Johnson's Walk-Off Blast Lifts Titans to Sweep
April 17, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Junior Nicole Johnson blasted her fourth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, capping a rally from two runs down and lifting host Cal State Fullerton to the 11-8 victory and the series sweep over Cal Poly on Sunday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.
The victory pushed the Titans (18-17 overall, 7-2 in Big West Conference play) over the .500 mark for the first time this season and gave them sole possession of first place in the league standings after UC Santa Barbara fell to UC Riverside, 11-8, in its series finale. Fullerton stands one game ahead of the Gauchos, Pacific, and Long Beach State heading into next weekend's contests.
The Mustangs dropped their sixth straight contest, falling to 6-29 overall and 2-7 in the Big West.
A winning rally was required for the second time this weekend after Anna Cahn's RBI double broke an 6-6 tie in the sixth inning and Rebecca Patton added another with her RBI single down the left field line for an 8-6 lead.
However, in a game in which no one seemingly wanted to hang on to a lead, the Titans plated the tying runs in the their half of the inning after a one-out single and double put a pair in scoring position with a single by Johnson, who finished 4-for-5 on the day, and a double by Torrie Anderson, who also finished with three hits. That brought up Tish Dedeaux, whose roller to short was misplayed, allowing Johnson to come home and moving runners to the corners.
After a ground ball out put the Mustangs one out away from ending the threat, a wild pitch from Cahn (1-10) brought Anderson home with the tying run sending both teams to the final inning.
Cervantes (12-10), who was lifted in the fifth, then reentered the game to start the seventh and worked out of a jam, stranding the go-ahead run at second after Ashley Romano doubled with one out. A strikeout and a ground ball ended the threat, giving the Titans one more chance.
Adriana Martinez singled to lead things off, was sacrificed to second and remained there while Ashley Carter was intentionally walked. After a line out for the second out, Johnson sent a 1-1 pitch from Cahn over the wall in left for the walk-off winner.
A see-saw contest opened with two runs from Fullerton in the first thanks to RBI's from Dedeaux and Cervantes, but Cal Poly regained the lead with three in the second on a pair of errors and an RBI single by Romano.
The Titans struck back with the tying score on an RBI triple by Carter and regained the lead on an error and a run-scoring single by Anderson for the 5-3 advantage. The Mustangs answered in the fourth on a three-run home run by Nicole Lund, but an RBI single on Fullerton's half of the inning by Dedeaux scored Carter to tie the game at 6-6.
Cervantes earned the win despite allowing five earned on seven hits in five innings of work. Cahn was stuck with the loss in relief, allowing seven runs (three earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Carter and Dedeaux joined Johnson and Anderson with multiple hits on the day while Carter scored four of Fullerton's 11 runs. Five different players finished with two hits for Cal Poly.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the road next weekend as the Titans open a three-game series at UC Davis on April 22-23. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1:30 p.m. while Sunday's finale begins at 12 p.m.