March 11, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Freshman Lauren Mario's first career home run with one out in the seventh tied the game and sophomore Ashley Carter's RBI single with two out in the eighth drove home the game-winner as Cal State Fullerton edged Utah State, 2-1, in a non-conference battle on Friday night at Anderson Family Field.
The win was the third victory of the walk-off variety for the Titans this season as they improved to 7-10 overall on the year. The Aggies fell to 5-15 with the loss.
Fullerton's Ari Cervantes (6-5) and Utah State's Mandy Harmon (4-11) were locked in a pitchers duel before the Aggies struck first in the fourth. Shasta Tyteca reached on a one-out single and moved to third on an illegal pitch and a ground out. That brought up Tatum Day, who looped a single into right field on a 3-2 pitch for the 1-0 lead.
Harmon then shut down the Titans, holding them to just two hits until the seventh when Fullerton rallied for the tying run off the bat of Mario, who sent a 1-2 pitch from Harmon over the wall in left centerfield to make it 1-1. Nicole Johnson then followed with a two-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch, but was stranded when Harmon induced Cervantes into an inning-ending fly ball.
Utah State was then retired in order in the eighth and almost forced a ninth inning with a key double play before Carter came through in the clutch. Sophomore Ariel Tsuchiyama led-off the Titans' half with her first triple of the season and Torrie Anderson drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners.
That chased Harmon from the game in favor of Dani Chaplin while Jena Rubio and Sammie Dabbs entered to put speed on the bases for Fullerton with nobody out. After Dabbs took second with pinch-hitter Morgan LeMond at the plate, Chaplin got a ground ball to third where Day applied the tag on Rubio and threw on to first for the double play.
However, the ball never got back to the circle as the Aggies' defense thought it was the third out of the inning and Dabbs smartly took third to keep Fullerton's hopes alive. That brought up Carter, who quickly went ahead in the count, 3-0, before taking a pair of strikes for a full count. On the next pitch, Carter looped a ball just off the tip of the glove of the shortstop and into left field, scoring Dabbs with the winning run.
Cervantes allowed just the single run on six hits and struck out six in the complete-game effort for the Titans while Harmon was charged with two runs on just four hits in seven innings in the loss for the Aggies.
Carter finished 2-for-4 to lead Fullerton's offense while Kassandra Uchida and Shasta Tyteca each had a pair of hits to lead Utah State.
The Titans continue play in the Long Beach Marriott Invitational on Saturday afternoon (March 12) with a pair of games at Mayfair Park in Lakewood, CA. Fullerton opens at 3:45 against No. 9 UCLA and takes on BYU at 8 p.m. to close out the weekend.