March 9, 2008
LAKEWOOD, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team split its final two games at the Long Beach Invitational at Mayfair Park in Lakewood, Calif., on Saturday, defeating Rutgers in six innings before falling to Notre Dame in the nightcap.
The Titans moved to 12-10-1 overall with the split while Rutgers fell to 6-6 and Notre Dame improved to 9-8.
In the first game of the day, senior Katie Gollhardt went 3-for-4 and led three teammates with multiple hits as the Titans broke out of a recent offensive slump with a rousing 10-1 victory over Rutgers in six innings.
The Scarlet Knights were the first on the scoreboard, however, as Mallory Miller gave Rutgers the early 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the third inning.
Things remained that way until Fullerton's half of the fourth when the Titans struck for a pair to take the lead for good. After a dropped foul ball prolonged Lauren Lupinetti's at bat, the junior singled with one out to start the rally.
Fullerton then tacked on four runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach.
Gollhardt and Kiki Munoz each had RBI doubles in the fifth while Gollhardt, Lupinetti, and Martinez each had RBI hits in the sixth - the latter invoking the run-rule to end the game.
Senior right-hander Jessica Doucette went the distance, allowing only the single run on five hits and striking out five to improve to 6-4 overall on the year. Katye Hamlin (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing three earned (six overall) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Sheila Holguin, Lupinetti and Martinez all finished with two hits while three other Titans added base hits.
Game two saw a rematch of last weekend's game between the Titans and Notre Dame, won by Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, in a pitcher's duel at the Worth Invitational.
Saturday night, however, it was the Fighting Irish's turn to eke out a win as Katie Fleury's RBI single with one out in the sixth drove home Sadie Pitzenberger with the game's only run as Notre Dame defeated the Titans, 1-0.
Pitzenberger doubled to break up Christine Hiner's (6-5) no-hit bid as the Titans' freshman stymied the Irish bats to that point, striking out seven. Fleury then took an 0-2 pitch to right field, scoring the game's lone run.
Jody Valdivia (2-3) then retired the side in order in the seventh for Notre Dame, including two of her nine strikeouts on the night, to end the game.
Hiner allowed the only run on two hits, walking one and finishing with eight punch-outs on the night.
The Titans' offense, after banging out 12 hits in their first game of the day, could manage only two against Notre Dame - singles by Martinez in the second and Munoz in the fourth.
Fullerton had the possible go-ahead run at third in the sixth as Munoz reached on an error by the centerfielder, but Valdivia escaped any damage by inducing Lupinetti into an inning-ending pop up.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Wednesday (March 12) as the Titans travel to UCLA for a match-up with the Bruins at 2 p.m. at Easton Stadium.