CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Sophomore Sophie Frost and freshman Taylor Dockins threw two fantastic ballgames as Cal State Fullerton (6-6) defeated LIU Brooklyn (3-10) and Mississippi State (12-3) on their first day of the Mary Nutter Classic.
Frost set the pace for the day as she got the start in game number one against the Blackbirds. She absolutely cruised through the ballgame not allowing a single baserunner to reach second base until the sixth inning. The Washington native had at least one strikeout in each of her first five innings including three backwards K's in the fifth. She finished with a career-high eight strikeouts, the most by a Titan pitcher since Sydney Golden struck out eight in early May of 2017. For the game, she only surrendered four hits and walked just one.
Offensively, the Titans had a solid game at the plate. Leadoff hitter Brooke Clemetson would set the tempo going 3-3 on the night with a sac bunt and two runs scored. Bryanna Ybarra also collected a multi-hit game going 2-3 at the dish.
The scoring got started in the first as Clemetson would collect her first knock of the day, steal second, and eventually score on an Ari Williams single back up the middle. Clemetson would also score the second run of the day as her speed is just too much to handle sometimes. After legging out another infield single, a wild pitch would get her to second; the throw from the catcher would end up in center, giving her third; and the center fielder's misplay allowed her to score easily.
The Titans would go on to score in the fourth courtesy of a double steal by Ybarra and pinch runner Kelsie Whitmore. They'd plate a run in the fifth thanks to a bases loaded walk to Shianne Brannan. And their final run came in the sixth on a wild pitch allowing Sam Kennedy to score after she doubled to lead off the inning.
In the end, Fullerton only needed one run to win it as Frost tossed her first career shutout (also her first career complete game), but the extra run support never hurts. Final score: 5-0.
It seemed like it would be a daunting task to take the down the Bulldogs in game number two as they entered the weekend with the best pitching staff in the nation. However, Dockins was up for the challenge.
The freshman right-hander, coming off her no-hitter against San Diego, dominated from the start. While her second straight no-hit bid would end with the second batter singling into left, it didn't matter because Dockins was dealing. Through the first four innings, she had faced the minimum (12 batters to get 12 outs) and had picked up five strikeouts.
Clemetson would be the one to break the scoreless tie in the third. After reaching on the first of five Bulldog errors, she would steal second and come in to score on the second Miss. St. error on a grounder to second base off the bat of Vandiver.
In the fifth, the Titans got a much needed insurance run. Dockins reached via a hit by pitch and Whitmore would come in to pinch run. Whitmore stole second and make the hustle play to get to third as the throw trickled into the outfield. Fullerton's second double steal of the day allowed her to score as the Titans took a 2-0 lead.
Dockins got in to some trouble in the fifth after a walk and a one-out double gave Mississippi State runners on second and third with less than two outs. However, the Titans would sacrifice a run for an out and then Dockins picked up strikeout number six to get out of the inning only allowing one to come across.
The Titans would plate two more runs in the top of the seventh, but Dockins already had as much run support as she'd need. Picking up two more strikeouts in the final two frames, the freshman shut down the Bulldog offense. She finished with eight strikeouts on the night while only giving up three hits and two walks.
Fullerton was actually held hitless through the first six innings of the ballgame despite leading 2-1 at that point and only finished with one hit thanks to a Brannan double to lead off the seventh. But nevertheless, it was a big 4-1 win for Fullerton.
The one run scored by Mississippi State put an end to a 17.1 inning scoreless streak for the Titan pitching staff, but still hold a nice ratio of only one run allowed in their last 20 innings. They hope to continue the pitching dominance as they face off against No. 19/19 Cal and No. 17/15 ASU tomorrow to close out the Mary Nutter Classic.
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