Titans Host Hawai'i Featured on ESPN3; Travel to No. 10 UCLA

Titans Host Hawai'i Featured on ESPN3; Travel to No. 10 UCLA

Weekly Release Adobe PDF icon

Hawai'i (21-15, 2-1) at Cal State Fullerton (24-13, 2-1) 
Friday, April 3, 2015 | 5:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field 
PROMOTIONS: Titan Earbud & Softball Card Set Giveaway
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | BigWest.TV Webcast | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon     

Hawai'i at Cal State Fullerton - (DH) 
Saturday, April 4, 2015 | 12:00 PM/2:00 PM 
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
PROMOTIONS: Autograph Day & Softball Card Set Giveaway
Game 1 Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | ESPN3 | UH Release Adobe PDF icon  | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   
Game 2 Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | ESPN3 | UH Release Adobe PDF icon  | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon   

Cal State Fullerton at No. 10/8 UCLA  
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | 2:00 PM 
Los Angeles, Calif. • Easton Stadium 
Game Coverage: Live Stats | UCLA Release | CSF Release Adobe PDF icon    

The Cal State Fullerton softball team returns home to host Big West foe Hawai'i for a three-game set this weekend at Anderson Family Field. The Titans and Rainbow Wahine will open up the series with a single game on Friday, while ESPN3 will broadcast the final two contests in a doubleheader on Saturday. Fullerton will then travel to Los Angeles to compete with UCLA for a non-conference tilt at Easton Stadium on Tuesday.

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.

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. Saturday's doubleheader against Hawai'i will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Sitting at 24-13 overall and heading into the second weekend of conference play hosting Hawai'i, the Titans are the Big West's highest ranked team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at No. 54. 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. 2 LSU and against seven squads in the top 25.  

Hawai'i (21-15) travels to Southern California with a two-game winning streak being victors of three of its last five including a  doubleheader sweep of UC Riverside, 3-0, and 1-0 on March 29 to clinch its first Big West Conference series of the season. The Rainbow Wahine dropped the first game of the series to UCR, 2-1, but bounced back nicely to sit at 2-1 in conference play. In the circle, the UH pitching staff is led by a duo of right-handers in Brittany Hitchcock (10-5, 2.39 ERA, 105 and 1/3 innings, eight complete games), and Kanan Aina Cabrales (10-10, 2.62 ERA, 109 and 1/3 innings, 74 strikeouts, three shutouts, nine complete games).  Hitchcock was also named Big West Pitcher of the Week on March 9. The 'Bows offense has been led by senior catcher Kayla Wartner who submits team-highs in runs (27), doubles (9), home runs (9), walks (21), total bases (64), slugging percentage (.660) and on-base percentage (.476). Wartner also earned Big West Field Player of the Week honors on Feb. 16. Sophomore first baseman Heather Morales is also a strong contributor to the Hawai'i offense, logging team-highs in average (.333), hits (33) and RBIs (27). The Titans own a daunting 50-12 all-time record against Hawai'i, posting a 22-5 mark in Fullerton. Strictly speaking in conference meetings, Fullerton hoists a 39-8 overall record and 19-4 home tally versus the 'Bows. The Titans have captured the last six of 10 contests including a pair of victories at UH, 5-3 and 12-3 to clinch the annual series last season. 

The No. 10/8 Bruins post a 30-6 record after garnering back-to-back Pac-12 series victories against Utah (W, 1-0, W, 4-2, W, 6-0) and Washington (W, 10-3, W, 8-4, L, 6-2). UCLA also notched a 6-4 win over CSUN on March 26 to cap off its ninth victory in the last 10 games, while owning a 10-2 overall record at Easton Stadium. The Bruins will also host No. 1/1 Oregon this weekend for a three-game set before the Titans roll into town on Tuesday. The UCLA offense has been headlined by Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native Delaney Spaulding, who is batting at a clip of .404 with six long balls, 37 RBIs, 14 doubles and 38 runs scored. The sophomore infielder also boasts a .750 slugging percentage. Junior outfielder Allexis Bennett adds a lot of speed to the basepaths as the Corona, Calif. native has swiped 13-of-15 steal attempts to compliment her team-highs of average (.515), hits (53) and on-base percentage (.536). In the circle, UCLA posts an impressive 1.88 ERA as a pitching staff, while 2014 NFCA First Team All-American Ally Carda has done the bulk of the pitching tallying a 16-3 record to go along with a 1.43 ERA, and nine complete games over 117 and 2/3 frames. The right-hander has limited opponents to a dismal .139 average while fanning a whopping 171 batters thus far into the 2015 campaign. Carda is joined by right-handed freshmen Johanna Grauer (6-0, 2.22 ERA, 53 and 2/3 innings, two complete games), and Selina Ta'amilo (5-2, 2.96 ERA, 49 and 2/3 innings, 49 strikeouts). The Bruins have a 40-33-1 edge on the Titans in the all-time series with a 18-13-1 mark in Los Angeles. The two squads have an extensive history in the postseason, with UCLA chalking up a 9-2 record in the NCAA Regionals and 3-2 in the Women's College World Series. The Bruins have won eight of the last 10 meetings including a 5-2 decision last season in Fullerton on April 10. The last time CSF tasted victory at Easton Stadium was in 2013 with an 11-3 win on Feb. 26. 

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 21 games. Vandiver's remarkable streak is the longest for any Titan since at least the 1989 season when complete box scores became available. Batting from the left side, Vandiver passed Marci White who logged a hit in 18 straight contests from from April 3-May 3, 1993. The left fielder has 12 multi-hit games on the season to compliment her reaching base for 21 consecutive. In 31 games (21 starts), the Huntington Beach, Calif. native turns in a .563 average, 20 runs scored, 36 hits, slugging percentage of .609, while adding four stolen bases in four attempts.  

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. 

Senior Eliza Crawford led the Titans to a 2-1 series victory at UC Santa Barbara to open Big West play. The native of Lakewood, Calif. posted a .462 average (6-for-13), drove in 10 runs and slugged 1.154 over the weekend. After dropping the first game to the Gauchos, Crawford responded with a 2-for-3 effort in game two, logging one triple and three RBIs in an 8-4 win. The first baseman's best performance came in the rubber match, going 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and a career-high five RBIs in a 15-5 rout of UCSB to clinch the series.

Juniors Courtney Rodriguez and Missy Taukeiaho are first and third in the conference standings in highest batting average with clips of .426 and .424, respectively. Rodriguez is also the current Big West frontrunner in hits (47) and triples (5), while Taukeiaho posts impressive marks in the offensive categories of on-base percentage (.531), slugging percentage (.776), runs (27), and walks (21). 

Oregon State transfer Kylie Padilla has transitioned nicely as the everyday catcher, leading the Big West Conference in runners thrown out with eight on the season. Opposing runners have tested the arm of Padilla making an attempt on 25 occasions, but the Chino, Calif. native has limited the thieves to a 68% succession rate with accurate throws and good decisions. 

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. 

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.

Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West Conference with a .978 fielding percentage. The Titans have surrendered only 24 errors which is a league low. The Fullerton pitching and defense has forced opponents to hit into a conference best 15 double plays through 37 games. Freshman Shianne Brannan and junior Missy Taukeiaho are also first and fourth in the league with the most assists, notching 89 and 76, respectively. 

A trio of Titans have double-digit streaks in regard to reaching base, as Samantha Vandiver leads the group at 21 games, followed by Courtney Rodriguez (16) and Missy Taukeiaho (13).

The Fullerton offense is hitting at all cylinders so to speak, being in the top three in conference ranks for team batting average (.318), slugging percentage (.431), on-base percentage (.406), runs (198), hits (305), RBIs (178), doubles (45) and  triples (8).

After the first weekend of Big West competition, the Titans' batters have posted only 106 strikeouts to opposing pitchers.  Currently, Hawai'i (194), CSUN (153) and Long Beach State (143) have fanned on the most occasions. Fullerton also boasts a league high in walks (117) en route to a second best 198 team runs scored. 

The Titans have dominated on both sides of the field in the third inning limiting opponents to a combined 17 runs while the Fullerton bats have managed to bring across 42 runs in the same frame. In contrast, the Titans have been outscored in the seventh frame 28-13, worst of any inning. 

Head coach Kelly Ford has inked 23 different batting line-ups in 37 games thus far into the season. The most recent order of Vandiver, Rippy, Rodriguez, Moore, Crawford, Ybarra, Padilla, Galarza and Brannan has proved to be the most consisent, appearing in five consecutive contests. 

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

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.

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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