Cal State Fullerton Softball Opens Big West Action, Hosts UCR

Cal State Fullerton Softball Opens Big West Action, Hosts UCR

Games 36-38
UC Riverside at Cal State Fullerton

Dates: Saturday, April 2 & Sunday, April 3
Times: 2 p.m./4 p.m. (DH) & 12 noon
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Anderson Family Field
Live Stats:
Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads 35-11

Weekly Release (.pdf)

Cal State Fullerton kicks off the month of April with a three-game series against UC Riverside to begin Big West Conference action. The Titans and the Highlanders will face off Saturday, April 2 with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m., at Anderson Family Field. The series will conclude Sunday, April 3 with a game at 12 noon.

Cal State Fullerton students receive free admission to Titan home games with their Titan I.D. card. For all pricing and additional ticket information, please click HERE.

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.

Live stats will be provided for all games this week. To access live stats for the games, log onto and go to the softball schedule, then click live stats.

Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at The Titans also offer live streaming video for home softball contests over the Internet courtesy of Big West.TV. Fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. To access the links, click on the audio or live video link on the schedule page.

Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside will meet for the 47th time in program history and the Titans lead the all-time series 35-11. A year ago, Fullerton took two out of three games against UCR in the three game series.

Although Big West Conference play is just beginning, this weekend's series still looks to be an exciting and competitive one. Cal State Fullerton sits atop the Big West Conference standings with a 25-10 overall record, while UCR is in second place with a 23-9-1 ledger.

The Cal State Fullerton softball team saw its five-game winning streak come to an end after dropping a one-run contest by a score of 5-4 to No. 16/18 UCLA on a wild pitch that scored the eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning.

The Titans scored all four of their runs in the first two innings as they took an early 4-1 lead. Cal State Fullerton's first two runs came on a two-run homer off the bat of Sarah Moore who sent a long ball to deep centerfield which scored Alexis Gonzalez who had reached base on a walk. The home run was the first of the year for Moore.

UCLA cut Fullerton's lead in half in the top of the second as the Bruins countered with a homer of their own – a solo shot by Madeline Jelenicki. The roundtripper put an end to Cal State Fullerton starter Desiree Ybarra's scoreless inning streak. Up until that point, Ybarra had pitched 16.2 scoreless innings and had not allowed an earned run in 37.1 innings of work.

With a one-run lead, the Titans added a pair in the bottom of the frame to go up by three (4-1) as they put together a two-out rally. Delynn Rippy got things going with an infield single and moved to second on a base hit to left by Samantha Vandiver. UCLA's starter Johanna Grauer loaded the bases after walking Missy Taukeiaho before giving up a two-run single to Gonzalez.

The Bruins made a pitching change and Selina Ta'amilo came on in relief and got out of the inning. She was effective in shutting down the Titans for the rest of the game as she scattered two hits over 5.1 innings of work, while striking out five and not allowing a walk.

Ybarra gave up a two-run home run to Delaney Spaulding in the third before allowing UCLA to tie the game at 4-4 in the fourth on a pair of walks and an RBI-single.

The game remained tied until the seventh inning as Ybarra and Ta'amilo matched each other inning for inning.

However, Ybarra found herself in a jam in the top of the seventh when Kylee Perez to reach on a bunt single. Perez was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a grounder to second before Ybarra walked Imani Johnson to put runners at the corners with two outs.

With the game on the line, Cal State Fullerton made a pitching change and brought in Jasmine Antunez in relief of Ybarra. Antunez walked Jelenicki and in the process threw a wild pitch that allowed Perez to score the eventual game-winning run from third before getting out of the frame.

Down to their final three outs, the Titans got a one-out double from Vandiver but were unable to drive her in as Cal State Fullerton dropped a heartbreaker to nationally-ranked UCLA.

Ybarra (7-5) suffered the loss after pitching 6.2 innings of work and allowing five runs on six hits. She walked seven and fanned three. Antunez allowed one walk in just 0.1 innings pitched.

Ta'amilo (9-2) earned the win as she tossed 5.1 innings of shutout softball in relief of Grauer who allowed four runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. Grauer walked three and struck out two in the no decision.

Both teams tallied six hits in the game and Vandiver was the only one on both sides to record a multi-hit game with a single in the second and a double in the seventh. She finished the game batting 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Moore was 1-for-3 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored, while Gonzalez was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a walk. Rippy and Courtney Rodriguez contributed the Titans' remaining two hits.

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 120 victories and looks to finish off the weekend with 123.

Desiree Ybarra has set the tone in the circle for the Titans' pitching staff as the senior left-hander leads the team with a 1.96 ERA in 21 appearances with 13 starts. The Riverside, Calif., native has collected seven wins, seven complete games, three shutouts and 76 strike outs this season. Additionally, she has allowed just 41 walks and 73 hits in 89.1 innings of work.

Ybarra is second in the Big West in ERA (1.96), opponent batting average (.221) and earned runs allowed (25).

Freshman right-hander Sydney Golden boasts a 10-3 record on the year to rank third in the Big West in wins. She has pitched four complete games and one shutout in 16 appearances. The Riverside, Calif., native owns a 2.43 ERA, which also ranks third in the conference.

Missy Taukeiaho is leading the Titans in walks this season as she has drawn 21 bases on balls which lead both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference.

Senior southpaw Desiree Ybarra has been on point in the circle in her last several outings. However, her scoreless inning streak came to an end Tuesday night against UCLA at 16.2 innings. Additionally, her streak of having not allowed an earned run also came to a halt at 37.1.

The Titans have done a solid job offensively this season as they are leading the Big West Conference in five offensive categories. Cal State Fullerton sits atop the league in runs scored (178), doubles (51), walks (118) and sacrifice flies (10). However, the Titans have also seen strong pitching this season as well. CSF leads the Big West in ERA (2.39), opponent batting average (.231), innings pitched (234.0), wins (25), runs allowed (101), earned runs allowed (80) and home runs allowed (14). Rounding out the offense and pitching is the Titans' defensive efforts as their catchers lead the league after having caught eight runners attempting to steal.

Cal State Fullerton has a trio of runners who have been hot on the base paths and posting double figures in stolen bases. Courtney Rodriguez leads the squad with 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts and Ariana Williams is second on the team with 12 steals in 13 attempts. Following close behind is Delynn Rippy with 10 steals on 11 attempts. The trio account for 35 of the Titans' 59 stolen bases (nearly 60 percent) as they are a big reason Fullerton is ranked second in the league in steals this season.

The Titans have launched 11 long balls on the year and eight of them have come from the bat of Alexis Gonzalez and Missy Taukeiaho. Gonzalez leads Cal State Fullerton with five, while Taukeiaho has contributed three. Melissa Sechrest, Desiree Ybarra and Sarah Moore have each belted one apiece. Moore is responsible for the Titans' most recent bomb as she blasted a two-run homer in Cal State Fullerton's 5-4 loss against No. 16/18 UCLA on Tuesday night.

This season, the Titans' defense has turned 10 double plays. Three of those came in Fullerton's 10-0 win over Santa Clara, while two came in a mid-week contest versus Princeton. Their 10 DP's rank second in the Big West Conference.

During the month of March, Cal State Fullerton has boasted a record of 16-4 which is an .800 winning percentage. Three of the Titans' four losses came to nationally-ranked opponents.

Senior first baseman Melissa Sechrest is about as sure-handed as an infielder can be, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage over her 28 games on the diamond. The ball has certainly found her as she has 202 total chances, resulting in 190 putouts and 12 assists. She has also helped turn eight of the Titans' 10 double plays on the year.

Cal State Fullerton has made the most of scoring early in games. When the Titans score first, they are 22-2 on the year. Additionally, Fullerton is 11-1 when it scores in the first inning. CSF has scored the majority of its runs in the first this season, plating 39 in the opening frame, while limiting their opponents to just 15.

After 35 games played, Cal State Fullerton is undefeated when leading after the fifth inning. The Titans have won 16 of their 25 victories holding onto a lead after the fifth inning.

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 has scored 26 runs, drove in 15, roped 15 doubles, ripped one triple and belted three homers, while drawing 21 walks on the season. Her 15 doubles and 21 walks lead both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference.

The Titans are hitting .509 (295-for-580) when successfully advancing runners on the base paths. Leading the way offensively in this situation is Courtney Rodriguez who is 39-for-62 (.629). Additionally Cal State Fullerton is batting .459 (51-for-111) with a runner at third with less than two outs. Again, Rodriguez has been most effective in this situation as she boasts a .692 batting average (9-for-13) with a runner at third and less than two outs.

The Titans have had their most success when playing on Sunday as the squad is undefeated when playing on that day of the week. Cal State Fullerton owns a 7-0 record when taking the field on a Sunday.

Missy Taukeiaho leads both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference with 15 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. Behind Taukeiaho with 10 doubles is Sarah Moore. As a team, the Titans have recorded 50 doubles which leads the Big West Conference.

Cal State Fullerton ranks in the top three in each statistical category (pitching, hitting and fielding) in the Big West Conference. The Titans lead the league in earned run average with a 2.39 team ERA and are second in fielding percentage with a .968 mark. Fullerton rounds out the top three statistical categories with a .302 batting average which is good for third in the league.

Senior left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second time in three weeks after pitching a complete-game shutout against nationally-ranked Fresno State last week. Ybarra struck out a career-high 11 batters and extended her scoreless inning streak to 15.1 innings.

Ybarra was joined this week by junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez who earned her first BWC Player of the Week nod after belting a pair of three-run home runs against Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield last week en route to helping the Titans extend their winning streak to five.

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 pair are sisters - they're not.

Cal State Fullerton heads to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to take on Cal Poly on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10. Saturday's doubleheader starts at 1 p.m., while Sunday's single game is also at 1 p.m.


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