Big Innings Lift Titans to Doubleheader Sweep

April 10, 2009

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2

DAVIS, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team scored in bunches on Friday afternoon, needing just three, five-run innings to sweep a Big West Conference doubleheader from host UC Davis by the scores of 10-3 and 5-4 at La Rue Field.

Junior Francesca Gonzales and freshman Trina Harrison combined to drive in seven of Fullerton's 10 runs on the day and combined to slug two of Fullerton's three home runs. The victories put the Titans above the .500 mark for the first time Feb. 20 when they were 5-4 overall and clinched their third conference series victory in as many tries.

The two teams conclude their three-game series with a single game on Saturday afternoon (April 11) at 12 p.m.

GAME 1: Cal State Fullerton 10, UC Davis 3
Cal State Fullerton junior Francesca Gonzales finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and the visiting Titans used a pair of five-run innings to hand host UC Davis a 10-3 defeat on Friday afternoon in game one of their scheduled Big West doubleheader.

Gonzales and sophomore pitcher Ari Cervantes each slugged home runs to help pace Fullerton (17-17, 5-2) to victory as the Titans banged out 10 hits on the day and reached double figures in the runs column for only the second time in 2009.

For Gonzales, it was her third, three-hit game of the season and her team-best ninth multi-hit contest for the Titans. It was also her sixth multiple RBI game this season - also tops on the team.

Seven starters had at least one hit for Fullerton, which jumped out in a big way in the second inning. Gonzales slugged her sixth home run of the season to lead off the frame and, after a single and a walk, K.C. Craddick make it a 2-0 lead with an RBI single back up the middle.

That brought up Cervantes, who helped her own cause by slugging her first home run of the season (and the second of her career) over the fence in centerfield to make it 5-0.

UC Davis (20-17, 4-3) scratched back with three runs over the next three innings, getting an RBI single by Julie Stauder in the third and RBI hits by Alex Holmes and Bianca Castillo in the fourth to cut the gap to 5-3.

However, the Titans got the three runs back plus more in the sixth, loading the bases with one out for Gonzales, who stroked a two-run single back through the box to make it 7-3. Trina Harrison followed with an RBI single and moved to second on the throw home and was followed by Lauren Lupinetti, who drove home a pair with a two-run single through the right side for the 10-3 advantage. The base hit extended her hitting streak to seven straight games - the longest for a Titan this season.

Cervantes (12-9) then closed out the game strong, retiring the final 10 batters she faced, including a "strike-em-out-throw-em-out" double play to end the fourth, to win her third straight decision. Cervantes allowed three runs on seven hits, walking a pair and striking out three in the complete-game victory.

Jessica Hancock (12-9) suffered the loss for the Aggies, allowing all 10 runs on 10 hits, walking two and striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings of work. Nicole Kociemba pitched the final 1 2/3 innings in relief, striking out three of the five batters she faced.

GAME 2: Cal State Fullerton 5, UC Davis 4
Freshman Trina Harrison slugged a three-run home to highlight a five-run fourth inning and sophomore Ari Cervantes nailed down her second save of the year as the Titans held-off the hard-charging Aggies, 5-4, in the nightcap.

A sacrifice fly in the first staked UC Davis (20-18, 4-4) to the early lead in the second, but another big inning by Cal State Fullerton (18-17, 6-2) quickly erased the deficit and put the Titans ahead to stay. Freshman Nicole Johnson drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Francesca Gonzales' single to put a pair on for Harrison, who slugged her second home run of the season to left field to make it a 3-1 game.

A walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Samantha Dollarhide, whose single drove home Lauren Lupinetti for the 4-1 lead. Sophomore Torrie Anderson then came up and popped up to second base, deep enough to score K.C. Craddick for the 5-1 advantage.

The score stayed that way until the sixth when the host Aggies, who managed only one hit through the first five innings, clawed their way back. Three straight singles from the top of the UC Davis order loaded the bases and chased starter Krystal Heinle (6-6). Cervantes entered in relief and got a pair of ground ball fielder's choice outs at the plate to get the Titans closer to escaping with no damage.

However, Marissa Araujo foiled that plan, smacking a double to the gap in left centerfield, driving home a pair to make it 5-3. Cervantes worked out of the jam, getting a ground ball to first to end the inning.

UC Davis threatened once again in the seventh, inching even closer. Bianca Castillo singled to lead-off the inning and moved to second on a groundout. After Belinda Paine was erased on strikes for the second out, Julie Stauder singled up the middle to drive home pinch runner Jessica Gonzalez and make it 5-4.

Cervantes nailed down the victory, however, inducing Erin Emde into a game-ending fielder's choice.

Heinle earned the win, allowing three runs on four hits, walking two and striking out four in five innings of work. Cervantes allowed a single run on three hits with a strikeout in pitching the final two innings.

Alex Holmes (8-9) suffered the loss, allowing the five runs on nine hits, walking a pair and striking out five in the complete-game effort.

Craddick finished 2-for-3 to lead a nine-hit attack for the Titans, who had eight players tally hits for the game. Stauder and Araujo each had two hits to lead the Aggies.