FULLERTON, Calif. – Freshman right-handed pitcher Sydney Golden threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout in the night cap to propel Cal State Fullerton to an 8-0 five-inning victory over Canisius. The Titans' win came on the heels of their first loss of 2016 as CSF dropped a 10-1 five-inning decision to Weber State earlier in the day.
With the split, Cal State Fullerton improves to 3-1 on the year, while Weber State moves to 3-1 as well and Canisius drops to 0-4.
"I applaud my athletes," Cal State Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford said. "They flushed [the loss] out. You have to have a short-term memory with this game. Weber State was aggressive. They played a great game defensively, pitched well against us, they hit – they were working on all cylinders. We could have let that carry into game two, but we didn't. I'm just thankful we get to play Weber State again tomorrow."
Game 1: Weber State 10, Cal State Fullerton 1 (5 innings)
The Titans started senior left-hander Desiree Ybarra (1-1) in game one and she found herself in a jam early on. The Riverside, Calif., native surrendered one run in the first on a pair of singles and a walk, then allowed three more runs in the second as Cal State Fullerton found itself in a 4-0 hole.
Junior southpaw Christina Washington closed out the second with a strikeout, but ended up having a tough outing of her own in the third as she gave up five runs on three hits including a leadoff home run by Krystin Kubo.
Senior righty Jasmine Antunez finished frame after allowing the sixth and final run of the inning to cross the plate. The product out of Garden Grove, Calif., proved to be the most effective in the circle as she concluded the game for the Titans pitching 2.1 innings and giving up just one run on two hits with four strikeouts.
However, the damage had been done and the Titan offense was unable to mount a comeback. Cal State Fullerton was held scoreless through three innings by Weber State pitcher Bailey Seek (1-0) who pitched 5.0 innings of work, while allowing one run on six hits and fanning three. The one run she gave up came in the fourth inning when junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez led off the inning with a double to the right-centerfield gap and came around to score on a two-out double to left-center off the bat of junior second baseman Sydney Colenzo. Despite their efforts, that would be the only run the Titans could muster as they fell 10-1 in five innings.
Rodriguez and Colenzo were the only Titans to record multiple hits in the contest. Rodriguez went 2-for-3, while Colenzo hit 2-for-2 with the lone RBI of the game. Rippy and Gonzelez were the only other Titans to register a hit in the game.
Game 2: Cal State Fullerton 8, Canisius 0 (5 innings)
After being run-ruled in their first game of the day, the Titans came back onto the field with determination in their eyes.
Cal State Fullerton sent Golden (2-0) to the circle for her second-career start and she dominated the Golden Griffins limiting them to just one hit in the contest – a single through the right side by Meghan Cuda in the first inning. Following the lone base hit, Golden was lights out as she induced eight ground outs and struck out four.
She went the distance, pitching all five innings and faced just two batters over the minimum. In addition to the single in the first, the only other base runners she allowed were on a walk and a fielder's choice in the fifth.
"Sydney is very gifted," Coach Ford said. "She does such a good job of hitting her spots. She and Coach [Tori] Tyson are working together and they have fun. They get the outcome of ground balls. They're not even trying to go for strikeouts, they just want to get ground balls because she has such a good defense behind her.
"What's most impressive is her composure. She stays calm and does her job. She doesn't let a moment get too big. She handles pressure really well for a freshman. I'm very proud of her."
Golden set the tone for the Titans and the offense rose to the occasion as they tallied their first run of the game in the second inning on an RBI-single from Gonzalez which plated Sarah Moore who reached base on a hit by pitch.
Cal State Fullerton added a few insurance runs in the third as they sent four players home to make it a 5-0 game. The third inning rally was sparked by aggressive base running by junior rightfielder Delynn Rippy. After leading off the frame with an infield single, Rippy stole second and third base and came around to score on a throwing error by the Griffs' catcher.
Senior third baseman Missy Taukeiaho drew a one-out walk and scored on a Courtney Rodriguez double down the leftfield line. Rodriguez crossed the plate after senior first baseman Melissa Sechrest laced a double of her own to the left-center gap.
The final run of the frame was scored by Moore, who reached on a base on balls after Gonzalez's sacrifice fly to leftfield drove her in.
Taking a 5-0 lead into the fourth, the Titans' offense was not done yet. They would send two more runs across in the bottom of the frame before capping their scoring and ending the game in walk-off fashion on a bases loaded single up the middle by Brooke Clemetson in the fifth which scored Ariana Williams to end the game after the eight-run, run rule took effect.
Rippy finished the game going 2-for-2 with two runs scored, while Gonzalez recorded a pair of RBIs and a walk while batting 1-for-1.
Cal State Fullerton is ready to get a second shot at Weber State Sunday, Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. The game will close out the Titan Classic.
"What's fun is getting to play a team that owned us today," Coach Ford said of tomorrow's match up. "It's going to be fun to see how we respond. If we expect to go into postseason play, we've got to be able to bounce back after losing to a team that's really talented. And they were. They were really talented today, but I expect to finish the weekend 4-1."