March 23, 2010
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team dropped a pair of games on Tuesday night, falling to DePaul, 4-1, before dropping a long-awaited contest to Oregon State, 8-2, at Anderson Family Field.
The losses dropped the Titans to 5-26 overall after the completion of their March 7 game against the Beavers that was halted due to weather and travel plans. The Blue Demons improved to 14-11 overall while the Beavers moved to 13-14 overall.
In the opener, a grand slam by DePaul's Simone Ashkar erased a 1-0 Fullerton lead and gave the Blue Demons the come-from-behiind victory.
Fullerton had taken the early lead in the fourth after a pitchers duel developed between Titans' starter Ari Cervantes (2-12) and DePaul starter Bree Brown (5-2). Cervantes started Fullerton's two-out rally by drawing a walk and scored all the way from first base on K.C. Craddick's triple that landed in short left field and took an odd bounce into no-man's land in the left-field corner.
The lead didn't last long as a key error to lead-off the fifth would play a big part in DePaul's comeback. Samantha Dodd reached on a wild throw on her ground ball and moved to second on Sean Plese's chopping single up the middle.
After a ground ball back to the circle and a line-out to left would have ended the inning, but put only two outs on the board, Becca Heteniak was walked intentionally in favor of Simone Ashkar, who deposited a 2-2 pitch over the wall the opposite way for a grand slam and a 4-1 lead.
Brown then shut the door, allowing just one hit over the final three innings, retiring the side in order in the sixth and seventh to end the game.
Brown, who threw 92 of her 131 pitches for strikes, allowed one run on four hits and struck out 10 in the complete-game effort while Cervantes was stuck with the loss, allowing no earned runs on four hits and striking out two while going the distance.
Eight different players accounted for the eight combined hits in the game.
In the "nightcap," Oregon State built on its 4-2 lead with a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh en route to an 8-2 win, 16 days after the two teams started at the DeMarini Invitational.
Lea Cavestany picked up her belated third RBI of the game with a double down the line in the sixth, scoring Tarah Black, who singled earlier in the inning. The Beavers then added three more in the seventh on an RBI double by Black and a two-run single off the pitcher's foot by Alana Ford that found a hole in the defense, allowing runners to score from second and third. It was Ford's first hit of the season.
Fullerton could manage only one hit in the final 3 1/3 innings on an infield hit by sophomore Nicole Johnson in the sixth. The Titans left five runners on the final three-plus innings, and nine total for the game - six of those in scoring position.
Cervantes (2-13) suffered the loss, allowing seven earned on 11 hits in seven innings. Paige Hall (9-12) picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out eight.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the diamond on Wednesday (March 31) at 4 p.m. with its final non-conference contest of the season against San Diego State. The Titans then kick-off Big West Conference play on Friday (April 2) at 4 p.m. with a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara.