Santa Clara (7-30) at Cal State Fullerton (27-20-1)
Thursday, May 1, 2014 | 6:00 PM
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
UC Davis (17-29, 6-9 Big West) at Cal State Fullerton (28-20-1, 8-7 Big West)
Saturday, May 3, 2014 | 4/6 PM (DH) (ESPN3)
Sunday, May 4, 2014 | 12 PM
Fullerton, Calif. • Anderson Family Field
CATCH ALL THE ACTION
Webcast: 5/1 BigWest TV 5/3 ESPN3 5/4 BigWest TV
Streaming Audio: www.FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at www.Fullertontitans.com
FULLERTON, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton softball team concludes the final home stretch with four games at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif. Fullerton welcomes non-conference opponent Santa Clara for a mid-week single game on Thursday at 6 p.m., followed by hosting Big West foe UC Davis in a three-game series this weekend. The teams will meet in an ESPN3 broadcasted doubleheader on Saturday at 4 and 6 p.m. and will wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday at noon on Fullerton's annual senior day.
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 games this week. To access live stats for the games, go to www.Fullertontitans.com and go to the softball schedule page then click live stats.
ARE YOU LISTENING? WATCH ME NOW!: Cal State Fullerton home softball contests will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. The Titans also offer 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. To access the links, click on the audio or live video link on the schedule page. This weekends home doubleheader against UC Davis will be covered via live stream on ESPN3.
FAREWELL SENIORS: The Titans will be honoring their five departing seniors in a ceremony prior to the noon first pitch with UC Davis on Sunday, May 4. In recognition of their dedication and hardwork, listed below are some of our seniors accolades and accomplishments over their special careers:
JENA RUBIO: Rubio is in her fourth consecutive season as a Titan, and is one of only six players in the Big West to post a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage both in 2014 and in all of 2013. She concludes her career with 51 runs scored while swiping 22 bases. Jena poured in a career-high three RBIs while launching one of two career home runs in a game against UC Santa Barbara in 2012.
LAUREN MARIO: Mario has played in 153 games over her four-year career, recording at least 10 RBIs in three of those seasons. She showcased her power when belting two home runs, producing four RBIs and collecting eight total bases, all career-highs against Charleston Southern in 2013. Lauren also used her senior year to post a career-high eight-game hitting streak while manufacturing five multi-RBI contests.
LEESA HARRIS: Harris is on pace to start at least 50 games in each of the past three seasons while posting a career batting average of over .300. During a 12-4 rout over UNLV earlier this season, Leesa struck for four hits en route to driving in five runs, both career-highs and one of only two Titans to manufacture a four-hit game this year. Making a living on the base paths, Leesa is currently fifth all-time in program history with 36 stolen bases.
ARIEL TSUCHIYAMA: Tsuchiyama is a four-year starter behind the backstop, and during her career at Fullerton has started in a whopping 195 of 197 games. She will conclude her career in the top-10 in fielding percentage all-time, while garnering All-Big West second team honors as a catcher, twice in her career in 2011 and most recently in 2013. Ariel extended her career-high hitting streak to nine games earlier this year, while on pace to set career-highs in hits, home runs, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage.
GABBY ARAGON: Aragon has used her senior year to eclipse career-highs in runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs. She was named to the All-Big West second team twice over a career, in 2010 and 2013. During a 9-2 victory over Fresno State earlier this season, Gabby unleashed a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scoring one run while knocking in a career-high five RBIs. Gabby has started 131 games over her career while scattering 89 hits over that span.
IN THE POLLS: In the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches and USA Today/NFCA Coaches polls, neither the Titans or Aggies are currently ranked.
SIZING UP IN THE RPI: Currently 27-20-1 overall and in fourth place in the Big West (8-7), the Titans are the Big West's second-highest ranked team in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) at No. 53. RPI measures a team's wins and losses and its strength of schedule. Fullerton has played against three teams currently ranked in the top-10 and against eight teams in the top-25.
TITANS VERSUS RANKED TEAMS*
|FEB. 7||No. 2 Oklahoma||Fullerton, Calif.||W, 3-1|
|FEB. 15||No. 23 California||San Diego, Calif.||L, 4-5|
|FEB. 21||No. 15 Baylor||Palm Springs, Calif.||W, 6-1|
|FEB. 21||No. 23 LSU||Palm Springs, Calif.||L, 1-8|
|FEB. 22||No. 24 Notre Dame||Palm Springs, Calif.||L, 0-8|
|FEB. 25||No. 2 Tennessee||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 4-8|
|MAR. 8||No. 14 Nebraska||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 2-9|
|MAR. 8||No. 7 Arizona||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 0-15|
|APR. 10||No. 2 UCLA||Fullerton, Calif.||L, 2-5|
*Ranking when game occurred
AT THE BREAK WITH HEAD COACH KELLY FORD: FullertonTitans.com sat down with Titans softball Head Coach Kelly Ford to look back on the first 38 games into the season and aspirations on upcoming Big West play heading into a possible postseason run.
SERIES HISTORY: The Titans and Broncos of Santa Clara have a short history in favor of CSF, 5-1, but did square off in a single game earlier this year in the Easton Tournament with an 8-0 run-rule victory for Fullerton. The Titans are yet to lose a home contest to SCU, posting a record of 4-0 in Fullerton, Calif. Fullerton owns an overall advantage of 17-10 over UC Davis while the two teams are deadlocked 9-9 in Big West play. Following a series victory in favor of the Aggies with wins of 3-2 and 1-0, the Titans and Aggies are 5-5 in series victories with UCD clinching the last two. Fullerton owns a 5-7 record at home against the Aggies while the last three meetings have been decided by only one run in each game.
ABOUT SANTA CLARA: The Broncos post a 7-30 record while loing the last four straight contests and the last eight of 10. SCU does have one win over a Big West opponent when the Mustangs defeated UC Davis, 5-4. Senior Kelly Scribner leads the offense with a .288 batting avg., scoring 13 runs, scattering 30 hits while blasting a team-high six home runs. In the circle, Ciara Gonzales posted a 4-15 record to go along with a 3.17 ERA. The sophomore leads the team with 10 complete games, 132 and 2/3 innings logged while fanning 30 on the season.
ABOUT UC DAVIS: The Aggies have chalked up a season record of 17-29 while notching a road record of 4-11. UC Davis is currently tied for fifth in the conference standings, seven games behind first place LBSU and trail by two games to the Titans who are in fourth place. The Aggies most recently took a home series with UC Riverside posting wins of 3-0 and 4-1 in a doubleheader on Mar. 26. Over the past 10 Big West contests, UC Davis has been outscored 35-22 while marking a 5-5 record over that span.
AGGIES IN THE CIRCLE: Freshman Dana Cruse leads the pitching staff, starting 21 games in 31 appearances while tossing 107 innings over that span. The right-hander has chalked up a team-high four complete games on the season while producing 50 strikeouts. Posting an ERA of (3.66), the native from San Diego, Calif., commands a 9-9 record heading into the weekend. Fellow UCD freshman Andrea Reynolds has tossed another six starts, posting a 4.17 ERA over 71 and 2/3 innings. The right-hander has surrendered a total of 96 hits and 32 earned runs on the season, yielding an opposing batting average of (.316).
AT THE PLATE WITH UC DAVIS: Sophomore Kelly Zboralske heads the offensive attack for the Aggies, posting a .292 batting avg., while chipping in 40 hits and six home runs. The native from Orangevale, Calif., has 22 RBIs, scored 10 runs and manufactured eight doubles. Sophomore Christa Castello uses her speed in batting from the lead off position, chipping in a team-high 46 hits, while logging three triples on the season. Castello has also swiped four stolen bases on five attempts en route to 59 total bases.
TAUKEIAHO CLIMBING THE LADDER: Sophomore Missy Taukeiaho blasted her league-high 15th round-tripper of the season with a solo shot against Cal Poly last weekend. The homer also lifted Taukeiaho into a tie for fifth place in the Big West single-season record book with UNLV's Kim Rondina, who accomplished the feat in 1995. Next on the list to surpass is Cal Poly's Lisa Modglin, who launched 16 homers in 2007, currently standing in fourth place on the record books.
DEFENSIVE MINDED: Fullerton has played exceptional in the field marking a (.964) fielding percentage, good for second-best in the Big West. The Titans post the third-lowest errors total with 50 on the season, 14 less than league leaders Cal State Northridge with 64. Out of the eight individuals in all of the Big West who own a (1.000) fielding percentage, four wear a Titans uniform, Crawford, Harris, Mario and Jena Rubio.
DOING IT IN BUNCHES: Five Titans have recorded a multiple-hit game 10 times or more this season: Taukeiaho (18), Leesa Harris (11), Ariel Tsuchiyama (11), Samantha Galarza (11) and Gabby Aragon (10). Two out of the five athletes have raked in four-hit games, one apiece by Taukeiaho and Harris, respectively.
SPEEDY LEESA: Leesa Harris is second in the league lead in triples with five on the year. The Los Angeles, Calif., native has also recorded four doubles, 28 runs scored and seven stolen bases.
THE BEST BALL IS THE LONG BALL: In 2014, Cal State Fullerton is second in the Big West with 49 home runs. Heading the long ball attack is Taukeiaho with a league-high 15 round-trippers, followed by Eliza Crawford who has gone yard 10 times. Fullerton trails Hawai'i (52), and is followed by Long Beach State (46) for overall home run totals.
DRIVING WITH THE CLUTCH IN: Five different Titans have drove in a game-winning RBI multiple times to create a lead that was never surrendered by Fullerton. Taukeiaho and Aragon lead the team with seven game-winning RBI hits apiece, respectively. The pair is followed by Crawford (4), Galarza (2) and Melissa Sechrest (2). Amongst the 26 hits in total, 10 of those are via the long ball.
MAKING IT HOME: Fullerton has pushed a second-best 244 runs across this season. The Titans trail Long Beach State (286) for the conference lead. To compliment the runs, CSF posts a team on base pct. of (.379) and combine for 589 total bases, both good for second in the league.
TAKE THE RAKE OUT: The Titans are second in the Big West in batting avg., with a team clip of (.293). It is the highest average by a Titan team since the 2000 and 2001 squads batted .304 and .298, respectively. Four Fullerton starters post averages above that mark: Taukeiaho (.415), Harris (.369), Tsuchiyama (.319), and Galarza (.303).
STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE: The Titans have used their base running abilities to stay away from grounding into double plays this season. Remarkably, Fullerton is the only team in the Big West that is yet to ground into a two-outer, with UC Davis and Hawai'i leading the league with nine apiece, respectively. Long Beach State has eight GDP's this season to round out the top-four.
GOOD EYE, GOOD EYE: Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in drawing base on balls with 144 as a team, eight more than the nearest competitor Long Beach State with 136. Four Titans have eclipsed 15 walks or more, Taukeiaho leads the league with 33, followed by Crawford with 21, Tsuchiyama registering 17 and Aragon has drawn 15 free passes.
SLUGGIN' IT TO THE BIG WEST: Fullerton leads the conference with a (.486) slugging pct., while placing in the top-five in hits (365), doubles (59), triples (9) and home runs (49) as a team. Taukeiaho leads the league with a whopping (.803) slugging percentage.
GRAND SLAM BREAKFAST: Fullerton opened up conference play with two victories against UC Santa Barbara including an 11-7 come-from-behind thriller in the Titans annual Pink Day game on Mar. 30. Taukeiaho blasted a grand slam in the third inning to erase a five-run lead while Galarza launched another four-bagger to break a 7-7 tie to stun the Gauchos and capture the series. The slugfest remarkably produced three total grand slams as UCSB accounted for another.
MILESTONES: After capturing a total of 500 wins as a Head Coach between Mt. SAC JC and Cal State Fullerton earlier this year, Kelly Ford chalked up another milestone in Hawaii. The Portland, Ore., native captured her 50th win at the Division I level when Cal State Fullerton defeated Hawai'i, 5-3, on Apr. 4 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
WE'VE GOT OUR HANDS TIED: Due to darkness and the lack of lights at Bakersfield on Mar. 26, the Titans and Roadrunners finished the game in a 10-10 tie. This was the first decision of this type for the Titans since Feb. 17 of 2008 when Cal State Fullerton and the Texas Longhorns ended in a 4-4 tie.
BIG WEST OUTLOOK: The Titans were picked to finish third in the Big West Conference in 2014 as selected by the eight head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Defending conference champion Hawai'i, collected four first place votes and 59 points overall and are favored to repeat after making a big splash in 2013 by capturing the crown in their return to the Big West after a 16 season hiatus. Runner-up in the polls was Long Beach State who garnered three first place votes and 55 overall. UC Santa Barbara was fourth in the polls with 40 points, while UC Davis rounded out the top five at 30 points:
1. Hawai'i (4), 59
2. Long Beach State (3), 55
3. Cal State Fullerton (1), 46
4. UC Santa Barbara, 40
5. UC Davis, 30
6. Cal Poly, 25
7. Cal State Northridge, 24
8. UC Riverside, 9
TITANS REWIND: 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 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 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.
NEWCOMERS: Although the 2014 Titans return dynamic seniors Jena Rubio, Leesa Harris, Gabby Aragon, Lauren Mario and Ariel Tsuchiyama, there are plenty of young talent on this seasons roster. Coach Kelly Ford's team consists of eight freshmen, six of which are position players and the remaining two on the pitching staff. Freshman Christina Washington is looking to have a promising season pitching in the circle, alongside now sophomore Jasmine Antunez who had similar expectations one year ago. Three Titans have transferred to the 2014 team, one being to watch is University of Washington transfer Taukeiaho. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native is looking to make an immediate impact to the offensive potency of the 2014 Titans.