Titans to Face Long-Time Rivals Long Beach State in Three-Game Series

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A LOOK AT THE WEEK: After losing all three contest's to Cal Poly, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (15-20 overall, 2-4 Big West Conference) heads on the road to 49er Softball Complex this weekend to face long-time rival Long Beach State. The 49ers currently possess a 23-14 record overall and 5-1 in Big West Conference play. Long Beach State enters the weekend with a three game winning streak after sweeping UC Riverside. The teams meet in a doubleheader on Saturday (April 6) at 1 & 3 p.m. before concluding the series with a single game on Sunday (April 7) at 1 p.m.  

IN THE POLLS: Neither the Titan or 49ers are ranked in either of the top 25 polls entering this weekend's contests. 

RPI: The Titans currently rank 54th in the nation in Rating Percentage Index (RPI). RPI measures a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Fullerton has played against five teams currently ranked in the top 10 and against 10 in the top 25.

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 all three 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.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the audio link on the schedule page.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW? EVEN BETTER!: Cal State Fullerton Athletics now offers live streaming video for home softball contests over the Internet courtesy of the Big West  TV. Fans can catch all the exclusive action from the comfort of their home computers. For more information, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV.

SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers enter the weekend at 23-14 overall, 5-1 in the Big West after sweeping conference foe UC Riverside. Long Beach State enters this weekend tied for second place (5-1) in the Big West with Pacific. Long Beach State has won five of their past six games and freshman Darian Tautalafua was named the Big West Player of the Week last week after hitting three home runs and collecting 10 RBI's. Tautalafua leads the team this season with nine home runs and 36 RBI's. Junior Hannah De Gaetano leads the 49ers with a .400 average in 31 games played and junior Karli Sandoval is second on the team with 29 RBI's. Long Beach State has been biggest offensive threat in the Big West so far this season, leading the conference in multiple offensive categories including batting average (.291), runs scored (179), hits (296), and RBI's (161). Junior Erin Jones-Wesley (11-6, 2.77 ERA) has pitched 103.2 of the team's 249 innings and has struck out 138 in 19 appearances this season. Amanda Hansen (6-4, 3.53) and Christian Carbajal (6-3, 3.93) are also key contributors for the Long Beach State pitching staff.

SERIES HISTORIES: Fullerton is 70-53 all-time against Long Beach State, but has lost each of the last four series between the two schools (3-9 overall) since 2009. Last season the Titans were swept by the 49ers after being outscored 21-3 in the series at Anderson Family Field. Fullerton is 35-22 all-time against Long Beach State on the road, but hasn't won a conference series on the road since 2003.

THE LONGEST OF LONG-TIME RIVALS: The longest-running series in the history of Cal State Fullerton softball renews this weekend as Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State, campuses separated by just 23 miles, do battle on the diamond once again. The Titans and 49ers have met a total of 123 times dating back to the 1981 season - the longest series in terms of games played in Fullerton's history, edging out the Titans' series with UC Santa Barbara (117 games since 1980). The Titans' 70 wins over Long Beach State rank second against any one opponent, trailing only Fullerton's 105 victories over the Gauchos.

CONFERENCE CALL: Since the Big West conference started sponsoring softball 27 years ago, the Titans have a combined record of 373-167-1 (.690) against all-time Big West opponents. 

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. The Titans and Warriors will face off on April 13-14 at Anderson Family Field. 

PLAYING SPOILER: The Titans have taken down three top 25 ranked opponents this season, which is tied for most in the Big West. On Feb. 26th, Fullerton defeated No. 10 11-5 at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles and defeated No. 7 Missouri 5-4 on Feb. 23, 2013 at Anderson Family Field. Fullerton also defeated No. 21 Virginia Tech 7-3 at the Judi Garman Classic on Mar. 16. The last time the Titans took down a top ten team was on March 15, 2009 when they defeated the University of Washington 3-2 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. 

ROAD WARRIORS: The Titans have played four away games this season (3-1) coming against UCLA at Easton Stadium on Feb. 26. and last weekend in Santa Barbara at Campus Diamond. The Titans last season were 5-10 on the road and have not had a winning road record since the 2009 season. 

PITCHING RECOVERY: In 51 games last season the Titans pitching staff finished with a 5.20 ERA. In 2013, the Titans pitching staff holds a 3.37 ERA, which  is the best earned run average by a Fullerton softball team since 2009 (2.59).

CRAWFORD ENJOYING BREAKOUT ROLE: After hitting only three home runs and recording 28 RBI's through her first two seasons as a Titan, red-shirt sophomore Eliza Crawford has batted .306 with five home runs and 18 RBI's. Crawford leads the team in both offensive categories and through the first six conference games has batted .400 with four RBI's and two runs scored. The Lakewood, Calif. native has also managed eight multiple hit games this season and six multiple RBI games this season. 

GETTIN' ON THE BOARD FIRST: When the Titans score first in a game they are 10-2 compared to 5-18 when the opposing team scores first. Fullerton got an the board first against Cal Poly after a  two-run home run from Eliza Crawford, but would end up losing the game 3-2 on March 29. The Titans also scored first against Virginia Tech, but eventually lost off a walk-off RBI single by the Hokies in the bottom of the seventh inning on March 7th. 

WE NEED HITS: The Titans are batting .245 this season, but when Cal State Fullerton out-hits the opponent they are 12-1 compared to 3-16 when the opponent out-hits them. The Titans have produced 13 hits in one game, the most this season, four different times. Last time the time the Titans had 13 hits was versus UC Santa Barbara on March 23.

TAKE CARE OF THE SOFTBALL: Cal State Fullerton is 10-8 when they commit no errors in a game and 5-12 when they do commit an error. However, the Titans have only committed four errors in the past 95 innings and rank first in the Big West in fielding percentage (.973) compared to Pacific (.970). The Titans rank 16th in the NCAA in fielding percentage. 

CONTROLLING THE LEAD: The Titans have been perfect so far this season when leading after five innings. Fullerton is 11-0 in games they have led after five innings and a whopping 12-0 after six innings. However, they are 3-14 when trailing after four innings. Cal State Fullerton's only comeback win came against UC Santa Barbara on March 23 when they scored six runs in the last two innings after trailing 3-0. 

ARAGON RETURNS: After missing the previous 28 games due to an injury that occurred on February 16 versus Portland State in Las Vegas, Nev. the red-shirt junior from Garden Grove, Calif. returned to the diamond this past weekend versus Cal Poly. Aragon started game two and three versus the Mustangs at shortstop. 

SAFE HAVEN: Senior Ashley Carter snapped her streak of reaching base safely in 14 straight games against Cal Poly on March 30. Carter has 15 hits in those contests, including a hit by pitch against Arizona State on March 14 to keep the streak alive. 

CARTER STEALING BASES: Carter is finding a way to get on base and this season she leads the team with 11 stolen bases. Last weekend versus UC Santa Barbara Carter swiped three bases. The Fontana, Calif. native had only stolen 11 bases in her career prior to this season.

BIG WEST STOLEN BASES: After six Big West Conference games, the Cal State Fullerton softball team leads the Big West in stolen bases with 13. Pacific has the second most in the conference play with six. 

SACRIFICE FLIES: Sophomore Desiree Ybarra currently stands third in the NCAA in sacrifice flies with five and the Titans as a team have the second most in the Big West 10. 

SHOULDERING THE LOAD: In 29 appearances, 24 starts,  as a freshman, Antunez is second in the Big West in appearances (29), tied for third in strikeouts (121), and third in innings pitched (117.1). Antunez is holding opponents to a .225 batting average this season, which ranks fifth in the Big West. 

YBARRA DOES IT ALL: Sophomore Desiree Ybarra was the Titan's ace last season, but this season she has contributed not only in the circle, but at the plate as well. Ybarra in the circle is 5-7 with one save. Ybarra has closed out 15 games for the Titans this season, which is the most in the Big West. Ybarra's bat has been a big addition for the Titans. The Riverside, Calif. native has a .258 average, two home runs, and 16 RBI's. 

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: Eight different Titans have tallied game-winning hits this season, led by three from Jasmine Antunez

SUPER MARIO: Cal State Fullerton second baseman Lauren Mario belted two home runs versus Charleston Southern, which is the first time a Titan batter has hit two home runs in a game since Anissa Young crushed two against Michigan State on March 4, 2012. 

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.

IRON WOMEN: Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has started all, but two games behind the backstop for the Titans this season, while leading the Titans with a .286 batting average as the starting catcher. Tsuchiyama has 17 RBI's on the season the most since 2011 when she recorded 12 RBI's. She missed all of 2012 due to an injury. 

SAVES: Cal State Fullerton is tied with Long Beach State  and UC Santa Barbara with the most saves in the Big West (3). Each Titan pitcher has recorded a save this season. 

FORD UPDATES 2013 SEASON: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford sat down with the sports information staff to discuss the 2013 season thus far. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.

 

GETTING ON BASE: The Titans are last in the Big West in on-base percentage (.303) compared to Pacific who has an on-base percentage of .360. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Eliza Crawford and Desiree Ybarra have combined for 14 doubles this season. Both Titans currently rank eighth in the Big West for most doubles.

DEBUTS AND TITAN CAREER FIRSTS: Freshman Monique Wesley made her first career appearance as a Titan in the circle tossing one inning versus Arizona State on March 14. Junior Kailey Mertz, transfer from San Jose State, recorded her first hit against Charleston Southern. Mertz hit an RBI single up the middle giving the Titans a 10-2 victory enforcing an eight-run rule. Freshman Cami Jacob managed her first hit of her career after driving a double down the left field line against Charleston Southern on March 8th during the Long Beach State Invitational. 

COMEBACK!: The Titans secured their biggest and latest comeback win of the season. Trailing 3-0 after five innings, Fullerton came back to score three in the sixth and three in the seventh to capture a 6-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara on March 23. 

HOME IS WHERE THE POWER IS: Fullerton returns to Anderson Family Field this weekend and while at home the Titans have belted 12 of their 17 home runs this season. On March 8 versus Charleston Southern the Titans slugged three round-trippers. The Titans rank third in the Big West in home runs behind leader Hawaii (42).

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. Ford spent 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. 

TAKING DOWN THE BRUINS: After defeating UCLA 11-5 on Feb. 26th the Titans  not only took home a victory to add to the win column, but a new record. The Titans scored the most runs against UCLA since April 25, 1989 when they scored seven runs. The 11-run tally is the most in 73 meetings between the two schools.

PLAYING JAPAN TOYOTA: The Titans played against the Japan Toyota professional softball team on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at Anderson Family Field, losing 7-1. The Titans and Japan Toyota played 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).

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):

1. Hawai'i, 76 

2. Long Beach State, 73

3. Pacific, 58 

4. UC Santa Barbara, 52 

5. UC Davis, 51

6. Cal State Fullerton, 33

7. Cal Poly, 24 

8. UC Riverside, 22

9. Cal State Northridge, 16

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 Harris, Nicole 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. 

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.

 

TITANS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS

DATE    OPPONENT LOCATION RESULT

FEB. 17 No. 7 Oregon Las Vegas, Nev. L, 6-0

FEB. 21 No. 4 Tennessee Palm Springs, Calif. L, 5-0

FEB. 23 No. 7 Missouri Fullerton, Calif. W, 5-4

FEB. 23 No. 7 Missouri Fullerton, Calif. L, 7-0

FEB. 26 No. 10 UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. W, 11-5

MAR. 2 No. 15 Stanford Fullerton, Calif. L, 14-1

MAR. 7 No. 24 Virginia Tech Lakewood, Calif. L, 3-2

MAR. 14 No. 2 Arizona State Fullerton, Calif. L, 9-0

MAR. 16 No. 21 Virginia Tech Fullerton, Calif. W, 7-3

MAR. 17 No. 1 Oklahoma Fullerton, Calif. L, 9-0

*Ranking when game occurred

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