Titans Roll in Shutout Victory Over Houston

Credit to Matt Brown
Credit to Matt Brown

Box Score (PDF)
Updated Season Stats (PDF)

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team extended its winning streak to three on Thursday night with a shutout win, 8-0, over Houston at Anderson Family Field.

With the victory, the Titans move to 7-5 on the season and have won six of their last seven games.

Fullerton was led by freshman Emily Randall (1) and senior Lexi Gonzalez (3) who both homered in the ballgame to drive-in three of the eight runs, while senior Kelsey Kessler (4-1) dominated in the circle with a complete game shutout and five strikeouts.

Up next, the Titans will hit the road to Cathedral City, Calif., for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Saturday and Sunday. CSUF will face No. 11/12 Georgia and Louisville on Saturday at 5/7:30 p.m. PT. Followed by games against No. 17/17 Utah and St. John's on Sunday at 2/4:30 p.m. PT.

The scoring got started in the first inning with Titan Kenzie Grimes laying down a bunt for the safety squeeze to bring in Delynn Rippy from third, putting Fullerton up 1-0 after the opening frame.

In the second, Randall crushed a ball to left center for a solo bomb to extend the Fullerton advantage to 2-0. The homer was the freshman's first career collegiate home run as she smiled around the base paths.

Gonzalez followed the call in the third inning as she went yard to left with the ball just curling inside the foul pole for the senior's third home run of the year, giving the Titans a 4-0 edge. The Covina, Calif., native has now homered in her past two games to lead the conference with three.

Meanwhile, Kessler kept pounding the zone and it showed in the fourth as the senior struck out the side after surrendering a leadoff single to put herself through four scoreless.

Rippy added another run for Fullerton in the bottom half with an RBI single to center that knocked-in pinch-runner Ariana Williams from third, lifting the Titans to a 5-0 lead. The senior outfielder extends her hit-streak to four games (three multi-hit games) and has 8 RBIs during that stretch.

Then, after a one-two-three fifth, Grimes collected her second RBI of the night with a single through the left side of the infield that scored Samantha Vandiver, putting Fullerton up 6-0.

Second baseman Sydney Colenzo followed the RBI single with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Gonzalez from third to put the Titans within a run of securing the victory.

After Randall reached on an error, Shianne Brannan stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and laced an RBI single to center field to clinch the 8-0 win for Fullerton.

On the night, the Titans scored eight runs on 10 hits and committed no errors in the contests.

Kessler's final line was stunning as she pitched her first shutout of the season with five innings pitched, five strikeouts one walk and surrendered only three hits to the Cougars. The Blue Springs, Mo., native has now won her last two starts and is tied for the conference lead with four wins.

Also, the victory puts coach Ford at 602 victories in her career as the Titan head coach got win No. 600 yesterday after beating Bakersfield, 7-2, in game one of the doubleheader. Ford currently sits only three wins away from reaching 150 victories at Fullerton.

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