Long Beach State Louisville Slugger Invitational
Friday, March 11
10:00 a.m. - Utah Valley vs. Cal State Fullerton
Saturday, March 12
10:00 a.m. - Cal State Fullerton vs. Mississippi State
12:30 p.m. - Cal State Fullerton vs. Princeton
Sunday, March 13
9:00 a.m. - Cal State Fullerton vs. Iowa State
11:30 a.m. - Mississippi State vs. Cal State Fullerton
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Venue: 49er Softball Complex
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record vs. Utah Valley: Utah Valley leads 1-0
Series Record vs. Mississippi State: CSF leads 2-1
Series Record vs. Princeton: Princeton leads 1-0
Series Record vs. Iowa State: CSF leads 3-2
A LOOK AT THE WEEK
Cal State Fullerton is looking to rebound from a 10-1 six inning loss to No. 11 Florida State on Tuesday as the Titans head to Long Beach, Calif., to take part in the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by Long Beach State.
At the Invitational, Cal State Fullerton will go up against Utah Valley (March 11), Mississippi State (March 12 and 13), Princeton (March 12) and Iowa State (March 13).
FOLLOW THE TITANS
Fans can keep up with the latest in Cal State Fullerton athletics by following us on Facebook (FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Instagram (FullertonTitans). In addition, the softball team has established its own official Facebook (csufsoftball), Twitter (@CSUFSoftball) and Instagram (csufsoftball) accounts.
KEEP UP WITH TITAN SOFTBALL
Live stats will be provided for all games this weekend. To access live stats for the games, log onto www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats.
LAST TIME OUT
The Cal State Fullerton softball team stayed in the game against nationally-ranked Florida State for the first three innings of action, but could not overcome five errors accumulated over the final three frames as the Titans dropped a 10-1 six inning contest to the Seminoles Tuesday night.
Freshman right-hander Sydney Golden (7-2) got the start for Cal State Fullerton and initially matched Florida State's starter Meghan King (8-1). In the first three innings of work, Golden allowed just one hit while facing one over the minimum.
The Titans got on the board in the second inning after Sarah Moore led off the frame with a double to left center. An FSU fielding error allowed her to get to third and she came home on a bunt single by Shianne Brannan to score the first run of the game.
Cal State Fullerton held the 1-0 lead until the fourth inning when Golden got into some trouble. The Seminoles led off the inning with an infield single and a two-run home run to right field by Jessica Warren gave Florida State a lead it would not relinquish.
Following the homer, three consecutive singles and a pair of errors led to two more runs as the Seminoles took a 4-1 advantage.
Florida State added three more runs in the fifth inning as it jumped ahead 7-1.
After surrendering seven runs, six of which were earned, on 10 hits with two strikeouts over 5.0 innings of work, Golden's night was over.
Senior right-hander Desiree Ybarra came on in relief in the sixth and gave up three runs, all unearned, on one hit after errors came back to bite the Titans as they fell behind by nine (10-1).
King, like Golden, pitched 5.0 innings. However, she allowed just one run (unearned) on two hits with one strikeout and two walks en route to earning the win.
She was relieved by Jessica Burroughs who pitched 1.0 inning, allowing just one walk and striking out three to end the game.
Moore and Brannan were the one Titans to record a hit in the game. Moore finished batting 1-for-2 with a run scored, while Brannan was 1-for-1 with an RBI and a base on balls.
IN THE POLLS
The Louisville Slugger Invitational features just one ranked team in No. 14 UCLA, however both Mississippi State and host, Long Beach State are receiving votes. The Titans will face the Bulldogs twice during the invitational on Saturday and Sunday.
Remianing ranked teams on the Titans' schedule include No. 4 Alabama, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Oklahoma, and No. 22 Fresno State.
100 AND COUNTING
Head coach Kelly Ford recorded her 100th win at the helm of the Cal State Fullerton softball program against Santa Clara on Feb. 19. Ford now owns 108 victories and looks to finish off the Louisville Slugger Invitational with 113.
GOOD AS GOLD
Despite a hiccup against No. 11 Florida State, freshman right-hander Sydney Golden continues to perform well in the circle as she boasts a 7-1 record on the year. She has pitched three complete games and one shutout in 12 appearances. Her seven wins are good for second in the Big West Conference. The Riverside, Calif., native owns a 2.91 ERA, which ranks fifth in the conference.
Senior centerfielder Courtney Rodriguez has been swift on the base paths this season as she has stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts thus far. Rodriguez is tied for third in the Big West Conference with 11 stolen bases on the year.
Junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez leads the Titans with three home runs on the year. She belted two homers in one day at the Santa Clara Bronco Classic against Seattle and Santa Clara on Feb. 21 and helped lead Cal State Fullerton to a 6-5 victory over North Carolina with her third home run of the season just last Sunday.
This season, the Titans' defense has turned six double plays. Three of those came in Fullerton's 10-0 win over Santa Clara. Their six DP's rank third in the Big West Conference.
PERFECTION IN THE FIELD
Senior first baseman Melissa Sechrest is about as sure-handed as an infielder can be, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage over her 21 games. The ball as certainly found her as she has 159 total chances, resulting in 151 putouts and eight assists. She has also helped turn six double plays on the year.
THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
Cal State Fullerton has made the most of scoring early in games. When the Titans score first, they are 12-1 on the year. Additionally, Fullerton is 8-0 when it scores in the first inning. Fullerton has scored the majority of its runs in the first this season. The Titans have scored nearly 30 percent of their runs in the first frame and are out-scoring opponents 29-11 in the first.
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
After 21 games played, Cal State Fullerton is undefeated when leading after the fifth inning. The Titans have won seven of their 13 victories holding onto a lead after the fifth inning.
The Titans were one of the most prolific offenses in the league a year ago as they ranked second in the Big West in runs (278), hits (465), doubles (71), triples (12), total bases (638), walks (170) and stolen bases (49).
Cal State Fullerton did not waste any time showing off its hot bats as the Titans are out-scoring their opponents 110-81 while batting .304 with a slugging percentage of .406.
RETURN OF THE ALL-AMERICAN
Three-time All-American Missy Taukeiaho was selected as one of 50 student-athletes on the "Watch List" for the 2016 USA Collegiate Softball Player of the Year award. The is the second straight year she has been selected to the "Watch List."
This season the senior third baseman is leading the Titans with a .400 batting average and a .615 slugging percentage. She has scored 15 runs, drove in seven, roped nine doubles and belted one homer, while drawing 13 walks on the season.
GOOD IN PRESSURE SITUATIONS
As a team, Cal State Fullerton is hitting .320 with the bases loaded. The Titans are 8-for-25 this season with bases full. Brooke Clemetson and Alexis Gonzalez are both 1-for-1 in that situation, while Melissa Sechrest (1-for-2) and Samantha Vandiver (2-for-4) are hitting .500 with bases full of Titans.
WALK THIS WAY
Missy Taukeiaho and Alexis Gonzalez are leading the Titans in walks this season. The duo have combined for 24 walks on the year as Taukeiaho leads the squad with 13 and Gonzalez has drawn 11 walks. Taukeiaho's 13 walks ranks her second in the Big West, while Gonzalez is tied for fourth.
Missy Taukeiaho and Sarah Moore lead both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference with nine doubles on the year. Taukeiaho roped three doubles in one game earlier this season against UT-San Antonio in the season opener on Feb. 12. Hot on Taukeiaho and Moore's heels with seven doubles is Melissa Sechrest. As a team, the Titans have recorded 36 doubles which leads the Big West Conference.
GET 'EM ON, GET 'EM OVER, GET 'EM IN
The Titans are hitting .504 (187-for-371) when successfully advancing runners over. Leading the way offensively in this situation are Courtney Rodriguez and Alexis Gonzalez who are both batting .696. Rodriguez is 32-for-46, while Gonzalez is 16-for-23 when successfully advancing baserunners.
The Titans have a pair of Ybarra's on the team in senior left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra and sophomore infielder Bryanna Ybarra. Desiree sports jersey No. 15, while Bryanna wears No. 16. With the same last name and consecutive jersey numbers, you'd think the duo are sisters - they're not.
Following the Louisville Slugger Invitational, Cal State Fullerton will return home to Anderson Family Field to host Yale and Princeton on Tuesday, March 15 at 4 p.m., and 6 p.m., respectively.
After the Ivy League mid-week doubleheader, the Titan welcome some of the top teams in the nation in Alabama, Arkansas, DePaul, Grand Canyon, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and UNLV to Fullerton, Calif., for the Easton Tournament. The tournament will run from Thursday, March 17 - Sunday, March 20.
Cal State Fullerton will play Alabama Thursday at 5:30 p.m., before taking on Oklahoma on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday will pit Fullerton against Arkansas at 6:30 p.m., while Sunday the Titans will close out the tournament against New Mexico at 12:30 p.m.