March 27, 2007
LOS ANGELES - The Cal State Fullerton softball team split a pair of games with southern California rival Loyola Marymount at Smith Field on Tuesday, falling in game one by the score of 2-0 in eight innings before rebounding with a 10-3 victory in game two.
Fullerton improved to 18-15 overall with the nightcap win while LMU finished the day at 27-14 overall on the year.
The Titans brought out the bats against little-used Lions hurlers Tracy Cook and Tiffany Gonzales as Fullerton banged out 12 hits in the 10-3 victory.
Sophomore Courtney Martinez led all players with her 3-for-4 effort at the plate, leading four other Titans with multiple hits and falling just a triple short of the cycle.
Megan Ackerman, however, got Loyola Marymount off to the quick start as her two-run home run in the second with two outs gave the Lions the early 2-0 lead.
The advantage was short-lived as the Titans responded with three runs of their own in their half of the third. Jessica Doucette led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice by Martinez. After a walk to Ashley Van Boxmeer, Lauren Lupinetti drove home Fullerton's first run with an infield single to plate Doucette and cut the deficit to 2-1.
A ground out by Kiki Munoz moved both runners into scoring position for Crystal Vieyra, whose ground ball was mishandled by the shortstop, scoring Van Boxmeer with the tying run. Lupinetti would come home to score on a wild pitch later in the at bat to give the Titans a 3-2 lead.
LMU rallied to tie the game on an RBI single by Margo Pineda in the third, but it was all Titans from there as they added two runs in the fourth on a home run by Martinez and four more in the fifth on a pair of two-run doubles by Martinez and Candice Baker.
Cal State Fullerton capped the scoring with a run in the sixth on an RBI double by Katie Gollhardt.
Senior Brooke Weekley (4-3) earned the win in the circle, allowing the three runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out four. Cook (0-1), who had pitched only 15 innings in her previous two seasons with the Lions, suffered the loss, allowing three earned (five overall) on six hits.
Doucette finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored while Lupinetti (2-for-5), Gollhardt (2-for-3), and Baker (2-for-4) all finished with multiple hits.
Game one saw hurlers Tiffany Pagano and Doucette dual one another for seven innings before the Lions rallied for the winning runs in the eighth as Chelsie Tysdal slugged her fourth home run of the year with a runner on to lift LMU to the 2-0 extra-inning victory.
It was the sixth time in Fullerton's previous eight games that the Titans have been taken to extra innings as they fell to just 1-5 in those contests and 1-7 in extra innings overall this season.
Tysdal's home run came with one out in the eighth, sending an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left field and plating pinch-runner J.J. Hartung ahead of her after she was placed on second base as part of the international tie breaker.
Pagano (10-8) held the Cal State Fullerton offense to only one hit in the complete-game shutout - a high-chopping single down the left field line by Jessica Doucette in the third inning.
Pagano walked five for the game, but stranded eight runners - four of those in scoring position - including the go-ahead run at third with one out in the eighth. She finished with six strikeouts.
Doucette (4-4) suffered the loss, allowing one earned on three hits, walking one and striking out four in 7 1/3 innings.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action this weekend as the Titans open Big West Conference play on the road at UC Santa Barbara. The three-game series with the Gauchos opens with a doubleheader on Saturday (March 31) at noon and concludes with a single game on Sunday (April 1), also at noon.