FULLERTON, Calif. – Desiree Ybarra and Sydney Golden each hurled complete games to help Cal State Fullerton collect a pair of wins over No. 19/17 Arizona State and San Jose State on Thursday evening to open the Judi Garman Classic. Behind a solid effort from Ybarra, the Titans tallied a 3-2 walk-off victory against the nationally ranked Sun Devils in the eighth inning, before defeating the Spartans, 6-3, with Golden in the circle.
The victory over ASU (15-4) marks Fullerton's (11-6) first win over a nationally ranked team this season. The Titans' last win over a ranked team came a year ago when Cal State Fullerton edged No. 14 Auburn, 3-2, on March 6, 2015.
The Titans' handed the Spartans their fifth-straight loss as San Jose State drops to 5-13 on the year.
Game 1: Cal State Fullerton 3, No. 19/17 Arizona State 2 (8 innings)
The Titans played competitive softball against the Sun Devils as they took advantage of a pair of errors, which led to two runs.
The first run of the game came in the second inning as Melissa Sechrest led off the frame with a base on balls. Ariana Williams came in to pinch run for the senior first baseman and stole second, then advanced to third on a fielding error by the ASU shortstop. Sydney Colenzo sent a sacrifice fly to centerfield, plating Williams and giving Fullerton an early 1-0 lead.
Ybarra (3-4) and her counterpart Kelsey Kessler (5-2) each pitched a good game in the circle as both went the distance.
Ybarra kept the Sun Devils off the board until the fourth inning when Arizona State scored two runs on as many hits to take a 2-1 lead over Cal State Fullerton.
Down 2-1, Ybarra was unfazed as she retired seven of the next eight batters and did not allow another run for the rest of the game.
Cal State Fullerton managed to even the score in the bottom of the sixth inning after Samantha Vandiver shot a one-out single up the middle. She moved to second after Missy Taukeiaho drew a walk and took third on a fielder's choice before coming home on an ASU error.
With the game knotted at 2-2, Ybarra and Kessler matched each other as the two pitchers kept each other's offenses off the board forcing extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Raeanne Martinez started the frame off on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule. Shianne Brannan laid down a bunt and beat the throw to first to put runners at the corners with no outs. Delynn Rippy followed suit and her perfect bunt was unmanageable as the Titans loaded the bases for Samantha Vandiver who was 2-for-3 on the day. Vandiver singled to left field bringing in Martinez to score the winning run on a walk-off base hit.
Kessler suffered the loss after tossing 7.0+ innings of work and allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits. She struck out four and walked two.
Ybarra earned the win after pitching eight innings and giving up two runs on five hits. She fanned four and walked three as she lowered her ERA to 2.84.
Vandiver finished the game hitting 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. She was the only Titan to record a multi-hit game. Taukeiaho, Brannan and Rippy accounted for the other three Fullerton hits.
Game 2: Cal State Fullerton 6, San Jose State 3
Cal State Fullerton received another strong outing in the circle in the nightcap as Sydney Golden also tossed a complete game and shut out San Jose State through five innings.
The Titan offense gave Golden a comfortable lead to work with as they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second and added four in the fourth for a 6-0 advantage.
In the second inning, Fullerton once again capitalized on its opponent's errors as they manufactured two runs off of as many errors to go up 2-0.
Colenzo reached base in the fourth after getting hit by a pitch, then Brannan and Rippy followed with back-to-back fielder's choices. With two outs, the Titans collected four consecutive base hits as Vandiver, Taukeiaho and Courtney Rodriguez singled and Sarah Moore laced a two-run double to left center plating Taukeiaho and Rodriguez. Previously, Taukeiaho's single drove in Rippy and Vandiver.
Taking a 6-0 lead into the top of the sixth, Golden surrendered her first run of the game on a double by Jessie Hufstetler followed by an RBI-single off the bat of Anissa Pinedo. Golden composed herself and got out of the inning stranding Pinedo on base.
However, Golden would come into a little more trouble in the seventh as she gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single up the middle by Brittany Abacherli. With two outs, Hufstetler roped her third double of the game and drove in Emma Entzminger, who had walked, to score the second run of the ballgame.
A fielding error allowed the inning to continue as Abacherli cut the Titans' lead in half (6-3), but Golden again remained composed and kept the ball low to induce a ground ball to short to end the threat and the game.
Golden (6-1) won her sixth contest of the year after pitching 7.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits. She struck out a career-high five batters and walked just one.
Katelyn Linford (0-5) suffered the loss for San Jose State as she gave up six runs (four earned) on 10 hits, while striking out seven and walking four in 6.0 innings pitched.
Vandiver went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Taukeiaho was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk. Moore batted 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in.
Cal State Fullerton continues action in the Judi Garman Classic Friday, March 4 when it takes on Wisconsin at 5 p.m. Live stats, video and audio will be available on FullertonTitans.com.