Late Rally Falls Short at No. 3 UCLA
Feb. 24, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA - Cal State Fullerton scored five runs in the final two innings, but the Titans' late rally came up just short on Wednesday afternoon as host and No. 3-ranked UCLA held off hard-charging Fullerton for a 9-6 victory at Easton Stadium.
The loss was the Titans' seventh straight as they fell to 2-9 overall, but they posted their second-highest offensive output on the season in terms of both runs and hits (7). The Bruins won their ninth-straight contest in improving to 11-1 overall on the year.
Junior Torrie Anderson finished 2-for-3 with a seventh-inning grand slam to try and bring her side back while sophomore Trina Harrison slugged her team-best fourth home run of the season in the sixth and also scored a pair of runs to help spark the Titans' rally.
Julie Burney finished 3-for-3 with four RBI for the Bruins to lead all hitters while B.B. Bates finished 2-for-3 with her first collegiate home run and three RBI. Aleah Macon (3-0) earned the win, allowing an unearned run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine, but had to reenter the game in the seventh to nail down the win after reliever Destiny Rodino was tagged for five runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Krystal Heinle (1-4) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on six hits and walking two in just two innings. Ari Cervantes was solid in relief, allowing two earned on five hits in four innings and working around six walks to keep her team in contention.
Fullerton got on the board in the very first inning as K.C. Craddick singled to lead-off the game and was replaced by pinch-runner Chloe Valenzuela, who stole second and advanced to third on an error with two outs. Anderson was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners and was set in motion, drawing a throw to second base.
Anderson then got hung up just long enough to allow Valenzuela to scamper home before sliding back into first base safely to put Fullerton up, 1-0.
A two-run double by Burney in the bottom of the first gave UCLA a lead it would never relinquish as the Bruins added four more in the second on Bates' three-run shot to right field and an RBI single by Burney to make it a 6-1 game.
UCLA added two more runs in the fifth on RBI hits by Andrea Harrison and Burney to make it an 8-1 game, but left the bases loaded, giving the Titans life. Harrison then led-off the sixth with a line-drive home run to cut the deficit, but the Bruins fought back threatening to invoke the run-rule again after loading the bases with one out.
Marti Reed made it a seven-run game with an RBI single, but Fullerton's day was prolonged when freshman Ashley Carter threw out Amy Crawford trying to score from second on the single. A ground out then ended the inning, setting the stage for one of the Titans' biggest innings of the season.
Carter reached on a one-out bunt single and moved to second on a ground out by Craddick for out number two. Pinch-hitter Morgan LeMond followed by reaching on one of the Bruins' four errors on the day, moving Carter to third, and the Titans loaded the bases on a full-count walk to Harrison to bring Anderson to the plate.
The junior, who hit 10 home runs a season ago, fell behind in the count 0-2 before launching a Rodino offering over the wall in left, clearing the bases and making it 9-6.
Senior Kadie Baldwin followed with a double off the wall in right center, chasing Rodino from the game and bringing Macon back in. Ari Cervantes followed with a ground ball that pulled first baseman Charlotte Dolan off the bag, but Baldwin rounded third and headed home during a dispute on the play at first. Dolan then made a heads-up play, throwing to the plate in time to tag Baldwin out to end the game.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the diamond this weekend, participating in the Cathedral City Classic hosted by Oregon State. The Titans will take on Oklahoma State on Friday (Feb. 26), Baylor and Colorado State on Saturday (Feb. 27), and No. 17 Ohio State and Syracuse on Sunday (Feb. 28).