FULLERTON, Calif. – Jasmine Antunez tossed a complete game three-hit shutout to propel the Cal State Fullerton softball team over Long Beach State, 8-0, at Anderson Family Field on Wednesday evening.
Following the Big West series opener, the Titans climb to (25-17-1, 6-4) while the 49ers drop to (32-10, 9-1). LBSU has its 11-game winning streak snapped in the loss.
Antunez (10-8) tossed all five innings, issuing two walks while fanning three 49ers. The right-hander pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the opening frame, stranding six LBSU runners over the course of the game en route to her team-high 10th victory and fourth complete game of the year.
Missy Taukeiaho reached base for the 19th consecutive game in a 3-for-4 effort, driving in three runs and scoring two runs for the Titans. The sophomore launched her Big West leading 14th round-tripper in the bottom of the fourth, a two-run shot to put Fullerton in front, 4-0, in the fourth inning. Taukeiaho led off the game with a double, and ended the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to send the fans home.
Last week's Big West Pitcher of the Week, Erin Jones Wesley, (18-5) labored the entire outing for the 49ers, tossing only two and 1/3 innings while surrendering five hits and three runs for her fifth defeat of the year.
Batting in the eight-hole, senior Leesa Harris chipped in a perfect 3-for-3 performance, chalking up her 10th multi-hit game and third three-hit contest of the year. Harris scored one run while driving in one run.
Following Taukeiaho's two-run shot, the Titans tacked on two more insurance runs in the fourth as Eliza Crawford and Gabby Aragon drew consecutive base on balls. Infielder Samantha Galarza immediately followed with an RBI single to center field, scoring Delynn Rippy who had entered the game to pinch run for Crawford. On the next at-bat, Galarza broke for second in a steal attempt and LBSU catcher Karli Sandoval made an off target throw, scoring Aragon on the error.
Galarza concluded the day batting 2-for-3 with one RBI. Aragon reached base on all three plate appearances, drawing a career-high three walks in the contest while scoring one run. Crawford batted 1-for-1 including a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the third inning, reaching 10 home runs while recording two RBIs in the contest.
In a game featuring two of the premiere softball programs in the Big West, the Titans offense was determined to shorten the game and capture a much needed win after dropping two of three at home to UC Riverside.
Senior Lauren Mario led off the deciding fifth frame with a sharp double down the right field line. Starting in center defensively for the first time this year, Carissa Turang executed an infield bunt single to advance Mario to third. Harris soon followed with another infield bunt single to load the bases. Taukeiaho delivered an RBI single to center field for her third hit of game, scoring Mario while forcing the run-rule into effect, ending the opening game of the series.
The Titans and rival 49ers will conclude the series with a doubleheader tomorrow at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Both games will be featured on ESPN3 at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.
Game Notes: Antunez yielded two hits to LBSU's Shayna Kimbrough, while the rest of the lineup batted a combined 1-for-16…Crawford homered for the 10th time this year, but first time in 11-games…With three hits on the evening, Taukeiaho recorded her team-high 17th multi-hit game of the season…Batting 0-for-2, Ariel Tsuchiyama snapped her career-high nine-game hitting streak for Fullerton…CSF is now 4-0-1 in all Wednesday games…Today marked the first shutout in favor of the Titans since Fullerton defeated UC Santa Barbara, 10-0, on Mar. 29 at Anderson Family Field…LBSU's two-hits in a game tied a season low for a Fullerton opponent, last occurring when the Golden Bears of then-No. 15 Baylor produced only two hits in a 6-1 triumph for the Titans at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.