FULLERTON, Calif. – The big inning trend for Cal State Fullerton continued Saturday night against Arkansas as the Titans used a five-run inning to jump out in front and never look back as they defeated the Razorbacks 8-1 during the Easton Tournament.
Cal State Fullerton has now won nine of its last 10 games and improves to 22-9 on the year. Arkansas falls to 13-15 after coming away with a split on the day as the Razorbacks defeated No. 23 Nebraska before dropping a seven-run decision to the Titans.
Jasmine Antunez (2-1) got the start in the circle for the Titans – her first of the year – and came away with the win after pitching 5.2 innings of work in which she allowed just one run on two hits. She walked four and struck out three and did not allow a run until the sixth inning.
Antunez received a lot of run support from her teammates as they sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth and scored five runs on four hits while capitalizing on an error by Arkansas.
Freshman Ariana Williams kicked things off in the fourth as she drove in a pair in Sydney Colenzo and Shianne Brannan who had reached on a single and a walk, respectively, for the first runs of the game as the Titans went up 2-0. Following her lead was senior Missy Taukeiaho who belted her third home run of the season – a three run shot – to leftfield to give the Titans a 5-0 advantage.
The big inning forced Arkansas to pull starting pitcher Grace Moll (9-12) and bring in Peyton Carter. Moll finished the game tossing 3.2 innings and allowed four runs on as many hits. She walked four and struck out four.
After the Razorbacks brought in their third pitcher of the game in Claire Clare,the Titans tacked on another run in the fifth courtesy of an RBI single up the middle by Samantha Vandiver that scored Williams who had reached on a double down the leftfield line.
Antunez held the Razorbacks scoreless until the sixth when she allowed an infield single and three walks to put Arkansas on the board. However, senior lefty Desiree Ybarra came on in relief and got out of the bases loaded jam with a strikeout.
With a 6-1 lead, the Titans' offense was not done yet. They plated two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double by Williams which scored Colenzo and Megan Estacio, who pinch ran for Kylie Padilla.
Cal State Fullerton took an 8-1 advantage into the seventh and Ybarra fanned the first two batters in the frame before getting the final batter to fly out to center as the Titans picked up their 22nd win of the year.
In just her third collegiate start, Williams went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Taukeiaho was 1-for-3 at the plate with a homer, three runs batted in and a run scored. Colenzo finished the game going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
The Titans will wrap up action in the Easton Tournament Sunday, March 20 against New Mexico at 12:30 p.m.