April 6, 2008
FULLERTON, CA - Brooke Hebenton's RBI single to centerfield snapped a 2-2 tie and keyed a three-run sixth inning to help lift visiting UC Riverside to a 6-4 victory over host Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.
The loss dropped the Titans to 18-19-1 overall and 2-4 in Big West Conference play. The Highlanders snapped a 27-game conference losing streak with the victory, improving to 15-24 overall and 1-5 in league play.
Fullerton rallied back from a quick 2-0 deficit in the fourth as Kiki Munoz singled with one out and Jenna Wheeler prolonged the inning with a two-out walk. Crystal Vieyra then followed with a sharp single to left to load the bases and bring up freshman K.C. Craddick, who sent the first pitch she saw back up the middle to score a pair and tie the game.
However, the Highlanders broke through for the go-ahead runs in the sixth as a fielder's choice, single, and hit batter loaded the bases with only one out. Brooke Hebenton then came on as a pinch hitter and lined the first pitch into centerfield, scoring pinch-runner Milana Johnson with the go-ahead run.
Amanda Klimcazk then followed with a pinch-hit two-run single to make it 5-2, but Fullerton starter Christine Hiner worked out of the jam, getting a pair of fly balls to end the inning.
The Titans attempted to rally back in the sixth as a pair of singles by Munoz and Lupinetti and a walk to Wheeler loaded the bases with no outs. Vieyra then followed with her third hit by pitch of the weekend to drive home a run and make it 5-3.
UCR's defense then clamped down, throwing out a pair of runners at the plate around an RBI single by pinch-hitter Jessica Doucette that made it 5-4, and reliever Marissa Alvidrez induced an inning-ending ground ball to escape any further damage.
Alvidrez then helped her own cause, adding an insurance run with a towering home run to left field to cap the scoring in the top of the seventh, and then wriggling off the hook again in the bottom of the inning after the Titans put a pair on with two outs, getting a ground ball back to the circle to end the game.
Hiner (9-9) suffered the loss, allowing five earned on 10 hits and striking out four in her third complete-game effort of the weekend. Christin Songer (6-5) earned the win, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings of work. Alvidrez earned her second save of the year, allowing two hits and a walk in two innings of relief.
Munoz led all Titans with a 2-for-3 day at the plate while seven other players notched single hits. April Murray and Taylor Thomas each finished with a pair of hits for the Highlanders.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the field on Wednesday (April 9) as the Titans host Loyola Marymount for a single game at 6 p.m. at Anderson Family Field.