Long Beach State vs. No. 25 Cal State Fullerton
Dates: Wednesday, April 27 & Friday, April 29
Times: 3 p.m. / 5:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Venue: Anderson Family Field
Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com
Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads 73-59
A LOOK AT THE WEEK
No. 25 Cal State Fullerton brings its 13-game winning streak back home as it hosts Big West Conference foe Long Beach State in a nationally televised doubleheader in Wednesday, April 27 at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively. The games will be televised on ESPNU.
The Titans and the 49ers will conclude the three-game series with a single game on Friday, April 29 at 6 p.m., at Anderson Family Field.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME
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.
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 week. To access live stats for the games, log onto www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule, then click live stats.
WATCH THE TITANS
Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. 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.
TITANS VS. 49ERS
The Titans and the 49ers have met 132 times in program history and Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with a 73-59 record. After being swept at Long Beach State a year ago, the Titans are looking to bounce back and earn their first win over the 49ers since 2014 when they went 2-1 during the three-game series.
IN THE POLLS
After putting together a 13-game winning streak and a 33-4 record over the last two months, the Cal State Fullerton softball team is receiving national attention. In Tuesday morning's USA Today/NFCA Poll, the Titans moved their way into the No. 25 spot in the rankings marking the second time in as many season they received a national ranking.
Prior to making their appearance in the Top 25 Poll, the Titans knocked off three nationally-ranked opponents in then-No. 19 Arizona, then-No. 13 Oklahoma and then-No. 23/25 Fresno State. Cal State Fullerton is 3-4 this season against ranked teams.
LAST TIME OUT
The Cal State Fullerton softball team continued its roll as the Titans won their 13th straight game with a doubleheader sweep of Hawai'i on Saturday at Rainbow Wahine Stadium. Fullerton won game one by a score of 7-1 and followed that with a 2-0 shutout win over Hawai'i in the night cap
The Titans received a pair of complete-game victories from senior lefty Desiree Ybarra and freshman right-hander Sydney Golden, respectively, as they improved to 38-10 overall and 12-0 in Big West Conference action. Cal State Fullerton's 12-0 conference ledger is the best conference start since the 2002 squad kicked off league action going 13-0.
The night cap featured a complete-game shutout effort from Golden in the circle as the freshman was phenomenal once again.
Golden hurled 7.0 innings of shutout softball and scattered four hits, while walking one and striking out two as she went on to collect her team-leading 16th victory of the season.
Her counterpart, Brittany Hitchcock pitched well but surrendered two runs which proved to be the difference in the game.
The first Titan run came on a solo home run off the bat of Sarah Moore in the second inning which gave the Fullerton a 1-0 lead that it would not relinquish.
Moore's blast marked the second homer of the season for the senior designated player and brought the Titans' team home run total to 23.
With Golden continuing to shut down the Rainbow Wahine's offense, the Titans added an insurance run in the fifth on a pair of singles.
Shianne Brannan led off the frame with a single through the left side and Ariana Williams came in to pinch run and swiped her team-best 18th bag of the year and advanced to third on the overthrow. With Williams on third, Delynn Rippy singled back up the middle to bring home Cal State Fullerton's second run of the game and give the Titans a 2-0 edge.
Pitching with a two-run lead, Golden continued to mow down the Rainbow Wahine as she went on to win the game and help the Titans to their 13th straight victory.
Rippy finished the game batting 2-for-3 with an RBI and was the only player to record more than one hit in the game. Moore went 1-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored, while Samantha Vandiver, Alexis Gonzalez, Courtney Rodriguez and Brannan rounded out the remainder of hits for the Titans.
In addition to jumping into the Top 25 rankings this week, Cal State Fullerton softball is ranked 26 in RPI. The Titans have the strongest RPI in the Big West Conference, while Long Beach State is second in the league with an RPI of 43.
Cal State Fullerton has now won 13 straight games dating back to a one-run loss to nationally-ranked UCLA on March 29. The 13 consecutive wins marks the longest winning streak for a Titans' softball program since 2002 when they won an impressive 32 games in a row from March 1 - April 20. That streak is the second-longest in program history coming in just behind the program-record 35 game winning streak set in 1987.
The Titans have opened Big West Conference play with a 12-0 record marking their best start to league action since 2002 when Cal State Fullerton started league action with a 13-0 ledger. In that year, the Titans finished the season with a 22-2 Big West Conference record and made an appearance in the NCAA Regionals.
Cal State Fullerton has posted a 38-10 record with a winning percentage of .787 which ranks 14th nationally in win-loss percentage. However, the Titans' wins are not the only category making the top 25 in the NCAA. As a team, Fullerton's pitching staff has posted a 2.07 ERA which leads the Big West Conference and ranks 14th nationally.
Individually, the Titans have a pair of players whose stats also rank in the nation's top 25. Senior third baseman Missy Taukeiaho ranks fifth in the nation in doubles per game (.043), while junior rightfielder Delynn Rippy ranks 12th nationally in triples (5) and 22nd in the nation in triples per game (0.11).
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 133 victories and looks to finish off the week with 136.
WALK THIS WAY
Missy Taukeiaho is leading the Titans in walks this season as she has drawn 32 bases on balls which lead both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference. She has accounted for more than 20 percent of the Titans' walks this season as the sqaud has drawn 151 total walks, which also leads the league.
GOOD AS GOLD
Freshman right-hander Sydney Golden boasts an 16-3 record on the year to rank second in the Big West in wins. She has pitched seven complete games and two shutouts in 24 appearances. The Riverside, Calif., native owns a team-best 1.63 ERA, which also ranks second in the conference.
In 12 conference games thus far, Golden has made eight appearances and is 6-0 with a 0.34 ERA. She has notched three complete games and one shutout while striking out 20 batters over 41.0 innings of work and allowing just two earned runs.
Desiree Ybarra has set the tone in the circle for the Titans' pitching staff as the senior left-hander owns a 1.70 ERA in 29 appearances with 19 starts. The Riverside, Calif., native has collected 12 wins, 10 complete games, three shutouts, one save and 113 strike outs this season. Additionally, she has allowed just 50 walks and 102 hits in 123.1 innings of work.
Ybarra is third in the Big West in ERA (1.70) and third in opponent batting average (.222).
During conference action, Ybarra has seen eight appearances and has posted a 5-0 record with a 1.03 ERA. She has fanned 37 batters over 34.0 innings pitched.
Cal State Fullerton has a trio of runners who have been hot on the base paths and posting double figures in stolen bases. Ariana Williams leads the squad with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts and Courtney Rodriguez is second on the team with 14 steals in 18 attempts. Following close behind is Delynn Rippy with 11 steals on 13 attempts. The trio account for 43 of the Titans' 73 stolen bases.
FINALIST FOR FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced the top 25 finalists for the Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award and Cal State Fullerton freshman right-handed pitcher Sydney Golden was among those selected.
Golden has put together a stellar rookie season in the circle thus far as she boasts a 1.63 ERA and a 16-3 record. Her 16 wins lead the team and are good for second in the Big West Conference.
The Riverside, Calif., native has recorded 68 strikeouts and seven complete games in 107.1 innings of work. She has also allowed just 100 hits, 20 walks and 39 runs (25 of which were earned), while fanning 68 batters.
In conference action, Golden is an impressive 6-0 with a 0.34 ERA as she has helped the league-leading Titans to a 12-0 Big West Conference ledger. In her eight conference appearances, she has logged 20 strikeouts and three complete games in 41.0 innings pitched.
This year's 25 finalists hail from 22 different universities, while the group represents 12 Division I leagues from across the nation.
On Thursday, May 12, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 finalists, while the top three finalists will be selected and released on Wednesday, May 25.
The Schutt / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on Tuesday, May 31 prior to the opening of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The Titans not only lead the Big West Conference in double with 75, they also own the top three individual spots in the doubles category. Missy Taukeiaho leads the league with 20 doubles, while Sarah Moore is second in the conference with 13 and Melissa Sechrest is third in the Big West with 12. The trio have combined for 45 doubles on the year which is more than Hawai'i (43) and UC Davis (36) have as a team.
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
After 48 games played, Cal State Fullerton is undefeated when leading after the fifth inning. The Titans have won 28 of their 38 victories holding onto a lead after the fifth inning.
In addition to leading the conference in the Big West standings with a perfect 12-0 record, the Titans have done a solid job offensively this season as they are leading the Big West Conference in 10 offensive categories. Cal State Fullerton sits atop the league in slugging percentage (.441), runs scored (259), hits (391), RBIs (214), doubles (75), triples (12), total bases (559), total plate appearances (1493), walks (151) and sacrifice flies (15).
IN THE CIRCLE
The Titans have also seen strong pitching this season as well. CSF leads the Big West with a 2.02 ERA which is also 14th in the nation. Additionally, Fullerton leads the conference in opponent batting average (.234), wins (38), fewest runs allowed (118), fewest earned runs allowed (93) and fewest home runs allowed (17).
HOME RUN TERRITORY
The Titans have launched 23 long balls on the year and 15 of them have come from the bat of Missy Taukeiaho and Alexis Gonzalez. Taukeiaho leads Cal State Fullerton with eight homers, while Gonzalez is hot on her heels with seven. Melissa Sechrest has belted three, while Sarah Moore has recorded two. Delynn Rippy, Desiree Ybarra and Shianne Brannan have each recorded one apiece.
During the month of March, Cal State Fullerton boasted a record of 16-4 which is an .800 winning percentage. Three of the Titans' four losses came to nationally-ranked opponents.
While posting an .800 winning percentage in the month of March was impressive, the Titans have done even better in April as they have not lost a game this month with a perfect 13-0 record. After having won 13 straight games and 18 of their last 19, the Titans moved into the USA Today/NFCA Poll at No. 25.
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 33-2 on the year. Additionally, Fullerton is 20-1 when it scores in the first inning.
CSF has scored the majority of its runs in the first this season, plating 56 in the opening frame, while limiting their opponents to just 16.
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 leads the team with a .380 batting average and has scored 43 runs, drove in 34, roped 20 doubles, ripped one triple and belted eight homers, while drawing 32 walks on the season. She also leads the team with a .715 slugging percentage and a .503 on-base percentage. Her 20 doubles and 32 walks lead both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference.
Her offense has picked up even more in conference action as she is batting .406 with 16 runs scored, 17 runs batted in, five doubles four home runs and 30 total bases. In Big West play, she has posted a conference-leading .938 slugging percentage and a .558 on-base percentage. Additionally, she has drawn 10 walks and is 3-for-3 in stolen bases.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
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 9-0 record when taking the field on a Sunday.
GET 'EM ON, GET 'EM OVER, GET 'EM IN
The Titans are hitting .511 (408-for-798) when successfully advancing runners on the base paths. Leading the way offensively in this situation is Delynn Rippy who is 44-for-69 (.638).
Additionally Cal State Fullerton is batting .476 (69-for-145) with a runner at third with less than two outs. Alexis Gonzalez has been most effective in this situation as she boasts a .667 batting average (8-for-12) with a runner at third and less than two outs.
DOUBLE DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE
Missy Taukeiaho leads both Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference with 20 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. As a team, the Titans have recorded 75 doubles which leads the Big West Conference.
Cal State Fullerton ranks in the top two in each statistical category in the Big West Conference (pitching, hitting and fielding). The Titans lead the league in earned run average with a 2.02 team ERA. Additionally, CSF is second in fielding percentage with a .969 mark and second in batting average with a .307 clip.
This season, the Titans are undefeated in several situations. The breakdown is as follows:
In Big West Conference games (12-0)
In road games (9-0)
In two-run games (8-0)
When scoring 10+ runs (3-0)
When leading after the fifth inning (28-0)
When hitting 2+ HRs in a game (4-0)
In the month of April (13-0)
When playing on Sunday (9-0)
This season, Cal State Fullerton has had a pitcher or player earn Big West Conference Player of the Week honors on six occasions.
Senior left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra is the only Titan to earn the honors multiple times this season as she was named Pitcher of the Week for the week of March 14 and again the week of March 28.
During the year, the Titans have swept the honors twice as Ybarra and junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez were named Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, the week of March 28. Then four weeks later junior rightfielder Delynn Rippy and freshman right-handed pitcher Sydney Golden collected the honors the week of April 25.
Rounding out the Titans' Player of the Week honors is senior third baseman Missy Taukeiaho who was earnded the award the week of April 4.
This season three Titans lead the Big West Conference in seven different statistical categories. Missy Taukeiaho leads the way as the leader in slugging percentage (.715), runs scored (43), doubles (20), total bases (98) and walks (32). Additionally Delynn Rippy leads the league in triples with five, while Samantha Vandiver tops the conference with 159 at-bats.
Since Big West Conference action started in March, the Titans have dominated the league posting a perfect 12-0 conference record.
The Titans' success comes from both strong pitching and a powerful offense as Cal State Fullerton's pitching staff leads the league with an impressive 0.95 ERA, while their offense is hitting a league-leading .320 batting average.
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 makes its last road trip of the regular season Friday, May 6 when it travels to Northridge, Calif., to take on CSUN in a doubleheader that begins at 1p.m. The three-game series concludes Saturday, May 7 with a single game set for 1 p.m.