FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team run-ruled Long Beach State in game two after snapping their 13-game winning streak and dropping their first conference match during game one of the nationally televised doubleheader on Wednesday night.
Long Beach State took game one of the series in an 8-1 victory to give the Titans their first conference loss of the season before the Titans answered back with an 8-0 run-rule victory, the first run-rule loss for Long Beach this season.
Senior Desiree Ybarra earned her 13th win of the season, matching her win total from her freshman campaign in 2012. The Titans improved to 39-11 on the season and 13-1 in the Big West while Long Beach State fell to 26-18 on the year and 7-7 in Big West play.
Game 1: Cal State Fullerton 1, Long Beach State 8
The Titans sent Sydney Golden to the circle for her 18th start of the season yet the freshman found herself in trouble early in the game. The 49ers tallied six hits in one inning pitched, including a two-run homerun before knocking Golden out of the game.
Golden suffered the loss, dropping her record to 16-4 after facing only nine batters.
Melissa Sechrest answered back for the Titans with a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning, scoring the only run of the game.
Ybarra made an appearance in the first game, also only pitching one inning, yet gave up two homeruns in the top of the 3rd inning to give the 49ers the 5-1 lead.
Jasmine Antunez came on in relief of Ybarra, pitching 2.2 innings and facing 26 batters, allowing three hits while striking out one before Cerissa Rivera would get the nod to come in and finish the game. Rivera threw 2.1 innings and allowed only one hit to shutout the 49ers.
Every Long Beach State starter recorded a hit, tallying 14 hits the entire game, the first double-digit hits allowed in conference play this season.
Long Beach State pitcher Christina Clermont remained masterful the rest of the game, holding the Titans to only five hits while striking out six in game one of the doubleheader.
Game 2: Cal State Fullerton 8, Long Beach State 0
A six-run first inning would be all the Titans would need to bounce back and take game two of the doubleheader, improving their win total to 39 and just one shy of a 40-win season.
The Titans sent Ybarra to the circle once again yet had a much better outing, shutting out the 49ers in six innings off of eight hits while striking out four to earn her 13th win of the season.
The Titans struck first after a double over the center field wall from Alexis Gonzalez scored Samantha Vandiver, who led the inning off with a single through the left side, to put the Titans ahead 1-0.
Immediately following that, Sechrest sent a shot to left center, scoring both Taukeiaho and Gonzalez for the Titans second straight double and giving them the 3-0 lead early in the first inning.
The 49ers made a pitching change, bringing in Selene Polamalu to face Courtney Rodriguez, who hammered a single up the middle to plate Sechrest and again increasing the Titan lead to 4-0.
The scoring would continue as Shianne Brannan hit a sac fly to center field to score Rodriguez from third followed by a single up the middle from Delynn Rippy to score Kylie Padilla from third to complete the six-running inning by the Titans.
Ybarra held her command throughout the entire game, shutting down the potent Long Beach lineup that tallied 14 hits just hours before.
The Titans tagged on one more run in the bottom of the 3rd inning off the bat of Rippy for her second RBI of the game and would be held scoreless until the bottom of the 6th.
With just one run lingering over a potential run-rule, back-to-back walks to Taukeiaho and Gonzalez followed by a sac bunt from Sechrest put runners in scoring position for Ariana Williams.
Williams managed to poke one over the shortstop into shallow left field, plating Taukeiaho to end the game in run-rule fashion.
Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Rippy led the Titans with two hits apiece, while Vandiver, Sechrest and Williams each recorded a hit.
The Titans 39th win is now the most in a single-season in the last decade and the most since 2003 when the Titans finished the season with a 41-15 record.
Cal State Fullerton returns to Anderson Family Field to square off against Long Beach State for the rubber match on Friday, April 29th at 6 p.m.