FULLERTON, Calif. – After a 2-2 split at the Mary Nutter Classic, the Titans set their sights on the Judi Garman Classic. Fullerton will play five games over the course of the weekend starting with No. 2/1 Florida at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. Then they'll play a double-header on Friday starting with Stanford at 5:00 p.m. and Iowa at 7:30 p.m. The Titans will have one game on Saturday against Fresno State at 7:30 p.m. and close out the busy weekend with a game against Michigan State on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
LOOKING FOR THE THREE-PEAT
The Titans dominated conference play last season and took home another Big West championship. It's the first time Fullerton has been back-to-back champs since a four-year stretch from 2000 to 2003 when the Titans won four in a row. Cal State Fullerton looks to make it three Big West championships in a row coming into 2018.
Cal State Fullerton finished the 2017 season with a record of 35-23 (.603) overall and 16-5 (.762) in the Big West. It was the team's 15th conference title and 27th NCAA Regional appearance. More notably, they became back-to-back champs for the first time in over a decade with the last occurence being in 2000-03.
The softball program has to replace eight letterwinners from last season. Several of those players were major pieces to the BWC champion Titans last season. The key losses from last year's roster include Delynn Rippy, Lexi Gonzalez, and Kylie Padilla on the offensive side of the ball while Kelsey Kessler, Cerissa Rivera, and Sydney Golden were key losses in the circle for the Titans.
2018 SEASON OUTLOOK
The Titans will have a good mix of returners and newcomers this season giving them a very strong chance to make their third consecutive championship run. The team returns starters Sammie Vandiver (OF), Ari Williams (OF), Emily Randall (3B), Shianne Brannan (SS), and Zoe Richard (1B). The newcomers are headlined by freshman pitcher Taylor Dockins who was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The team cruised through their fall schedule going 7-1 with the lone loss coming at the hands of UCLA.
Cal State Fullerton is halfway through their busy tournament schedule after going 3-1 in the Titan Classic, 0-5 in the Campbell/Cartier Tournament, and 2-2 in the Mary Nutter Classic. Next up is the Judi Garman Classic followed by the co-hosted tourney with Long Beach State. They'll close out their tourney schedule by hosting the Easton Invitational.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Fullerton has a full 59-game slate for the 2018 season. Forty-one (yes, 41) of those games will be played at Anderson Family Field. Overall, the Titans only go on five road trips and only one of those (Hawai'i) is a trip outside of California. The other road trips are San Diego, Cathedral City, CSUN, and Cal Poly. With the month of March upon us, that means 25 home contests for the Titans. In fact, the team will not have a single road trip for the whole month.
Kelly Ford and the staff do a fantastic job of recruiting the best local talent here in California. The 2018 Titan roster continues that storyline as all but one of the this year's players are from California. Furthermore, all but 3 of the girls are from Southern California.
The Titans faced seven teams last season who were ranked at the time of their game. This season, it will be very similar as the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason rankings has Fullerton playing six games against top 25 teams, including three in the top 5 (Oklahoma, Florida, and UCLA) as well as five more games against teams receiving votes just outside of the top 25. For the season, Fullerton is currently 0-4 against ranked teams with two losses to Kentucky, a loss to Cal, and a loss to ASU. They'll take on Florida this weekend who is currently ranked No. 2/2 in the nation.
QUEENS OF THE BIG WEST
Cal State Fullerton was voted to finish atop of the Big West Conference yet again this season. As a program, they have a total of 10 conference championships which ranks as the most in the conference's history. Kelly Ford, with titles in her last two seasons at the helm of the program, looks to lead the Titans to her third championship as she follows in the footseps of Michelle Gromacki (5) and Judi Garman (3 BWC, 5 WCAA).
WINNING...IT'S IN OUR BLOOD
Fullerton has won 30-plus games in 32 of its 38 seasons and 25-plus in all but 3 seasons. The Titans have currently won 30-plus games in the last five seasons as Kelly Ford has led them to 33 wins or better in all but one year since she took over as the head coach. Last year the team picked up win number 1,500 in program history against UC Davis last season.
ROAD TO 200
Head Coach Kelly Ford had a big year last year collecting win number 150 in her time as the Cal State Fullerton head coach last season. She also collect win number 600 in her career as a collegiate head coach. She is now just 19 wins away from number 200.
PITCHING STAFF WITH SOME FRESH FACES
Fullerton made a big add in the offseason hiring ASU pitching legend Dallas Escobedo to handle the pitching staff. The Titans lost their three prominent starters from 2017 and hope to replace them with their latest recruiting class. In that class, they have three freshman who pitch in Taylor Dockins, Hannah Johnson, and Janelle Johnson. Transfer sophomore Katie Neary also joins the pitching staff. In fact, the returners that will see action in the circle this season combined for less than 60 innings last year.
LAST TIME OUT
The Titans split their weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, picking up wins against LIU Brooklyn and Mississippi State while dropping contests against No. 19/19 California and No. 17/15 Arizona State. Sophie Frost shut out the Blackbirds in the first game of the weekend and Taylor Dockins followed it up with a complete game victory over the Bulldogs. The Titans were shutout by the Golden Bears and blew a 3-1 lead against the Sun Devils.
CSF vs. NO. 2/1 FLORIDA • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1997/2010
Overall Record 4-3
Current Streak Lost 3
Home Record 3-3
Road Record 1-0
Neutral Record 0-0
Longest Winning Streak 4 games (2/22/97 to 3/6/02))
Longest Losing Streak 3 games (3/11/04 to pres.)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 11 runs (3/6/02)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 12 runs (3/6/10)
Largest Margin of Victory 11 runs, 11-0 (3/6/02)
Largest Margin of Defeat 12 runs, 0-12 (3/6/10)
- The Gators are currently ranked #2 in the country with a 16-1 record where their only loss came against Louisiana-Lafayette back on Feb. 18.
- They currently have the fifth highest scoring offense in the nation scoring 7.71 runs per game. They are batting .308, slugging .485, and have an OBP of .450.
- Offensively, they are led by Amanda Lorenz with a .444 average, 22 runs, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 RBI, 41 total bases, .759 SLG, and .523 OBP.
- In the circle, Florida has dominated ranking fourth in the country with a team ERA of 0.66 and recording 138 strikeouts in 105.1 innings.
- The Gators don't really have a single ace, but two dominant forces that lead the pitching staff. Kelly Barnhill rocks a 0.30 ERA in 12 games. In her 46.2 innings of work, she's struck out 74 and walked just 11. Aleshia Ocasio is right behind her with a 0.90 ERA in 8 games. She has 41 strikeouts to just 1 walk in 39 innings pitched.
CSF vs. STANFORD • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1985/2013
Overall Record 6-16
Current Streak Lost 3
Home Record 4-11
Road Record 0-0
Neutral Record 2-5
Longest Winning Streak 2 games, 2x (last 5/18/02 to 2/8/03)
Longest Losing Streak 8 games (2/9/97 to 2/24/02)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 9 runs (3/15/85)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 14 runs, 2x (last 3/2/13)
Largest Margin of Victory 9 runs, 9-0 (3/15/85)
Largest Margin of Defeat 13 runs, 2x, last 1-14 (3/2/13)
- The Cardinal currently sit at 10-7 on the season after a 3-1 weekend at home hosting the Stanford Invitational.
- Offensively, they are hitting .294, slugging .419, and sport a .370 on base percentage.
- They are led by Alyssa Horeczko's .421 average and .459 OBP. Montana Dixon leads the team with 3 HR, 20 RBI, and .646 SLG. Teaghan Cowles sports a .373 AVG and leads the team with 9 stolen bases.
- In the circle, they have a team ERA of 2.83 and have allowd 99 hits in 113.2 innings to go along with 82 strikeouts and 45 walks.
- The ace of the Cardinal is Maddy Dwyer, who sports a 0.99 ERA in 63.2 innings.
CSF vs. IOWA • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1989/2015
Overall Record 1-5
Current Streak Lost 5
Home Record 1-4
Road Record 0-0
Neutral Record 0-1
Longest Winning Streak 1 game (3/19/89)
Longest Losing Streak 5 games (5/27/95 to pres.)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 11 runs (3/7/15)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 12 runs (3/7/15)
Largest Margin of Victory 2 runs, 2-0 (3/19/89)
Largest Margin of Defeat 7 runs, 0-7 (3/2/13)
- The Hawkeyes are 4-5 to open up the season after a 3-2 weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational.
- They're hitting .239 as a team, slugging .300, and have an OBP of .324.
- Mallory Kilian leads the way in most of the offensive categories with a .389 average, 2 doubles, a home run, 6 RBI, 8 walks, .667 SLG, and .556 OBP.
- Iowa has a team ERA of 2.32 in 57.1 innings. They've racked up 49 strikeouts and walked 20.
- Allison Doocy has been the ace of the staff compiling 24.1 innings in the circle. She rocks a 2.01 with 26 strikeouts and 6 walks.
CSF vs. FRESNO STATE • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 1981/2017
Overall Record 35-40
Current Streak Lost 1
Home Record 18-15
Road Record 9-20
Neutral Record 8-5
Longest Winning Streak 6 games (4/3/81 to 3/4/84)
Longest Losing Streak 9 games (4/14/96 to 3/27/01)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 11 runs (2/18/17)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 15 runs (3/21/08)
Largest Margin of Victory 7 runs, 2x, last 9-2 (3/7/14)
Largest Margin of Defeat 12 runs, 0-12 (3/18/05)
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
- The Bulldogs are 7-8 on the year after an 0-5 weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic last weekend.
- As a team, they are hitting .260, slugging .460, and have an OBP of .376.
- They have two prominent hitters on the team in Savannah McHellon and Katie Castellon. McHellon is hitting .366 with 5 homers and 12 RBI while Castellon is hitting .357 with 3 homers and 10 RBI.
- The Fresno pitching staff has had its struggles currently sporting a 5.05 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 63 walks in 94.1 innings.
- ERA-wise, they are led by Tiffany Kennedy-Cummings' 2.82 ERA in 22.1 innings of work. Innings-wise, they are led by Danielle East who sports a 3.79 ERA in 40.2 innings.
CSF vs. MICHIGAN STATE • ALL-TIME SERIES
First Year Played/Last Year Played: 2004/2012
Overall Record 5-1
Current Streak Won 5
Home Record 2-1
Road Record 0-0
Neutral Record 3-0
Longest Winning Streak 5 games (3/11/04 to pres.)
Longest Losing Streak 1 game (3/7/04)
Most Runs Scored in a Game 14 runs (2/22/08)
Most Runs Scored in a Game by Opponent 10 runs (2x, last 3/9/12)
Largest Margin of Victory 4 runs, 2x, last 11-7 (3/4/12)
Largest Margin of Defeat 2 runs, 5-7 (3/7/04)
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
- The Spartans from East Lansing are currently 8-6 on the season and coming off a 5-0 sweep at the Florida International Tournament.
- As a team, they're hitting .255, slugging .346, and sport an OBP of .336.
- They are led by Ebonee Echols' 409 average. Power-wise, they are led by Catie Ladd who has 2 homers and has a SLG% of .567.
- The pitching has been good for MSU this year, sporting a team ERA of 1.72 in 93.2 innings of work.
- Kristina Zalewski leads the way in the circle with a 0.93 ERA in 37.2 innings. Her co-ace Bridgette Rainey sports a 2.15 ERA in 39 innings and leads the team with 45 strikeotus.
NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY
Small ball is no secret to the Cal State Fullerton offense and that is clear again here in 2018. As a team, they lead the Big West Conference in sacrifices with 20 sac bunts and 6 sac flies. Leading the way for the Titans is sophomore Julia Valenzuela. her 7 sacrifice hits ranks second in the country and her 0.5 per game is tied for fourth in the nation. Senior Sammie Vandiver is also in the rankings at tied for fifth in sac hits (5) and tied for 21st in sacs per game (0.36).
THE HUMAN BACKSTOP
The Titans pitching staff has been pitching well lately and Julia Valenzuela should be thanked for her efforts. Through the first 14 games of the season, she has thrown out 5 baserunners trying to steal and picked off another. She also has yet to allow a past ball behind the plate.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Senior Sammie Vandiver put her name on the map in her freshman season after setting NCAA records. She continues to be a force to be reckoned with at the top of the Fullerton lineup as her .354 career batting average currently ranks tied for 6th all-time and her .396 on base percentage is tied for 8th.
CAPTAIN OF THE DEFENSE
Shortstop Shianne Brannan is a big part of the Titan defense, both as a leader and her fielding abilities. The senior captain came into the season ranking 10th all-time in fielding assists and has shot up that list early on this season. Her 38 assists this season has given her 403 for her career which now ranks 7th on the all-time list.
Thursday, the 22nd was obviously a historic day for the Titans, but definitely overlooked as part of that game was sophomore Ari Burns' walkoff double. It was the first walkoff of her career and the first Titan walkoff since May 5, 2017.
Senior Brooke Clemetson is lightning fast and her speed causes defenses to panic on the field. After a perfect 6-6 on the base paths last weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic, she is now 12-12 in stolen bases on the season. She is currently ranked tied for 6th in the nation in stolen bases and her 0.86 steals per game is tied for 15th in the nation.
JUST GET ON BASE
Brooke Clemetson currently sports a .458 on base percentage which leads the team by a good amount and ranks 9th in the Big West. Her 10 walks leads the team and she currently has the highest consecutive on base streak this season at 6 consecutive games. The leader in that category is sophomore Zoe Richard, who started the year getting on base in 9 straight games.
TOP OF THE HILL
Freshman Deshea Hill has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team to start the season. Her 13 hits is currently tied for the team lead and her .325 ranks second among players with at least 10 ABs. She collected her first career extra base hit over the weekend with a double against ASU.
Freshman Taylor Dockins set records in high school and is arguably the most decorated Titan ever. However, despite all of her awards and honors she has earned, she's winning a bigger fight off the field. For the last two years, Dockins has been fighting a rare form of liver cancer and is currently winning it. As of right now, she is cancer free and on top of the waiting list for a liver transplant.
Thursday, February 22nd was a historic day for the Titans as Taylor Dockins no-hit the San Diego Toreros. It was the 57th no-hitter in program history and the first since 2013.
BIG WEST PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Dockins had a fantastic week in the circle last week and was rewarded Big West Pitcher of the Week. In 3 games, she went 2-1 with 1.24 ERA only allowing 4 runs on 10 hits. She struck out 11 hitters in 17 innings including a career-high 8 punchouts against Mississippi State. She started her week with the no-no against USD and followed it up with a CG against the Bulldogs only allowing 1 run on 3 hits.
CLOSE IT OUT
After not making a single appearance in the circle for the Titans last season, senior Kenzie Grimes has established herself as the closer of this year's pitching staff. In her five appearances, she has collected 2 saves and has only given up 2 earned runs in her 4 relief appearances.
ARTHUR ASHE AWARD
Seniors Mikaela Francis and Nyah Rodman have been nominated for the prestigious Arthur Ashe Award. The award honors those student-athletes who excel on the field, in the classsroom, on their campus, and in their community. Both seniors fit that mold perfectly and have traveled the world in the past year living up to that. Rodman went to Argentina for a study abroad program, while Francis went to Laos to teach English and Women's Empowerment classes to girls and young women.
LIVING AMERICA'S PASTIME
Sophomore Keslie Whitmore made history when she played on the Sonoma Stompers amateur pro baseball team before her freshman season and ended up with a spot in Cooperstown in the baseball hall of fame. She continues to live the dream of playing baseball as over th offseason, she flew to Atlanta, Georgia to take part in a pitching clinic featuring Hall of Fame knuckleball pitcher Joe Niekro.
SPRINTING AFTER NUMBER ONE
Junior Ari Williams has speed very few can match and she's showed it on the base paths over the last couple of seasons. With 6 steals so far this season, she is now at 55 for her career which ranks second most all-time. She is just four stolen bases shy of the the record with all of 2018 and 2019 to play. Also not to be forgotten is Brooke Clemetson. Her 12 steals on the season has her at 43 for her career as she is rapidly climbing the all-time list.
THE CG SHUTOUT
Sophomore Sophie Frost had a fantastic game over the weekend throwing a complete game shutout against LIU Brooklyn this past Saturday. It is the first 7-inning complete game shutout since April 29 of the last season. Frost also racked up 8 strikeouts in the game, setting a new career-high for herself.
SUPPORT THE TITANS!
Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting FullertonTitans.com/Tickets. The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at email@example.com. The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.
FOLLOW THE TITANS!
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan Athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook/FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) Instagram (FullertonTitans) and Snapchat (FullertonTitans). In addition, the softball team has established its own Twitter (@CSUFSoftball), Facebook (Cal State Fullerton Titan Softball) and Instagram accounts (@CSUFSoftball).