. The Fullerton pitching and defense has forced opponents to hit into a conference best 14 double plays through 32 games. Freshman Shianne Brannan and junior Missy Taukeiaho are also 1-2 in the league with the most assists, notching 80 and 76, respectively. 

A quartet of Titans have double-digit streaks in regard to reaching base, as Samantha Vandiver leads the group at 16 games, followed by Delynn Rippy (13), Missy Taukeiaho (13) and Courtney Rodriguez (11). 

Behind a complete game gem from Desiree Ybarra in day two of the Judi Garman Classic on March 7, Fullerton upset then 14th-ranked Auburn, 3-2, to hand the Tigers just their second loss of the season. The left-hander limited the Tigers' offense to just two runs on seven hits while walking five and fanning two. The Tigers were also the highest ranked opponent in a Titans' win since a 6-1 decision over No. 15 Baylor in 2014. This is Fullerton's second victory over a top 25 squad this season after an 8-7 walk-off of No. 21 Notre Dame on Feb. 7. 

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 plunked a league-high 10 times. 

Juniors Courtney Rodriguez and Missy Taukeiaho are second and third in the conference standings in highest batting average with clips of .424 and .423, respectively. Rodriguez is also the current Big West frontrunner in hits (47), while Taukeiaho posts impressive marks in the offensive categories of on-base percentage (.531), runs (27), and walks (21). 

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 multiple pitches until  she earned a walk to drive 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. 

FEB. 7 - No. 21 Notre Dame - Fullerton, Calif. - W, 8-7
FEB. 8 - No. 21 Notre Dame - Fullerton, Calif. - L, 2-7
FEB. 19 - No. 18 Missouri - Palm Springs, Calif. - L, 2-10
FEB. 19 - No. 14 LSU - Palm Springs, Calif. - L, 0-8
FEB. 21 - No. 23 Texas A&M - Palm Springs, Calif. - L, 1-2
MAR. 4 - No. 3 Michigan - Fullerton, Calif. - L, 0-9
MAR. 5 - No. 22 Arizona State - Fullerton, Calif. - L, 3-10
MAR. 6 - No. 14 Auburn - Fullerton, Calif. - W, 3-2

*Ranking when game occurred

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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