May 20, 2006
FRESNO, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team saw its 2006 season come to a premature end on Saturday afternoon in California's Central Valley as the Titans were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by No. 10 Stanford, 4-2, after staving off elimination with a 6-2 win over Tulsa at Bulldog Diamond.
Fullerton's season ended with a 37-24 overall record and its fifth Big West Conference championship in the last seven years.
No. 10 Stanford Ends Fullerton's Season with 4-1 Victory
Stanford's Laura Severson tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and the No. 10 Cardinal scored three times in the fourth inning to break up a scoreless contest as they eliminated Cal State Fullerton from postseason play with a 4-1 victory on Saturday evening.
Stanford advanced to face host Fresno State on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal must defeat the Bulldogs twice in order to advance to the NCAA Super Regional round next weekend.
Stanford struck first against Fullerton and Candice Baker (22-10) in the fourth, putting runners on the corners with no outs for Michelle Smith, who lined a shot to right field where Whitney Kroh made a running catch, but it was enough to score speedy pinch-runner Shoney Hixson from third for the 1-0 lead.
Tricia Aggabao added an RBI single two batters later and Anna Beardman followed with another sac fly to left field to make it 3-0. Maddy Coon capped the scoring with an RBI single to center in the seventh.
Fullerton broke up the shutout with two outs in the seventh as Crystal Vieyra got her first hit of the 2006 postseason, looping a pitch into left field to score pinch-runner Molly Perez to make it 4-1.
Severson (9-0) then ended the game, inducing Amanda Kamekona to fly out to centerfield.
Gollhardt led the Titan offense with a 2-for-3 night at the plate while Wheeler went 1-for-3 to finish her season on a four-game hitting streak and end the regionals hitting 5-for-9 (.550) with four extra base hits.
Baker suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs on three hits while striking out four.
Coon finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 to lead all players.
Fullerton Stays Alive With 6-2 Victory Over Tulsa
The Cal State Fullerton offense blasted three home runs on the day and junior right-hander Candice Baker earned her 22nd victory of the season in the circle as the Titans staved off elimination with a 6-2 victory over Tulsa on Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond.
Fullerton improved to 37-23 overall on the season while the Golden Hurricane, making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, ended a fine season with a 34-24 overall record.
Baker (22-9) allowed a pair of unearned runs on three hits, striking out six and walking four through five complete innings of work. Junior Brooke Weekley pitched the sixth, allowing a hit and a walk, while senior Marissa Marzan closed out the win, pitching a perfect seventh.
Julie Fennell (13-9) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits, walking three and striking out six in five innings of work. Katie Lee allowed a pair of runs on three hits in two innings of work.
Sophomores Katie Gollhardt (her 10th), Jenna Wheeler (her seventh), and Kiki Munoz (her fourth) each slugged home runs for the Titans, who hit at least three home runs in a game for the sixth time this season.
The three round-trippers gave Cal State Fullerton 58 for the season - just seven short of the school record of 65 set in 2002.
However, the offensive story of the game was Wheeler who, in addition to homering in the fifth, doubled twice to finish 3-for-3.
Gollhardt's home run gave the Titans the early lead as she belted a 2-2 offering over the right field fence, scoring Baker ahead of her for the 2-0 lead. Senior Ashlee Weatherford then gave the Titans a 3-0 lead in the fourth as she doubled to lead off the inning and scored two batters later on Amanda Kamekona's chopper up the middle.
Wheeler's home run upped the advantage to 4-0 with her home run before a bout of wildness got Tulsa back into the game in the fifth as four wild pitches led to a pair of runs. Pinch hitter Lindsey Tower led off by reaching on an error and moved to second and third on wild pitches before scoring on the third wild pitch of the inning to cut it to 4-1.
Brooke Smart later scored on a two-out wild pitch to make it a 4-2 ball game before Wheeler made a highlight-reel catch on Kelly McGlasson's fly ball to deep centerfield, diving to make the grab before sliding into the fence to save another run.
Munoz then iced the win with another big blast in the seventh to make it 6-2 after Wheeler reached on her third double of the regionals with one out.