FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team received a pair of nearly flawless performances in the circle from Sydney Golden and Desiree Ybarra as the Titans dropped a one-run pitcher's duel to No. 6 Alabama by a score of 2-1 to open the Easton Tournament.
"I thought our pitcher's did a fabulous job in keeping a great team contained," Cal State Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford said. "They both did an amazing job.
"Offensively, we had a tough time staying off of the rise ball – that was my one assessment. But overall, we played hard and did a good job against a very talented team."
The loss snaps the Titans' seven-game win streak as they fall to 20-9 on the year, while the Crimson Tide improves to 23-4 overall.
Golden (9-3) got the start in the circle for Cal State Fullerton and after allowing one run in the top of the first, composed herself and was magnificent for the next four innings. The freshman right-hander struck out the side in the second getting each batter she faced to go down swinging.
Between the first and sixth innings, she retired 13-of-14 batters, nine of which came on consecutive at bats. Golden collected four strikeouts before allowing the second run of the game in the sixth on a pair of walks and a single up the middle.
Both of Alabama's runs were scored by leadoff hitter Haylie McCleney who finished the night batting 1-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Ybarra came on in relief of Golden and was just as effective. The senior southpaw allowed just one single in the top of the seventh, while fanning four in 1.2 innings of work.
Alabama's starter Alexis Osorio (8-2) pitched a complete game and struck out 11 Titans as she did not allow Fullerton to get on the board until the bottom of the sixth.
In that frame, the Titans took advantage of back-to-back walks to start the inning and a one-out single by Alexis Gonzalez got Fullerton on the board as Delynn Rippy came around to score. Samantha Vandiver rounded third in an effort to tie the game, but was gunned down at the plate to preserve the Crimson Tide's lead.
That was the only run the Titans would get as Osorio would retire the side in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Cal State Fullerton finished the game with three hits coming from Vandiver, Gonzalez and catcher Kylie Padilla who dropped a single to center in the second inning.
Alabama's four hits came from McCleney, Reagan Dykes, Leona Lafaele and Caroline Hardy. Dykes and Lafaele were responsible for driving in McCleney on two separate occasions.
The Titans look to start a new winning streak when they face No. 13/14 Oklahoma on the second day of the Easton Tournament on Friday, March 18. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.