Long Ball Hurts Titans in Tourney Openers

March 14, 2012

Box Score - Notre Dame | Box Score - Purdue

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team got off to a slow start in the 2012 Judi Garman Classic, falling to Notre Dame, 16-0, in five innings before being edged out in a slugfest by Purdue, 8-6, on Wednesday night at Anderson Family Field.

The losses dropped the Titans to 12-16 overall on the season while the Fighting Irish improved to 10-8 and the Boilermakers moved to 14-7 overall.

Freshman Emily Vizcarra led the Fullerton offense on the night, finishing 4-for-5 with an RBI in the two games combined while redshirt freshman Eliza Crawford drove in three and was one of three Fullerton hitters with three hits in the nightcap against Purdue.

Play in the Judi Garman Classic resumes Thursday morning (March 15) at 9 a.m. on both fields as UC Davis takes on Virginia and Iowa meets Notre Dame. Cal State Fullerton next plays on Friday night (March 16) at 7:30 p.m., taking on No. 13 Arizona.

GAME 1: NOTRE DAME 16, CAL STATE FULLERTON 0 (5 inn.)
The visiting Fighting Irish slugged five home runs and pounded out 17 hits on the night as Notre Dame routed Cal State Fullerton in the opener.

Three Irish pitchers combined on a two-hitter as Emily Vizcarra and pinch-hitter Lauren Mario tallied singles on the afternoon for the Titans, but the home could could not generate any offense against the trio of Laura Winter, Brittany O'Donnell (5-3), and Jackie Bowe, who struck out six batters combined while walking only one.

Desiree Ybarra (7-8), making her sixth consecutive start, suffered the loss, allowing nine runs on 10 hits in only 1 1/3 innings of work before giving way to freshman Vanessa Garcia in relief.

Emilee Koerner slugged a three-run home run in the first, Amy Buntin (two-run) and Katey Haus (three-run) added two more as part of a six-run second, Kristina Wright (two-run) hit her first of the year in the third, and Cassidy Whidden slugged a grand slam in the fifth to cap the scoring. Winter and Lauren Stuhr also added RBI hits on the night for Notre Dame.

GAME 2: PURDUE 8, CAL STATE FULLERTON 6
Both teams combined for 30 hits on the night, but a Ashley Courtney three-run home run highlighted a big five-run fourth inning for Purdue, lifting the Boilermakers to the slugfest victory.

The Titans tied a season-high with 15 hits on the night - their fourth game of double-digit hits in the last eight contests - as senior Adri Martinez, redshirt freshman Eliza Crawford, and freshman Emily Vizcarra collected three hits apiece and eight of the nine Fullerton starters finished with at least one hit on the night.

Crawford's first of three RBI's on the night put the Titans out early as her first-inning single scored Martinez for the 1-0 lead. The Boilermakers responded with two in the second to regain the lead on a home run by Danielle Fletcher and an RBI single by Ashley Burkhardt and added another run in the third on a single and an error to make it 3-1.

Fullerton responded with two in its half of the third on a two-run single by Crawford to tie the game before the Boilermakers erupted in the fourth to take the lead for good. Lindsey Rains tripled to the gap in left centerfield where two Titan outfielders collided at full speed trying to make the catch, but the ball fell safely to the ground, allowing Tori Chiodo to score from first for a 4-3 advantage.

An RBI single by Molly Garst made it 5-3 and put two on for Courtney, who slugged a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left for the 8-3 advantage.

Cal State Fullerton continued to chip away, loading the bases with one out for Adri Martinez, whose ground ball back to the circle was thrown too low to the plate, allowing Vizcarra to score to make it 8-4. A run-scoring ground ball by Nicole Johnson added another, but pitcher Lexy Moore (9-2) got Purdue out of the jam, stranding the bases loaded with a ground ball to the right side to end the inning.

The Titans got another in the fifth after a lead-off triple by Tiffany Sheffler and a sacrifice fly by Vizcarra, but could muster no more runs, getting only two more base runners on via a Martinez single in the sixth and a Vizcarra base hit in the seventh.

Both teams combined for 18 runners left on base (nine of those in scoring position) for the game.

Moore earned the win for the Boilermakers in relief, allowing one earned on nine hits in five innings of work while striking out four. Ybarra (7-9) went the distance for Fullerton, allowing eight runs on 15 hits and striking out four.