RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton (37-16, 17-3 Big West) swept both games of their doubleheader, 5-3 and 14-6, against UC Riverside (26-24, 8-12 Big West) on Friday afternoon. With the win in game one, the Titans clinched their fourth consecutive Big West Championship and 12th in program history.
It is just the third time in conference history that a team has claimed the title in four straight seasons with Fullerton being responsible for the last occurence from 2000-03.
In game one, Fullerton got things started in the top of the second as Julia Valenzuela drove an RBI double to left-center to bring in the first run of the game.
Riverside would answer in the bottom half on a solo home run from Amanda Lynch to tie the game back up.
After surrendering the home run, starting pitcher Dani Martinez found her groove. The freshman would go on to throw her eighth complete game of the season allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out three.
Valenzuela carried the offense in this one coming through with an RBI single in the fourth inning to give the Titans the lead back and then launch a two-run home run in the sixth giving Fullerton a 4-1 lead.
The Titans would get another insurance run in the top of the seventh while the Highlanders threatened in the bottom half plating a pair, but Martinez would ultimately shut them down and secure the 5-3 victory.
The game one victory secured the Big West Championship for the Titans as they celebrated with the trophy prior to game two starting.
�������� pic.twitter.com/8vhgDtsPUA— Titans Softball (@Fullerton_SB) May 10, 2019
In game two, the offense would explode for 14 runs on 13 en route to a run-rule victory.
Alexa Neil got it going right away as she sent the first pitch of the game over the left field fence for a solo shot. Following an Ari Williams double, Deshea Hill would collect an RBI single as Fullerton opened the game with four straight hits. Two batters later, Daisy Munoz would connect for her team-leading seventh home run of the season to make it 3-0 early.
After Sophie Frost worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first, the Titans offense would get back to work plating two more in the second on an RBI triple from Williams who came in to score on a wild pitch to Hill.
UCR would tag Frost for four runs in the bottom of the third to make it a one-run game as Fullerton had to call upon Martinez to get out of the inning.
Williams, who finished 3-for-3 with two doubles, a triple, and three RBI, would plate another run for Fullerton with an RBI double in the fourth and get another run on a solo home run from Irieanna Siofele in the fifth.
That setup a 7-4 ballgame heading into the sixth, where the Titans exploded for seven runs sending 10 batters to the plate. The inning was capped off by pinch hitter Janelle Rodriguez, who launched a grand slam over the scoreboard in left field. It was the first home run of the career for the sophomore.
Freshman Mia Marinakis would take over in the circle for the final inning and surrendered a two-run home run to Emma Ramelot, but would shut the Highlanders down otherwise.
The game two victory gave Fullerton the series win extending their streak to 14 straight Big West Conference series wins and 25 of their last 28.
Cal State Fullerton will close out the regular season against UCR tomorrow in a Saturday matinee at 1:00 p.m.
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