Los Angeles - Brittany Abacherli and Madison Aurin combined for three hits and drove in all three Spartan runs to lift San Jose State to a 3-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton in Game 1 of the 2017 Los Angeles Regional Friday night at Easton Stadium.
The Spartans (37-17) advance to the winner's bracket on Saturday and will face the winner of Friday night's UCLA-Lehigh match-up at 2 p.m. The Titans (33-22) will have to work through the loser's bracket and will take on the loser of the Bruin-Mountain Hawk tilt at 4:30 p.m.
Abacherli's second inning solo home run to right field off of Titan ace Kelsey Kessler (19-8) proved to be the game winner in the brisk 1-hour, 47-minute affair.
Right-hander Katelyn Linford (24-7) picked up the victory with a complete-game, three-hit performance, fanning three Titans without a walk.
Kessler nearly matched Linford pitch-for-pitch, retiring eight in a row following the long-ball, but ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth. A pair of walks and an error loaded the bases for Aurin, who singled sharply to center to plate a pair of insurance runs.
Fullerton' s best chance of scoring came in the top of the second when Shiannne Brannan reached via a throwing error by Linford and moved to second on a groundout. But she was cut down at the plate as she tried to score on Emily Randall's single to center a batter later, just getting touched as she tried to evade the tag with a wide slide.
Sydney Golden pitched the final 1.1 innings for Fullerton, allowing a harmless seventh-inning double to pinch-hitter Alexandra Luna.
NOTES: This is the 11th postseason for the Titans this century, and second in a row after a 6-year hiatus from 2010-15… Friday night is the first time since May 16, 2009 that the Titans have been shutout in postseason play (7-0 loss to Arizona State at the Tempe Regional)… Delynn Rippy's 4-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday night… Prior to this evening, the Titans had beat the Spartans six consecutive times. This was their first postseason meeting.