Softball Finally Home to Host DeMarini Invite

March 3, 2011

FULLERTON, CA -

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THIS WEEK...
2011 DeMarini Invitational
March 4-6, 2011
Anderson Family Field | Fullerton, CA
Tournament Central

CAL STATE FULLERTON SCHEDULE
March 4 vs. IPFW, 3:45 p.m. - Gametracker
March 4 vs. Iowa, 6 p.m. - Gametracker
March 5 vs. Southern Miss, 6 p.m. - Gametracker
March 6 vs. Oregon State, 1:30 p.m. - Gametracker

PLAY BALL: Finally home sweet home for the Cal State Fullerton softball team (3-7 overall) as the Titans take the field in front of the hometown fans for the first time in 2011 this weekend as hosts of the 11-team DeMarini Invitational at Anderson Family Field. Fullerton will play a four-game schedule beginning on Friday (March 4) with a doubleheader against IPFW and Iowa at 3:45 p.m. and single games on Saturday (March 5) against Southern Miss and Sunday (March 6) against Oregon State.

CAN'T MAKE THE GAMES?: A tournament page for this weekend's DeMarini Invitational has been set up on Cal State Fullerton's official website at FullertonTitans.com. Please visit the softball page and click on the "2011 DeMarini Invitational" link at the right-hand side of the page for a complete schedule. Gametracker links (or links to another livestats interface), final results, tournament statistics, and box scores from the weekend will be posted there as soon as they are available.

IN THE POLLS: Only two teams in this weekend's tournament are ranked among the top 25 this week: California stands at No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA top 25 and No. 10 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll; Stanford is No. 16 according to the NFCA and No. 14 according to USA Softball... none of the other participants this weekend are listed in this week's polls.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Once again in 2011, live in-game statistics via CBS College Sports' Gametracker will be available for all Cal State Fullerton home games and selected road contests this season (barring technical difficulties). Fans can access the links from the softball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

COACH GROMACKI ON LEAVE: Head Coach Michelle Gromacki is on a leave of absence and will not be with the team in Cathedral City. "Our head coach is on leave and not available for this tournament," said Director of Athletics Brian Quinn. "We are hoping she will be back soon. Coach (Dee Dee) Kingsbury is in charge of the team."

I SEE YOU!: For the sixth consecutive season, fans can watch live streaming video over the Internet thanks to a partnership between the Big West Conference and CBS College Sports. Live video streaming of selected Cal State Fullerton softball home and road contests will be available on a subscription basis and can be accessed by visiting www.BigWest.org/TV. A monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95 delivers exclusive coverage of every home and conference women's volleyball and men's and women's basketball contests along with selected men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference championships.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following the DeMarini Invitational, Cal State Fullerton will host Troy University in a doubleheader on Tuesday (March 8) before facing an abbreviated schedule as part of the Long Beach Marriott Invitational. The Titans will host Utah State on Friday night (March 11) at 6 p.m. before heading to Lakewood to take on UCLA and BYU on Saturday night (March 12) at 3:45 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively

HOW'S THIS FOR A START?: After enduring one of the most difficult seasons in the history of the program, things don't get much easier for the Titans in 2011 as they will face 16 teams either ranked in the preseason top 25 or among those receiving votes among their first 26 games overall.

ABOUT IPFW: The Mastodons enter the weekend with a 4-0-1 overall record with shutout wins over Rider, North Carolina A&T, Western Carolina, and Presbyterian at the North Carolina A&T Tournament last weekend in Greensboro... IPFW's tournament finale against Presbyterian was tied at 4-4 after six innings and stopped because of darkness... Ashleigh Bousquet leads the offense, batting .500 (7-for-14) for the season with a pair of doubles and an RBI... Courtney Cronin and Kristina Karpun lead the team with four RBI apiece... Cronin was named the tournament's MVP largely based on her performance in the circle, posting a 3-0 mark without allowing a run (earned or unearned) on seven hits in 19 innings, striking out 16 while walking only three and holding opponents to a .115 average... she was joined on the all-tournament team by Rachel Staschuk, who was 1-0 in the circle while allowing five hits and no runs in 9 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and holding opponents to a .152 average.

ABOUT IOWA: The Hawkeyes enter the tournament with a 7-5 overall record after posting a 4-1 record at a tournament in Fort Meyers, FL last weekend... Iowa posted wins over Albany, Florida Gulf Coast University, UMBC, and Eastern Michigan before falling to Southern Illinois in the finale... Freshman Michelle Zoeller leads the offense, hitting .462 in seven games with six RBI while Chelsey Carmody is hitting .385 with a team-best 15 hits... Jenny Schuelke leads the team with 11 RBI... freshman Kayla Massey leads the pitching staff with a 5-1 record and a 2.53 ERA, striking out 45 in 47 innings and holding opponents to a .227 average.

ABOUT SOUTHERN MISS: The Golden Eagles enter the tournament with an 8-7 overall record after posting a 3-1 mark at their own tournament last weekend in Hattiesburg and an extra-inning loss to Ole Miss on Wednesday... Southern Miss posted wins over Mississippi Valley State, Nicholls State, and Evansville in tournament play with its only loss coming in a slugfest to Troy... sophomore Christina Roosmalen paces the offense, batting .375 with a pair of home runs and nine RBI... senior Jill Mathis provides the pop, batting .298 with six home runs, 16 RBI, and 16 runs scored... sophomore Beth Dietrich leads a busy pitching staff that has seen four arms tally from than 11 innings this season... Dietrich has appeared in nine games, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.59 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 41 innings... Kelly Smith (2-1, 2.67), Courtney Ramos (1-2, 4.32), and Gabby Luciani (2-1, 4.38) have also seen significant time.

ABOUT OREGON STATE: After hosting Cal State Fullerton at last weekend's Cathedral City Classic, the Titans return the favor this weekend as the Beavers enter the weekend with a 5-4 overall record following a 1-3 mark in the desert with a win over Florida State and losses to Georgia, Northwestern, and Long Island... OSU's finale against Fresno State was postponed due to travel plans... Nikki Chandler (.467, 7-for-15 with six RBI) leads an offense that is batting .304 overall and features five regulars batting better than .300 on the year... Paige Hall has slugged two of the team's three home runs and has split time in the circle with Marina Demore, combining to throw 54 of the team's 59 innings... Hall is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a .224 average against while Demore is 4-2 with a 4.55 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and a .240 average against... team's are hitting just .244 combined against the Oregon State pitching staff.

SERIES RECORDS: This weekend will mark the first-ever meetings againt IPFW and Southern Miss... the Titans are 1-2 against Iowa, losing the last two meetings with the Hawkeyes after Iowa posted a 3-1 win in 10 innings back in 2009 at Anderson Family Field in the last clash... Fullerton is 9-8 all-time against Oregon State, but has not defeated the Beavers in the last two meetings between the programs, including a weather-delayed 8-2 defeat last season.

CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is 168-145-1 (.537) all-time against the Pacific-10 Conference, including a 1-1 record this season With a win over Oregon and a loss to Washington... the Titans are 6-1 all-time against the Summit League (IPFW), a robust 73-29 (.716) against Big 10 schools (Iowa) - including an 0-1 mark this season, and 2-1 against current members of Conference USA.

HOME COOKIN': Cal State Fullerton is 23-8 (.742) all-time in home openers dating back to 1980, having its two-game winning streak snapped last season by then-No. 10 Stanford in the opener of this very same tournament. The March 4 start by the Titans this season is the third-latest date that a Fullerton team has ever opened a home schedule, missing last year's start by a day and the all-time record of March 7 set in 1980.

INSERT BAT SPONSOR HERE: Cal State Fullerton has hosted the "Insert Bat Sponsor Here" Tournament dating back to 1998 under the Easton, Worth, and now DeMarini Invitational monikers, posting a 40-26 (.606) record in that span. The Titans are looking to rebound from last season's tournament that saw them go winless for the second consecutive seaspm in this event, finishing 0-4 with losses to No. 10 Stanford, Indiana, No. 3 Florida, and Oregon State - the last coming in a weather-delayed contest that was completed. Fullerton's best record in this tournament came in 2002 when it finished a perfect 6-0.

FASCETTI EARNS FIRST CAREER WIN: After opening her collegiate career with an 0-5 mark as a freshman, Fullerton sophomore Aly Fascetti finally put a tally in the win column last weekend in the desert, coming in from the bullpen with a masterful performance over Long Island to earn her first collegiate victory. Fascetti scattered just two hits in 3 2/3 innings of relief against the Blackbirds, striking out a pair in the Titans' 13-4, five-inning win over LIU to snap a four game losing streak. It was her second solid relief outing of the year after she entered against No. 19 Texas A&M and held the Aggies to just one hit in two innings of work.

MORE FIRSTS FROM CRAWFORD: Aside from Fascetti's first career victory, freshman Eliza Crawford became the latest Fullerton rookie to notch her first career Division I hit, finishing 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI, and two doubles (as well as being hit by a pitch) in the Titans' tournament finale against Long Island, ending an 0-for-8 skid to start her collegiate career.

A.C. POWER: Sophomore Ashley Carter stands atop the Titans stat sheet with a .360 average thus far this season and helped set the table for the Fullerton offense at the Cathedral City Classic last weekend, batting .357 (5-for-14) with a pair of runs scored, two extra base hits (including her first career double), and three sacrifices. She had two hits in games against Fordham and Long Island, giving her a team-high three multi-hit games this season, and she has hit safely in six of the team's 10 games thus far. Carter's nine hits this season are just over half of her total from her freshman year when she hit .180 (16-for-89) with 15 runs scored.

RUN-RULE RARITY: Cal State Fullerton's run-rule win over Long Island to close out the Cathedral City Classic was the Titans' first such win of the season, and the first since back-to-back shortened games against UC Santa Barbara last season, but only the fifth since the 2009 campaign after the team posted five run-rule wins alone in 2008.

AND THE HITS (BY PITCH) JUST KEEP ON COMING: Two more bruises for junior Nicole Johnson in Cathedral City has the Canyon Country, CA native rapidly ascending the Titans' all-time charts as her 26 HBPs (eighth all-time) stands just one back of Lauren Lupinetti (2007-09), Katie Gollhardt (2005-08), and Candice Baker (2004-07) for fifth place all-time. Johnson, who leads the team and ranks tied for second in the Big West Conference this week in the category, led the team with 13 HBPs last season and ranked as one of four Big West players to be hit 10 (or more) times last year. Johnson's 2010 total was just seven off the school single-season record, standing in a four-way tie for sixth.

POWER SHORTAGE?: Somebody call Southern California Edison... there seems to be an outage at Anderson Family Field. The Titans, who have led the Big West Conference in home runs in each of the last two seasons, have been held to just two home runs in their first 10 games this season, just one year after slugging six long balls in the same span en route to a conference-best 36 home runs.

NO NEED TO PANIC: Slow starts are nothing new to senior Torrie Anderson. Despite hitting just .143 (3-for-21) - but leading the team with six RBI - to start the 2011 season, things are bound to look up for the Castaic native, who has finished strong after struggling to open the year the last two seasons en route to All-Big West First-Team honors each time. As a junior, Anderson opened just 3-for-27 (.111) in 2010, but finished batting .287 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 53 games. As a sophomore, Anderson opened the year 6-for-31 (.194) at the plate, but hit .284 for the year with 11 home runs and 35 RBI. Her best start to a season came as a freshman in 2008 when she opened her career 10-for-27 (.370) at the plate in the first 10 games with seven runs scored and eight RBI.

SUPER MARIO: Freshman Lauren Mario found Cathedral City pitching to her liking last week, ending the tournament on a four-game hitting streak and batting .333 (4-for-12) with a double and three runs scored to tie teammate Ashley Carter for the longest hitting streak by a Titan this season. In the tournament finale against Long Island, Mario drove home the first two runs of her career by launching a two-run triple to kick-off a seven-run first inning for Fullerton against the Blackbirds en route to the 13-4 win.

WHO WAS THAT BLUR?: Cal State Fullerton tied a season high with four stolen bases against Long Island last weekend in Cathedral City as Torrie Anderson, Sammie Dabbs, Ashley Carter, and Jena Rubio each swiped bags to bring the Titans' record to 9-for-11 on the basepaths this season - accounting for just over a quarter of last season's total of 35 steals and five more than they had through 10 games last year. The four stolen bases in a single game, which has happened twice this season, are the most for Fullerton since the Titans swiped the same number in game two of their conference series against UC Santa Barbara on April 2, 2010, in a 12-3, six-inning win. The school single-game record is eight set against Arizona back on April 11, 1980.