2017 Softball Season Recap

2017 Softball Season Recap

Fullerton, Calif. – During the 2017 softball season, the Cal State Fullerton softball team tallied 35 victories and became back-to-back Big West Champions. The back-to-back conference crowns for the Titans is something Fullerton hasn't accomplished since claiming three straight titles from 2000-2003. The Titans won 12 consecutive conference contests from April 14th-May 6th to claim the 2017 Big West Conference Championship. 

 

In her fifth season at the helm, head coach Kelly Ford guided the team to a 35-23 overall record, its second straight conference title, and its 27th NCAA Regional appearance. The Titans were off to another quick start including an early upset shutout over then-No. 17 Utah, 1-0, in the Mary Nutter Classic and then-No. 22 Baylor, 1-0, in the Long Beach State/Fullerton Tournament. Ford also claimed her second consecutive Big West Coach of the Year honor for leading the Big West Conference with a 16-5 record. 

 

The Titans concluded the season on a high note, ending the year with carding wins in six of the final 10 games, including three consecutive series victories over Big West foes CSUN, Long Beach State and Hawai'i. Ford and the support staff led the team to an overall .267 batting average, 419 hits, 203 runs, 49 doubles, 67 stolen bases, and a nearly perfect .965 fielding percentage.

Softball Awards/Honors

Kelsey Kessler
NFCA All-West Region (1st Team)
All-Big West Conference (1st Team)

Kessler was named to the NFCA All-West Region first team and the All-Big West Conference first team. Kessler's excellence in the circle continued through the entire season as she was first in the Big West with a 1.02 ERA in 75.1 innings of work and had the most wins. She dominated the season with 166 strikeouts and earned eight shutouts including two over then-No. 17 Utah and then No. 22 Baylor. Overall, Kessler boasted a 20-9 record to go along with a 1.86 ERA in 192 innings pitched.  


Delynn Rippy
NFCA All-West Region (3rd Team)
All-Big West Conference (1st Team)

Rippy was an offensive force at the top of the Titans' lineup, which earned her a spot on the First Team All-Conference squad for the second straight year. Rippy led the team with 192 at-bats and a .344 batting average. She sat fourth in the Big West Conference with 12 runs scored and 24 hits. Rippy hit her first home run of the season in the NCAA Regionals against Lehigh.


Lexi Gonzalez
NFCA All-West Region (3rd Team)
All-Big West Conference (1st Team)

Gonzalez was team power hitter, leading the team with 10 home runs throughout the season and driving in 39 runs. Gonzalez received her second-straight NFCA All-Region nod, as she was named to the 2016 All-West Regional Second Team last year. Gonzalez also earned All-Conference First Team for the second straight year and placed third in the league with a .603 slugging percentage.


Ariana Williams
All-Big West Conference (2nd Team)

During conference play, Williams tied Gonzalez for first with 14 runs scored. The Moreno Valley sophomore started in 39 games and posted a .319 batting average overall. She has driven in 19 runs and scored 33, while recording three home runs, four doubles, and two triples. The outfielder has posted a solid defense with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and as she logged 58 putouts.  


Shianne Brannan
All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention

Brannan, a junior shortstop, hit four home runs during conference play and placed ninth in the Big West with a .509 slugging percentage. For the season, Brannan has been solid on a defense posting a .952 fielding percentage, as she recorded 93 putouts and 105 assists. The Titans' defense topped the Big West with .973 fielding percentage in conference play.


Zoe Richard

All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention
All-Big West Conference Freshman Team

Richard earned a spot on the All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention list and All-freshman Team. This season, Richard started in 31 games and posted a .280 batting average. She has driven in 22 runs on 30 hits. Richard has been flawlessly defensively as first baseman recording 201 putouts.


Cerissa Rivera

All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention

This season, Rivera posted 5-2 record as she ranked seventh in the league with a 2.19 ERA and earned back-to-back Big West Pitcher of the Week honors. Rivera logged 68 strikeouts and walked just 12, while picking up two shutouts and five complete games over 76.2 innings.   


Arianna Burns

All-Big West Conference Freshman Team

In conference play, Burns batted a .357 and was in second league with an on-base percentage of .500. Burns posted five doubles on the season, while drawing five walks.

27TH REGIONAL APPEARANCE
The Titans made their 27th NCAA Regionals appearance with an automatic bid to play San Jose State in game one at UCLA. The Titans lost to San Jose State, but went on to defeat Lehigh 10-8 in game two of the Regionals. In game three, the Titans faced off with San Jose State once more and walked away with a 1-0 shutout. In the championship match of the Regional, the Titans fell to UCLA 9-1. The Cal State Fullerton softball program has made 26 past NCAA postseason appearances and reached the peak of the sport six times-winning the NCAA National Championship in 1986.

 

BACK-TO-BACK CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
The Titans clinched their tenth Big West Conference Championship with a sweep over CSUN at the Anderson Family Field. This is the second straight year the Titans clinched the Big West Conference title. The last time the Titans had back-to-back Big West Championship titles was in 2000-2003.

 

CONGRATS COACHES
Associate Head Coach Jorge Araujo was named a finalist for the Rising Star Award from One Dream Zero Distraction Management. Araujo is in his fifth season with the Titans and his first as the associate head coach. The California Community College Coaches Association selected head coach Kelly Ford to be inducted into the 2017 California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. This year Coach Ford also earned Big West Coach of Year for the second straight year and has hit 175 career wins as the Titans Head Coach.

 

WELCOME FUTURE TITANS!
Fullerton softball welcomed four new Titans to the program during the early signing period in November. The first additions to the 2017 recruiting class include Jody Cova (3B/C), Taylor Dockins (P/1B), Hannah Johnson (P/1B/OF), and Samantha Kennedy (2B/SS). Cova provides a power-bat to next year's squad as she hails from up North in Orangevale, Calif., where she earned All-Capital Athletic League honors three times. Kennedy hails from Anaheim, Calif., where she received multiple accolades during her time at Savanna High School. Her brother, AJ Kennedy, spent three seasons with Titan baseball before being drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2015. Dockins comes to Fullerton with quite a resume as she earned multiple league, region and state honors while also helping Norco High School win the CIF-SS Championship as a sophomore. The Norco, Calif., native also was named a Max Preps Junior All-American and the 2017 Gatorade National Player of the Year. Lastly, Johnson provides versatility for the Titans as she played multiple positions at La Habra High School, but Coach Ford sees her making the biggest impact in the circle. 

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