Offense Clicks in Titans' Split With 49ers

May 7, 2011

Box Score - Game 1 | Box Score - Game 2

LONG BEACH, CA - Cal State Fullerton's offense came out firing in both ends of Saturday's nationally televised doubleheader with archrival Long Beach State, but a big inning in game one lifted the 49ers to a 7-6 win in the opener before the Titans buckled down and held on for a 6-5 win in the nightcap at the 49er Softball Complex in Long Beach, CA.

Fullerton, which finished with 19 hits combined in the two games, moved to 22-21 overall with the split, 11-6 in Big West Conference play, while Long Beach State moved to 34-15 overall, 12-5 in league action.

The Titans, who fell to 1-5 in game one's of Big West doubleheaders this season, scored in each of the first four innings of game one before the 49ers' comeback and put up runs in two of the first three innings in their game two victory, improving to 5-1 this season in such games.

The two teams conclude their three-game series on Sunday (May 8) at 1 p.m. as Fullerton looks to remain perfect in conference series finales in 2011, taking a 5-0 mark into the rubber game.

GAME 1: LONG BEACH STATE 7, CAL STATE FULLERTON 6
Nalani St. Germain's three-run home run capped a six-run fifth inning bringing host Long Beach State all the way back from a 5-0 deficit and the 49ers held off a seventh-inning rally for a 7-6 win in the series opener.

Fullerton was cruising behind starter Katey Laban (5-6), scoring a run in each of the first four innings and holding Long Beach State to just one base hit and two baserunners over that span. An error with the bases loaded in the first on a ground ball by Morgan LeMond brought home Ashley Carter for the 1-0 lead and senior K.C. Craddick's RBI single in the second gave the Titans a 2-0 advantage.

Torrie Anderson's third home run of the year with one out in the third extended the lead and Craddick came through again the fourth with a two-run double for the 5-0 advantage.

That's when the 49ers finally figured out Laban as a walk and an error trying to get the runner at second set the table. A pop-up and a single up the middle loaded the bases for Hannah DeGaetano, who doubled off the wall in deep centerfield, clearing the bases and making it 5-3. The runs didn't stop there as a single by Catrin DeBaun put two on for St. Germain, who took a full-count pitch over the wall in left for a 6-5 lead and chase Laban from the game.

Christina Schallig then led-off the sixth with a home run to left to give the 49ers an important insurance run as the Titans tried to post a comeback of their own in the seventh. Morgan LeMond singled to lead-off the inning and advanced to second on Long Beach State's fourth error of the day and a ground ball back to the circle moved pinch-runner Jena Rubio to third.

That brought up Ariel Tsuchiyama, who doubled to the fence in right, scoring Rubio and making it a one-run contest. With the tying run now in scoring position, reliever Taylor Petty buckled down and wriggled off the hook, getting a soft lineout to first and inducing a game-ending ground ball to the bag at first.

Erin Jones-Wesley (20-5) struggled to start the game, but earned the win thanks to her offense's outburst, allowing three earned on six hits and striking out six. Petty clinched her fourth save of the year, allowing the run on two hits over two innings, striking out one.

Laban suffered the loss, allowing five earned on five hits in 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Ari Cervantes in the fifth. Cervantes closed out the game, allowing a run on a hit and striking out one in 1 2/3 innings.

Craddick finished 2-for-2 and was on base in all four trips to the plate while driving in three and was joined in the mulit-hit club by Anderson, who finished 2-for-4. Four other Titans had hits while Schallig was 2-for-2 to pace the 49ers.

GAME 2: CAL STATE FULLERTON 6, LONG BEACH STATE 5
Junior Nicole Johnson and sophomore Ariel Tsuchiyama each finished with three hits - five of those going for doubles - while Johnson also added a pair of RBI, lifting the Titans to a split of Saturday's doubleheader thanks to a 6-5 victory in the nightcap.

Fullerton sprinted out of the gates quickly once again, netting an unearned run in the first on Johnson's first double of the day, and adding three more in a big third inning as Johnson added another RBI double and Morgan LeMond followed with a two-run home run to make it a 4-0 game. After a walk, Tsuchiyama doubled to right field, bringing home Torrie Anderson for the 5-0 advantage.

Long Beach State responded with single runs in the third and fourth innings on RBI hits by Hannah De Gaetano and Bree Stephan, respectively, to cut into Fullerton's lead. Much like the 49ers did in the opener, the Titans then tacked on a much-needed insurance run as they put a pair into scoring position for Adri Martinez, who popped a bunt into no-man's land between the pitcher, second baseman, and first base, driving home pinch runner Jena Rubio for the 6-2 lead.

Just like the opener, Long Beach State made a dramatic comeback with back-to-back singles off Cervantes to chase her from the game in favor of Katey Laban, setting the stage for pinch-hitter Jennifer Madigan, who launched a full-count offering over the wall in left for her first career home run to make it a one-run game.

Then the defense took over as the Titans threatened to break it open after putting the first two on for Torrie Anderson, who skied a ball to left only to have it brought back thanks to a leaping grab by De Gaetano at the wall as the 49ers kept Fullerton off the scoreboard.

It was then the Titans who returned the favor defensively as K.C. Craddick robbed Liz Javier of a sure one-out double and, after back-to-back walks, Laban got a ground ball to second to end the game.

Ari Cervantes (15-12) earned the win, charged with four runs on nine hits in five innings of work before giving way to Laban in the sixth, who was charged with one run on one hit in her two innings, but nailed down her second save of the season after getting the final six outs. Brooke Turner (9-6) suffered the loss, allowing four earned on six hits in just three innings. Erin Jones-Wesley pitched an effective four innings after that, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six.

Aside from Johnson and Tsuchiyama's big day, Martinez and LeMond also finished with a pair of hits as Fullerton logged double figures in the hit column for the second time in the last three games and the ninth time overall.

Stephan finished 3-for-4 to lead the 49ers while Javier also had two hits to help the offense.

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