FULLERTON, Calif.--The Titans begin play this week facing the University of San Diego on Wednesday at Anderson Family Field. After the match up against the Toreros, Cal State Fullerton heads to San Diego for their first road action of the season. The Titans join the six-team field at the 24th annual Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State University. Fullerton will have a full slate of five games with one on Thursday (Feb. 13), two on Friday (Feb. 14), and two on Saturday (Feb. 15). All Fullerton games will be played at SDSU Softball Stadium or USD Softball Complex.
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I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be provided for all 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.
IN THE POLLS: California enters the Campbell/Cartier Classic as the No. 25 team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll and No. 23 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. Neither the Titans, Toreros, Aztecs, Gaels, Bobcats or Coyotes are currently ranked in the polls.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Coach Ford's Titans are off to a fast 5-0 start after sweeping the Easton Classic, including a stunning victory over then No. 2 Oklahoma. Cal State Fullerton was left out of the top-25 in both coaches polls, but did garner one vote to enter the polls from the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and three votes to enter the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll. The Titans are off to their best start since the 2000 season under then head coach Michelle Gromacki, who began the season 11-0.
FORD PREVIEWS 2014: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford at down with the sports information staff to discuss the upcoming 2014 campaign. Filmed by department videographer Matt Brown, fans can view the entire video via Youtube.com/CSFAthletics.
SWEEPING AWAY THE BIG WEST: Announced on Monday, transfer Missy Taukeiaho was named Big West Field Play of the Week while her teammate Jasmine Antunez was named Big West Pitcher of the Week. The Titans tandem was intricate in stunning then No. 2 Oklahoma, first victory over a top-five opponent since the 2008 season.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO: The Toreros enter Wednesday's match up with a 2-3 record after competing in the UNLV Sportco Kick Off Classic while posting losses to Baylor, Washington and Arkansas, but was able to capture their first true road game of the season against UNLV, 8-4. Catcher Mary Gabowski leads the charge for the Toreros with a .500 batting avg., three runs scored, four hits, two home runs and two RBI.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE: Coming off the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., the Aztecs were able to reel off wins against Appalachian State, 7-6, Oregon State, 6-3, Cal Poly, 6-3, and Seattle, 7-2. SDSU's only blemish was against then No. 22/20 Stanford in a 13-1 defeat to the Cardinal. Sophomore pitcher Danielle O'Toole led the Aztecs in the circle posting four wins, two complete games, 19 strikeouts, and 20.2 innings of work to go along with a 1.35 ERA. The SDSU offense is powered by three players who have hit at least two home runs over the season, outfielders Patrice Jackson and Hayley Miles, and infielder Kaitlin Connors.
ABOUT SAINT MARY'S: The Gaels enter the Campbell/Cartier Classic with a 2-3 record posting wins against New Mexico State, 3-2, and UTEP, 11-10. Saint Mary's is pioneered by Livermore, Calif., native Brittany Sabatini, who has started all five games for the Gaels chipping in four runs scored, eight hits, two doubles, and 10 total bases. SMC is led in the circle by a tandem of right-handers, Sarah Lira and Lujane Mussadi who have combined for a 2-3 record, one complete game, 34.1 innings pitched, and seven strikeouts on the season.
ABOUT TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats are off to a 3-1 start to the season including back-to-back wins against Texas A&M-Corpus Chrisiti, 13-0, and Southern Illinois, 9-0. TSU is led in the circle by senior Rayn House, who has garnered one complete game in her two wins to the season to go along with 11 innings pitched, two earned runs, 13 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.27 over the season.
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA: The Coyotes begin the year 3-0 following wins against Chattanooga, 5-4, Kansas, 5-1, and Long Island, 4-2 in the University of Central Florida Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Yvon Minogue leads the USD offense with a .667 batting avg., three runs scored, four hits, and two RBI. In the circle, the coyotes have been lights out with freshman Rachel Cue and sophomore Madison Frain who have combined for a 3-0 record, two complete games, 22 innings pitched and an ERA of 1.59 on the season.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA: California is fresh off of consecutive victories over Bradley, 10-3 and Portland State, 8-3 in the Arizona State Kajikawa Tournament. The Golden Bears post an overall record of 3-1, led by infielders Victoria Jones who is leading the team with two home runs on the year, while Kylie Reed and Danielle Henderson have compiled six hits apiece over the season. Nisa Ontiveros is leading California with a 2-0 record, 14 innings pitched, and 12 strikeouts while teammate Katie Finch has also seen time (1-0, 1.70).
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Fullerton finished third in the Big West race a season ago with a 13-11 mark in conference play to go along with a 28-28 overall record. The Titans return six position starters and three pitchers while welcoming 18 newcomers to the fold for the 2014 season. Leading the way for returners is senior catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama, an all-conference first-team selection who hit .323 to go along with 50 hits and 25 runs batted in. In the circle, sophomore Jasmine Antunez returns after earning the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors a season ago, finishing 18-14 with a 2.58 ERA, 174 strikeouts and even a no-hitter on her resume vs. UNLV.
TRIPLIN' TITANS: The 2013 Titans led the Big West in triples with 14, Carissa Turang contributed an all-conference high of five over the season. This year is no different, as the Titans connected on back-to-back triples via Leesa Harris and Paige Kisling against Santa Clara (Feb. 8), and lead the Big West in that category once again with two triples on the young season. Offensively in 2014, CSF is posting a .353 batting average while producing 36 runs, 42 hits, six doubles, two triples and drawing 18 walks.
ALOHA TO THE BIG WEST: Hawai'i made their re-join to the Big West in 2014 a memorable one. The Warriors finished with a conference record of 20-4, capturing the conference crown. The Titans finished in third place in the Big West with a conference mark of 13-11.
OFF TO THE RACES: Off to the best start since the 2000 season, the 5-0 Titans have out scored opponents 36-5 including ending three games in run-rule fashion. CSF is scoring early and often, striking for a 16-5 scoring advantage in the combined first and second innings of play while being 3-0 when the Titans score first.