February 21, 2013

Titans Square Off Against Top Ranked Opponents

Complete Release in PDF Format

A LOOK AT THE WEEK: The Cal State Fullerton softball team returns home to Southern California after going 1-4 at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. last weekend. The Titans head to Palm Springs, Calif. on Thursday night to take on the Loyola Marymount Lions and the University of Tennessee at the Mary Nutter Classic. The Titans will return to take on Missouri in a doubleheader Saturday (Feb. 23). Cal State Fullerton will then travel to Easton Stadium on Tuesday (Feb. 26) to take on the UCLA Bruins in Los Angeles, Calif. 

IN THE POLLS: Tennesse enters the Mary Nutter Classic as the No. 4 ranked team in the nation in the USA Today/NFCA poll and ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll. The Missouri Tigers are ranked as the seventh in both polls and look to improve on their undefeated start. After going a perfect 5-0 at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. last weekend the UCLA Bruins moved up to No. 16 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 13 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll Neither the Lions or Titans are ranked in the polls. 

NEW LOOK BIG WEST: The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced on Dec. 10, 2010 that Hawai'i will re-join the Big West as of July 2012. The Warriors, women's programs were previously part of the Big West from 1984-96. 

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titan athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Youtube (www.youtube.com/CSFAthletics). Also follow the softball Twitter (@CSUFsoftball).

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be provided for both games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.FullertonTitans.com and go to the softball schedule then click live stats.

FORD PREVIEWS 2013: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford  and Associate Head Coach Dee Dee Kingsbury sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2013 campaign. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.

ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT:The Lions enter the Mary Nutter Classic with a 3-2 overall record after participating in the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. Loyola Marymount defeated Colorado State, Weber State, and Utah State, but loss to  Utah and Arkansas... The Lions shutout their opponent in each game they won. Junior Meghan Harman is batting .400 with one home run and two RBI's...McEachran is joined by sophomore Stephanie Crist who is managing a .250 average, two home runs, and five RBI's...The Lions are bating .290 this season and have had nine different players record an RBI...Dana Waldusky (1-1, 3.18) and Sydney Gouveia (1-1, 3.29) make up a pitching staff that has allowed 14 runs in five contests. Gouveia has struck out 22 batters in only 17 innings pitched this season. 

ABOUT TENNESSEE: The Volunteers opened up the season as the No. 5 ranked team in the nation according to the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll, and has moved up one spot to fourth after starting the season undefeated...Tennessee has bulldozed the competition winning five games at the Red Desert Classic and five games at the USF Four Team Tournament...The Volunteers head to California to take on Long Beach State, Northwestern, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara in addition to the Titans...Senior infielder Lauren Gibson leads the offense with a .571 average and a team-high 16 hits. Also, Gibson has seven RBI's and a .929 slugging average...Sophomore Cheyanne Tarango leads the team with three home runs and 14 RBI's. Tennesse has four different players with over 10 RBI's on the season. The pitching staff is led by Ellen Renfroe (4-0, 1.08), and holds opponents to a .174 average this season. Ivy Renfroe(2-0, 1.47), Erin Gabriel (2-0, 1.50), and Tarango (2-0, 2.10) also make up a pitching staff that has a combined 1.44 ERA that has only given up 13 earned runs all season. 

ABOUT MISSOURI: In their first year as a member of the Southeastern Conference, Missouri has started the year undefeated after defeating UC Santa Barbara twice, Fresno State twice, and San Diego at the UCSB tournament. The Titans head to the Mary Nutter Classic before taking on the Titans in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Tigers have each one of their games by at least four runs and has won three games by more than 8 runs. Missouri is led  by senior third baseman Nicole Hudson who is hitting .583 and has belted five home runs for a team high 11 RBI's...The Tiger are batting .374 overall, while opponents are batting just .200 on the season. Missouri's pitching  staff is deep and is led by Chelsea Thomas (2-0, 0.00) and Bailey Erwin (2-0, 1.75). Thomas has pitched two complete games only giving up one run, none earned, and striking out 19 batters. 

ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins and Titans square off on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Easton Field for a non-conference game. The Bruins return to Southern California this weekend to participate in the Mary Nutter Classic before taking on Cal State Fullerton. Last weekend the Bruins went a perfect 5-0 at the Eastern Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. last weekend. The Bruins are led by senior outfielder B.B Bates who has nine homeruns and 21 RBI's through the first nine games. UCLA have hit 24 home runs to start the season to go along with 62 RBI's...In the circle for the Bruins are Ally Carda (5-0, 1.58) and Paige McDuffee (3-0, 0.93). Carda has struck out 39 batters in 26 2/3 innings. 

SERIES HISTORIES:Cal State Fullerton is 11-3 all-time against Loyola Marymount, but havent met since 2008 when LMU defeated the Titans 7-3 at Anderson Field...Fullerton leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 3-1, but loss the last meeting between the teams 8-0 in 2007..the Titans lead the all-time series versus the Titans, 5-0. Last time the two teams met was at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA when Cal State Fullerton won 6-0...UCLA leads the all-time series versus Cal State Fullerton, 32-39-1, and has won the last four meetings including a 11-2 victory over the Titans two seasons ago on March 12, 2011. Last season's game was cancelled due to rain. 

CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is 47-17(.734) all-time against the current configuration of the Pacific Coast Softball League, a combined 22-15 (.595) versus current SEC opponents, and 143-144-1 (.497) against members of the current Pac-12 Conference.

MARY NUTTER CLASSIC: Cal State Fullerton has played in every Cathedral City Classic since its inception in 2004, but has struggled a bit in the desert with a 17-27 (.386) record in the nine previous events. The Titans were 1-4 at last year's event, with losses to Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio State, Fordham, and defeated Boise State in the second game of the tournament. Fullerton has not posted a winning record at the Cathedral City Classic since 2007, when it finished 4-1, and has finished above .500 only twice in eight previous trips to the event (3-2 in 2006), which features some of the nation's top softball teams.

PLAYING JAPAN TOYOTA: The Titans played against the Japan Toyota professional softball team on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at Anderson Family Field. The Titans and Japan Toyota will play a seven-inning exhibition contest, as Japan Toyota gets ready for their upcoming season. Team Toyota comes over to the United States annually to play collegiate and professional teams to prepare for the Japan Softball League. Team Toyota features USA Softball Olympians Monica Abbott and Natasha Watley, who have won back-to-back Japan Softball League Championships (2011 & 2012).

STRIKEOUTS: Freshman Jasmine Antunez has started every game for the Titans and has struck 39 batters over 30 inning. Antunez snapped her streak of striking out at least one batter every inning for 17 straight innings against Portland State on Feb. 15 in the Easton Desert Classic. 

SHOULDERING THE LOAD: Antunez has started all but one game for the Titans this season. In eight starts, she ranks second in the Big West in games started (8), third in opponent batting average (.187), and fifth in the Big West in ERA (2.57).

KEEP THE STREAK ALIVE: Junior Ariel Tsuchiyama leads the team with a .409 average, nine hits, and a team-high seven RBI's, while also riding a streak of reaching base in the last eight games. Tsuchiyama blasted a grandslam versus Utah in the Easton Desert Classic for her third career home run. 

SECHREST OUT: Freshman Melissa Sechrest has blasted three home runs in her young career as a Titan, which makes her tied for fourth in the Big West for homeruns. The Peoria, Ariz. native is batting .273 with five RBI's on the season and has started every game as the first basemen. 

YBARRA IN RELIEF: In six relief appearances, Sophomore pitcher Desiree Ybarra has only gave up two earned runs in 16 1/3 innings, which is second best in the Big West. She also leads the Big West in games finished (6) and is second in ERA (0.86).

SOMEONE TURNED UP THE A.C: After blasting a triple to the center field fence in game two versus McNeese State on Feb. 11, 2013, Ashley Carter moved up to fourth on the all-time list  in career triples with nine tieing Carey Hess, who played for the Titans from 1987-90;.

IN THE CIRCLE: Even though the Titans are off to a 3-6 start the Titan's pitching staff ranks second in the Big West in  ERA (2.78) behind Pacific's (2.48). Titan opponents are batting .260 against the staff and have held teams to under six hits five times in nine games. 

PITCHING RECOVERY: In 51 games last season the Titans pitching staff finished with a 5.20 ERA. In 2013, the Titans pitching staff has almost cut that in half with the current 2.78 ERA they have managed. 

ATTACKING EARLY: Cal State Fullerton is 2-0 when they score first in games. The Titans have scored first in only one of their past six games. The Titans scored first against Utah after an RBI bunt single from Jasmine Antunez, which scored Jena Rubio from third. 

HEADED BACK TO CALI': The Titans did not fair well in their first road trip outside of California going 1-4 over the last weekend in Las Vegas, Nev. at the Easton Desert Classic. The Titans are 2-2 at Anderson Family Field. 

IRON WOMEN: Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has started the last eight games behind the backstop for the Titans, while leading the Titans with a .409 batting average as the starting catcher. 

RECYCLED NOTES:

NEW ERA: Head Coach Kelly Ford began her first stint as the head coach of Cal State Fullerton softball program on Feb. 7, 2013. Ford recorded her first win in game two versus Southern Miss, 4-2. Fordspent 11 seasons at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., recording a 455-102-1 record overall (.812 winning percentage). Prior to her time at Mt. SAC, Ford worked under former coach Michelle Gromacki as an assistant in 2000 and 2001. 

A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Fullerton finished sixth in the Big West race a season ago with a 8-13 mark in conference play to go along with a 20-31 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming nine newcomers to the fold for the 2013 season. Leading the way for returners is senior outfielder Ashley Carter, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .325 to go along with 55 hits and 27 runs scored. In the circle, sophomore Desiree Ybarra returns after earning all-conference honorable mention accolades a season ago, finishing 13-17 with a 4.66 ERA.

FIVE SIGN WITH CAL STATE FULLERTON FOR 2014: Cal State Fullerton softball Head Coach Kelly Ford announced that high school standouts  Sydney Colenzo, Megan Estacio, Olivia Martinez, Delynn Rippy, and Kayla Silverstein have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Titans beginning with the 2014 season. 

PRESEASON POLL: The Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish sixth in the race for the 2013 Big West Conference title according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Jan. 30, 2013. The Titans received 33 points to finish behind newcomer Hawai'i, which received four first-place votes and 76 points to top defending  champion Long Beach State (73 points).  

NOTHING BUT THE BEST: According to the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll and USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll the Titans will face eight teams ranked in the preseason top 25. 

WRATH OF THE TITANS: Among the league's top offensive teams in 2011, 2012 wasn't anything different as the Titans finished second in runs scored, second in stolen bases, and third in RBIs. The 2012 Titans finished with a .280 batting average topping 2011's .275 average. Cal State Fullerton also produced the most hits (365) in program history since 2007. 

WE'RE HONORED: Cal State Fullerton placed seven players on the 2012 Big West Conference all-league honors: Ashley Carter, Leesa HarrisNicole Johnson, Morgan LeMond, Adriana Martinez, Desiree Ybarra, and Anissa Young). Three of those all-conference honorees return for 2013: Ashley Carter, Leesa Harris, and Desiree Ybarra.