Titans Open Palm Springs Classic With Sweep of Virginia, Michigan State

Feb. 23, 2007

CATHEDRAL CITY, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team opened the 2007 Palm Springs Classic with a pair of victories on Friday night in Cathedral City, Calif., as the Titans downed Virginia, 10-0, in five innings before taking a 4-1 victory over Michigan State in the night cap.

The wins propelled Fullerton to 7-6 overall and 2-0 in the tournament's opening day. The Cavaliers fell to 6-7 overall while the Spartans fell to 3-3 after an 8-0 loss to UCLA earlier in the day.

Cal State Fullerton continues play at the Palm Springs Classic with a pair of games on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) as the Titans take on Notre Dame at 1 p.m. and Illinois-Chiacgo at 6 p.m.

Cal State Fullerton 10, Virginia 0 (5 inn.)

Box Score

Senior right-hander Candice Baker allowed just one hit while striking out 11 and Cal State Fullerton exploded for a seven-run second inning as the Titans won their Palm Springs Classic opener with a 10-0, five-inning victory over Virginia.

Baker (4-3) surrendered only a second-inning single to Nicole Koren and walked three in earning the victory, stranding four runners in the fourth complete-game shutout of the year.

A quiet first inning begat a huge offensive second inning for Fullerton as the Titans scored seven times on six hits, including a three-run home run by Jenna Wheeler - her second round-tripper of the season.

Jessica Doucette extended her hitting streak to eight games with an RBI double and sophomore Courtney Martinez added an two-run single to make it 6-0. Senior Ashley Van Boxmeer added an RBI single later in the inning to cap the scoring.

The Titans added two more in the third on a bases loaded walk to Martinez and an RBI fielder's choice by junior Kiki Munoz to make it 9-0 and Baker, who finished 2-for-3, helped her own cause with an RBI single in the fourth for the final run.

Seven of the final nine outs recorded by Baker and the Titans were strikeouts as the senior reached double-digit strikeouts for the third time this season.

Karla Wilburn (4-5) was saddled with the loss, allowing seven runs on five hits and walking two in 1 1/3 innings.

Wheeler finished 1-for-1 with two walks and three runs scored while four other Titans finished with hits.

Cal State Fullerton 4, Michigan State 1

Box Score

The Titans' Jessica Doucette and Ashley Van Boxmeer each had a pair of hits to help lift Fullerton to a 4-1 victory over the Spartans to close out day one.

Senior Brooke Weekley (1-2) earned the win, allowing just one run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings of work before giving way to Candice Baker in the fifth. Baker got the final eight outs - four of those via the strikeout - including working out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the lead.

The Titans jumped out to the quick lead once again as Doucette led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice by Martinez and scored three batters later on a two-out single off the pitcher's glove by Van Boxmeer to make it 1-0.

The hit extended Doucette's hitting streak to nine consecutive games.

Munoz made it 3-0 with a two-run home run in the third as Doucette again led off with a hit and was moved to second on another sacrifice by Martinez to set the stage for Munoz's blast - her second of the season.

Van Boxmeer followed two batters later as her two-out solo home run (her third of the year) to right centerfield made it 4-0.

The Spartans finally broke through in the fourth as Caitlin Mahoney led off the frame by sending a 1-0 offering over the fence in leftfield to make it 4-1.

Michigan State threatened to close the gap even further in the pivotal fifth inning as the Spartans worked a single by Jessica LeFevre and a walk to Nikki Nicosia to put a pair on with one out off Weekley.

Baker then came in and loaded the bases as Kara Weigle drew another walk.

However, that would be as close as the Spartans would get as Baker induced Traci Nicosia into the inning-ending 5-2-3 double play to preserve the lead.

Baker allowed only a single and a fielder's choice in the sixth before setting down the final five batters of the game - four of those by strikeout - to notch her first save of the year.

Weekley pitched well in earning her first win, retiring six in a row at one point and nine of the first 12 before allowing Mahoney's home run.

Doucette and Van Boxmeer finished 2-for-4 with the former scoring twice and the latter driving in two runs.

Rachel Turney suffered the loss for MSU, allowing four runs on five hits in the complete game effort.

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