LSU Beats Titans in Regional Opener, 3-2

May 15, 2009

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Tempe, Ariz. - LSU pushed across a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the sixth inning and then got a game-ending double play to quell a Cal State Fullerton rally in the top of the seventh for a 3-2 win Friday that sends the Tigers into the championship bracket of the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament at Arizona State.

Fullerton (29-20) will play San Diego State, a 5-0 loser to Arizona State in the other opening round game, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PDT on ESPNU in an elimination game. LSU (33-16-1) advanced to play ASU at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Titans rallied from a 2-0 deficit on solo home runs by Lauren Lupinetti and Trina Harrison in the fourth inning.

In the seventh, the Titans had two on with one out. Torrie Anderson hit a one-hopper to third baseman Jessica Mouse who stepped on the bag for the force and relayed to first for the third out.

LSU used three singles in the sixth with Casey Faile driving in the winning run.

Ari Cervantes (19-11) took the loss for the Titans with a complete-game effort. She was thrown out at the plate in a close play to end the third inning, trying to score from second on a two-out single to left by Courtney Martinez.

Cody Trahan (12-6) went the distance for LSU, which got an RBI triple in the first inning from Juliana Santos an scored again in the third on a bases-loaded ground ball by Anissa Young.

POSTGAME QUOTES
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Michelle Gromacki

Opening statement:
"Obviously, we are a little disappointed since we just lost a ball game. However, we are here to play ball. We have two games to play tomorrow and we will find a way to get it done."

On the seventh inning:
"We had an excellent shot in the seventh inning. We have some great hitters on the bench. Nicole Johnson lead-off and started us off with a base hit, which was fantastic. We applied pressure on them when they made a mistake. Just like the players said, it didn't go our way. They got the double play and it was game over. We are going to walk out of here with our heads high and compete. We compete till the very final out is made. We always have and we will turn it around. We come back all the time and we will rebound from this tomorrow. We will play two games tomorrow for sure."

On approaching tomorrow:
"We will do the same thing we have done all year. First, we will talk about this game because we haven't done that yet. We haven't discussed this game yet, so we have to do that in order to move past it. We have to discuss some of the mistakes we made, because we definitely made mistakes today. We will get past it and come out and compete tomorrow. We have a young ball club who is eager to listen and get better. They will be ready to do that."

Cal State Fullerton Senior C Lauren Lupinetti

On the seventh inning:
"We definitely put the pressure on LSU to make the plays. We put the ball in play with a few hits and people getting on. The game just didn't fall our way. We did what we could. It's just disappointing to lose that way. We will just take the long route like we did two years ago."

On the team's approach after hitting the two home runs:
"We stuck with our mentality. Personally, I stuck with my mentality. I moved up in the box and made an adjustment by choking up on the bat. Overall, we made adjustments like we do all year. That is something we are really good at . It showed today, the game just didn't go our way."

Cal State Fullerton Senior IF Courtney Martinez

On the seventh inning:
"This team is young and we have grown up all season. One thing that we developed from our coaches is too never give up. Even if there's two outs in the bottom of the seventh and we are down five runs, there is still a chance for us to win. When you teach that to young kids something positive is going to happen. You have to believe that you can still win and we had a really good chance to win. It just didn't fall our way. Now, we just have a longer route to get to the championship."