FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team extended its winning streak to eight games for the first time since 2007 after a non-conference doubleheader sweep over CSU Bakersfield, 4-3 and 3-1, at Anderson Family Field on Wednesday.
Cal State Fullerton will now hit the road and open up Big West Conference play at UC Santa Barbara for a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. followed by the final game of the three-game series at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Campus Diamond.
GAME ONE: Cal State Fullerton 4, CSU Bakersfield 3
Three multi-hit performances by Fullerton's 1-2-3 batters helped erase a three-run deficit to walk-off CSU Bakersfield in unorthodox fashion as Sarah Moore was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh frame.
With Fullerton equalizing the game at three apiece in the sixth, freshman Samantha Vandiver singled up the box with one out in the seventh. CSF sophomore Delynn Rippy legged out an infield single, later followed by a walk from Courtney Rodriguez to load the bases. Moore saw just a few pitches before being plunked and Vandiver trotted home to seal the Titans' seventh come-from-behind win of the season.
The Titans' bats were stifled all afternoon by CSUB starter, Kelsie Monroe (8-6), but a three-run outburst in the sixth sent the Roadrunners back on their heels. Back-to-back walks from Shianne Brannan and Rippy set up Rodriguez for a two-run double down the right field line, while Moore drove in the third run off a sacrifice fly to left field.
The top of the order in Vandiver (2-for-4), Rippy (2-for-3) and Rodriguez (2-for-3) combined to score three out of the four runs.
Cal State Fullerton sophomore Christina Washington (11-3) notched her team-high 11th victory of the season after tossing four and 2/3 innings of stellar relief, surrendering just one hit while fanning two. CSF Junior Desiree Ybarra was given the start, but was chased after just two and 1/3 frames after yielding three runs on nine hits.
Monroe cruised through the first five innings, but concluded her afternoon surrendering four runs on seven hits in six and 1/3 innings of work. The right-hander issued five walks and fanned three.
GAME TWO: Cal State Fullerton 3, CSU Bakersfield 1
With the taste of victory absent for over a month since a 3-1 victory over Idaho State on opening day, Cal State Fullerton junior Jasmine Antunez (2-3) tossed a complete game five-hitter to stifle the CSU Bakersfield offense and capture the doubleheader sweep with a 3-1 decision. The right-hander yielded just one late unearned run while striking out four. Antunez issued 27 walks in 29 frames entering the contest and showed vast improvement in that department by not allowing a single free pass in the win.
The Fullerton offense provided run support for Antunez in the opening frame, as freshman Samantha Vandiver led off the game with a walk and quickly swiped second base just a few pitches later. CSF's Delynn Rippy singled to right, later followed by Courtney Rodriguez loading the bases after being hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, the third and fourth walks of the inning drawn by Eliza Crawford and Kylie Padilla tallied the first two runs of the nightcap.
The Titans tacked on another run off the bat of freshman Shianne Brannan, who logged an RBI single to right center in the fifth inning to extend the Fullerton lead to 3-0. The native of Chino, Calif. turned in a 2-for-2 performance, recording the first multi-hit game of her Titan career.
Antunez surrendered one unearned run after a two-out error in CSUB's final attempt at a rally, but a fly out from Adrianna Cardoza ended the threat and completed the non-conference sweep.
CSU Bakersfield starter Sydeny Raeber (0-4) took the loss after six innings of work, giving up four runs on seven hits. Raeber issued four walks overall, three of which were pivotal in CSF's opening inning runs.
Game Notes: The Titans extend their winning streak to eight games which is the longest since the 2007 campaign when the CSF reeled off the identical amount…With at least one hit in both games, Vandiver ties the longest hitting streak in program history since complete box scores were available in 1989, sitting at 18 games in 18 starts… Fullerton now owns a 5-1-1 series record over the Roadrunners…The Titans captured their first wins of the season on a Wednesday, now 2-2 and 15-6 at home overall…A quartet of Titans have reached base in 10 or more consecutive games; Vandiver (18), Rippy (15), Taukeiaho (13) and Rodriguez (13)…The three-run deficit in game one ties the biggest comeback of the season, occurring just one other time on Feb. 22 in a 6-5 walk-off versus Oklahoma State at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
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