RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Jasmine Antunez delivered another impressive performance and Melissa Sechrest's go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning helped Cal State Fullerton defeat UC Riverside 4-1 at Amy S. Harrison Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Cal State Fullerton improves to 22-25 overall and 7-8 in the Big West, while UC Riverside drops to 17-29 overall and 1-14 in league play.
With the game tied, 1-1, in the top of the sixth, Eliza Crawford drew a walk to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt from freshman Samantha Galarza advanced Crawford to second, Sechrest drove a 2-2 pitch off the center field wall, which scored Crawford from second giving the Titans the eventual game-winning run.
Antunez (15-13), the current Big West Pitcher of the Week, tossed a complete game giving up one run off three hits, while issuing three walks and striking out two. The Garden Grove, Calif. native has now won her last five straight decisions.
After three scoreless innings, the Titans got on the board first in the fourth inning. After a leadoff walk by Eliza Crawford, shortstop Gabby Aragon laid down a sac bunt, which advanced pinch runner Lauren Mario to second, however on the play a hard turn around second from Mario forced her into a run down, but a throwing error by UC Riverside shortstop Natalie Sanchez allowed Mario to reach third safely. The next batter Carissa Turang delivered a one-out RBI single to left field scoring Mario and giving the Titans a 1-0 advantage.
The Highlanders would answer back in the bottom half of the inning after center fielder Kayla White walked and then stole second. A groundout from Ashley Ercolano advanced White to third and then a squeeze bunt by Alexis Pickett scored White tying the game up 1-1. Desiree Ybarra would add some insurance in the seventh inning for the Titans after blasting a two-run home run to left center extending the lead to 4-1.
Ashley Carter was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Ybarra was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI's.
UC Riverside's Alyssa Razo (7-12) threw six and 1/3 innings giving up four runs, three earned, off eight hits, while issuing eight walks. Sophie Slagle finished the seventh inning for the Highlanders striking out one. UCR's White was 1-for-1 with a run scored and two walks and Nicolette Lujan added a hit in the loss.
Cal State Fullerton continues conference play on the road this weekend against UC Davis in Davis, Calif. The teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday April 27 at 12 and 2 p.m. and will conclude the series on Sunday April 28 at 12 p.m.
Game Notes: With two wins last week (Apr. 17) and the victory today, Cal State Fullerton earns the sweep and has now swept UC Riverside for the first time since 2007…The Titans extend their winning streak to six games in a row, the longest since 2009…Eliza Crawford and Carissa Turang extended their hitting streaks to seven games, while Ashley Carter extends her hitting streak to six games.