Play Ball! Softball Opens 2009 Season This Weekend

Feb. 5, 2009

FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team (0-0 overall) opens its 30th year on the diamond this weekend hosting a pair of teams from the state of Indiana for three games at Anderson Family Field. The Titans open the year under the lights on Friday night (Feb. 6) at 6 p.m. with a single game against Indiana before hosting Purdue in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 7) at 1 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: Purdue is receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA coaches preseason top 25 and the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches preseason poll... Indiana and Cal State Fullerton are not listed to start the year.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Friday night's contest against the Hoosiers and Saturday's first game against the Boilermakers will be broadcast live for FREE on the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Click the logo with the microphone on the right-hand side of the page to access the schedule and enjoy the program.

PEEK-A-BOO... I SEE YOU!: As it goes with the Internet audio stream above, live video will also be available for those contests (on a subscription basis) by logging on to BigWest.org/TV and signing up.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Gametracker live scoring will be available for all Cal State Fullerton home games and selected road contests depending on Internet availability. Links for each game are available on the softball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS: Indiana is coming off a season in which it finished 16-35 overall and 6-14 in the Big Ten Conference for 10th place... the Hoosiers return 12 letter winners, seven starters, and three pitchers off of last season's squad which welcomes five newcomers to the fold for 2009... Head Coach Michelle Gardner is in her first season at the helm of the Indiana program after leading the University of Nevada to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths over the past six seasons... senior Emily Bergeson is the Hoosiers' top returning bat after hitting .308 to go with eight home runs, 27 RBI, and 34 walks... senior right-hander Monica Wright heads-up the pitching staff following a junior year that saw her post a 12-14 record with a 3.92 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 182.1 innings.

SERIES RECORDS: Friday night's contest with Indiana will be the fourth all-time meeting between the Titans and Hoosiers with Cal State Fullerton holding a 3-0 lead in the series... the two teams have not met since the 1987 season when the Titans posted a 2-1 win at home... however, the two schools do have postseason history, as Cal State Fullerton has twice defeated Indiana at the Women's College World Series: a 3-2 win in 1983 and a 3-1 win en route to the 1986 National Championship.

SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS: Purdue returns 14 letter winners, seven position starters, and three pitchers from its team last season that finished 35-23 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference for 5th place... the Boilermakers made their first NCAA Tournament appearance last season, knocking the Titans out of regional play at UCLA with a 4-3 victory... Head Coach Kim Maher is in her fourth season at the helm of the Purdue program... senior Kelly Miller is the team's leading bat returning for the 2009 season after hitting .352 with 20 runs scored... Candace Curtis also brings back a big part of Purdue's offense a season after hitting .333 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI... Dana Alcocer (19-14, 3.24 ERA, 138 strikeouts) and Suzie Rzegocki (15-9, 2.55 ERA, 125 strikeouts) lead the Boilermakers' pitching staff.

SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Purdue, 6-1, with the lone loss coming at last year's NCAA Regionals... the Titans had defeated the Boilermakers, 5-0, earlier in the year to extend their winning streak to six straight in the series... Fullerton is 3-0 all-time against Purdue on its home field.

TITANS PICKED SECOND IN THE BIG WEST: Cal State Fullerton was picked to finish second in the race for the 2009 Big West Conference title according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Jan. 21. The Titans received 49 points behind defending champion Long Beach State, which garnered seven of the eight first-place votes and 63 points overall. UC Santa Barbara, which gained the remaining first-place vote, and Cal Poly were picked in a tie for third with 45 points followed by Pacific (28), UC Davis (26), Cal State Northridge (21), and UC Riverside (11).

A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns seven letter winners, four position starters and one pitcher from last season's squad which finished 27-28-1 overall and 11-10 in conference play, but earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the 24th time in 27 seasons. The Titans also welcome 10 newcomers to the fold - seven freshmen and a pair of transfers from nearby Mt. San Antonio College. Senior catcher Lauren Lupinetti is the team's top returning bat a season after hitting .282 with seven home runs and 33 RBI - the latter two statistics leading the team in 2008. Sophomore right-hander Ari Cervantes is the only returning pitcher for the Titans after she threw 26.2 innings and posted an 0-1 record in 11 appearances.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Titans will open the season at home for the second straight year after posting their 22nd winning season in 24 years on campus. Fullerton has won four of its last five home openers (and seven of its last 10) after posting a 7-3 victory over Santa Clara last season.¬

YOU'RE THE BEST... AROUND: Cal State Fullerton's young roster will be thrown directly into the fire during the 2009 season as the Titans' schedule features 10 teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA preseason top 25 and seven more teams listed among those receiving votes.

HELLO, MY NAME IS...: You can't tell the players without a scorecard and some fans may be asking them to wear name tags until they can get everyone straight. Fullerton's 10 newcomers are the most since the team listed 12 new faces on the roster prior to the 2005 campaign.