Titans Take Two to Open Tourney

March 9, 2012

Box Score - Michigan State | Box Score - Charleston Southern

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team opened the Long Beach State Invitational Tournament with a pair of victories on its home field Friday night, outslugging then holding on for a 13-10 victory over Michigan State before shutting out Charleston Southern, 5-0, at Anderson Family Field.

The wins improved the Titans to 11-13 overall on the season heading into their final two games of the tournament on Saturday afternoon (March 10) against UNLV at 3 p.m. and Sunday morning (March 11) at 11:15 a.m. against Utah State. The Spartans, who defeated the Buccaneers in the first game of the day by a 4-3 score, moved to 6-14 with the split while Charleston Southern fell to 10-9 with the two losses.

GAME 1: CAL STATE FULLERTON 13, MICHIGAN STATE 10
In the second meeting between the two schools in less than a week, the Titans needed every bit of their 13 runs on 11 hits as the Spartans loaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh before Fullerton, which defeated Michigan State by the score of 11-7 on March 4 to close out the DeMarini Invitational, shut the door for the win.

A huge nine-run third inning for the Titans looked to put the game away quickly, sending 14 batters to the plate in the inning and using six hits to plate their nine runs. Adriana Martinez, who finished 3-for-4, had two hits in the inning while Nicole Johnson walked twice in the frame, but the big blow was dealt by Morgan LeMond, whose bases-loaded, three-run double got Fullerton on the board first.

Kirsten Lambertson walked with the bases loaded to make it 4-0 and an illegal pitch added another before run-scoring hits from Leesa Harris and Ashley Carter made it an 8-0 contest. Fullerton capped its scoring with a double steal as Carter swiped home plate later in the inning for the nine-run lead.

Michigan State then began to chip away as a two-run double by Jayme O'Bryant in the fourth cut the deficit to seven runs before the Spartans tacked up a five-spot in the fifth. Ali Grant's RBI single and a throwing error got the scoring started, plating a pair of runs, before Grant came home on a wild pitch to make it 9-5. A walk and an error put two more in scoring position once again for O'Bryant, who laced a single back up the middle to make it a two-run game.

A back-and-forth game saw the Titans strike for four more in their half of the fifth as Martinez singled and came home on Johnson's fourth home run of the year to make it 11-7 and, after a walk to Eliza Crawford, Anissa Young slammed her fourth of the season that landed on the golf team's practice green beyond the centerfield fence for a 13-7 advantage.

With no lead safe, Michigan State scored twice more in the sixth on a two-run single by Brett Williams and the Spartans added another in a tense seventh inning on a two-out RBI single by McKinzie Freimuth to make it 13-10. Lori Padilla then reached on an infield single and Kylene Hopkins walked to the load the bases, but Desiree Ybarra (5-6) got Grant to pop up to Young at first base to end the game.

Ybarra pitched a total of 6 2/3 innings to get the win, allowing three earned on 10 hits and striking out a pair. She threw the first three innings before giving way to Aly Fascetti to start the fifth, but reentered to finish the game after the Spartans tagged Fascetti for four earned on two hits in one-third of an inning.

Cassee Layne (3-4), the first of three pitchers in the game for Michigan State, suffered the loss, allowing two earned on one hit while walking three in two innings of work.

Eight of the nine Fullerton starters finished with at least one hit while O'Bryant was 3-for-4 for the Spartans.

GAME 2: CAL STATE FULLERTON 5, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 0
Freshman Desiree Ybarra tossed a four-hit shutout and struck out six while Tiffany Sheffler and Adriana Martinez combined for five of the Titans' nine hits on the night as Cal State Fullerton posted its first shutout of the season.

Ybarra (6-6) stranded eight Buccaneers on base in the complete-game effort - four of those in scoring position - without allowing an extra-base hit on the night. Jennifer Giles (2-4) suffered the loss for Charleston Southern, allowing four earned on seven hits and walking four in 3 2/3 innings of work.

The top two in the order combined for the first run to lead off the first as Ashley Carter walked and went all the way to third on Martinez's infield single back to the circle. Both runners made hard turns at their respective bases as Martinez got caught in a rundown long enough for Carter to scamper home and make it 1-0. Eliza Crawford then followed two batters later with a ringing RBI single to center to make it 2-0.

Fullerton, which left 11 runners on base for the game (seven in scoring position), added a single run in the second on a squeeze by Martinez's and Sheffler, who finished 3-for-4 on the night, added a two-run single in the fourth to cap the scoring.

The Buccaneers left runners at second base in the second and fourth innings and left a runner at third in the fifth after a double play and ground ball got Ybarra and the Titans out of a jam. Two errors in the seventh with one out gave Charleston Southern some life, but Harris threw a runner out at third on a blooper to left by Megan Lombard and Ybarra induced a game-ending ground ball to close it out.