Titans Rally Big to Smite Spartans
March 4, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - Anissa Young homered twice and drove in four while Nicole Johnson added her third home run of the season on Sunday as Cal State Fullerton sent 11 batters to plate as part of an eight-run fifth inning to beat Michigan State, 11-7, and close out the 2012 DeMarini Invitational at Anderson Family Field.
The Titans finished the tournament at 3-1, improving to 9-12 overall on the season with the victory. The Spartans finished 1-3 in tournament play and fell to 4-12 overall.
Fullerton's offense banged out 14 hits against Michigan State pitching - the most since the Titans finished with 13 hits against Santa Clara on Feb. 19 in Fresno - and finished with double digits in the runs column for only the second time this season.
Six of the 11 hits came during Fullerton's huge fifth inning as the Titans erased a three-run deficit to take the lead for good. A single by Adriana Martinez and an error put two on for Johnson, who sent a 2-0 pitch from Carly Nielsen (2-5) over the wall in left field to tie the game. Senior Morgan LeMond then followed with her third hit of the day to bring up Young, whose deep fly ball to center bounced out of the fielder's glove when she hit the fence for her second home run of the day and an 8-6 lead.
That chased Nielsen from the game in favor of Shelby Wise, who was greeting by a single from Tiffany Sheffler before getting a strikeout for out number two. Leesa Harris followed with an infield hit and the Titans pushed another run across on a fielder's choice by Ashley Carter to make it 9-6. Martinez's ground ball back to the circle that would have ended the inning was dropped by the first baseman in a collision at the bag, allowing two more runs to cross and put Fullerton ahead by five.
Mary Kate DiVirgilio homered to lead-off the seventh, but Desiree Ybarra (4-5) got a pair of ground balls and a fly ball to end the game.
Ybarra, allowed two runs on six hits while striking out a pair to earn the win in 4 2/3 innings of relief after starter Aly Fascetti was tagged for five runs on four hits in just 2 1/3 innings of work. Nielsen was charged with seven earned on 11 hits in the loss for the Spartans, who finished with 10 hits, including a 3-for-4 day by Brett Williams.
Michigan State broke the scoreless deadlock with a big third inning, sending nine batters to plate and scoring five times. A double steal plated the first run as Alyssa McBride came home to score and make it 1-0 while DiVirgilio and Jayme O'Bryant each had two-run doubles in the frame for the 5-0 lead.
The Spartans added another run in the fourth on a run-scoring double from Kylene Hopkins before the Titans rallied for a three-spot in their half of the inning. LeMond's RBI single got Fullerton on the board after a lead-off double by Johnson and Young followed with her second home run of the year, a two-run shot to center, cutting the deficit to 6-3.
LeMond and Young each finished with three hits while Johnson, Sheffler, and Leesa Harris added two apiece for the Titans.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the field on Tuesday (March 6) at 6 p.m. for a single game against East Carolina at Anderson Family Field.