March 4, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
FIRST PITCH: After spending the first month of the 2010 regular season living out of a suitcase, the Cal State Fullerton (3-13 overall) finally returns to Anderson Family Field to play in front of the hometown faithful for the first time. The Titans host a stacked DeMarini Invitational that features powers from the Pacific-10, ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Pacific Coast Softball, and Big West Conference's. Tournament play begins on Friday morning (March 5) at 9 a.m. and continues throughout the weekend. Cal State Fullerton will open tournament play against No. 10 Stanford on Friday night before taking on Indiana and No. 3 Florida on Saturday (March 6), and Oregon State on Sunday (March 7).
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 "2010 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: Florida enters the weekend as the highest-ranked team in the tournament, standing at No. 3 in the nation according to the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll... Stanford is ranked No. 10 in that poll with both North Carolina and Northwestern are receiving votes... In the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll, Florida is ranked No. 5, Stanford is ranked No. 12, Northwestern is ranked No. 17, and North Carolina is ranked No. 22.
ABOUT STANFORD: Stanford enters the weekend with a 12-2 overall record following a 4-1 weekend at the Cathedral City Classic in desert last weekend... the Cardinal, who have won three-straight, posted wins over Tennessee, Long Beach State, Syracuse, and UNLV while falling to Northwestern... Alissa Haber leads the team offensively, batting .489 and standing as one of three regulars to top the .400 mark thus far this season (Rosey Neill and Ashley Hansen)... Stanford, as a team, is hitting .346 and has outscored opponents , 84-35... Teagan Gerhart (7-1, 2.21) and Ashley Chinn (5-1, 2.33) have split the starts in the circle this season, combining to hold opponents to a .224 average in 14 games.
ABOUT INDIANA: The Hoosiers enter the weekend with a 5-6 record after going 3-1 at the Southern Miss Invitational last weekend in Hattiesburg... Indiana posted wins over Jackson State, Central Arkansas, and Belmont while falling to the host Golden Eagles... Samantha Berenter leads the team offensively, batting .368 with five RBI while Sara Olson has clubbed four home runs and driven in nine to go with a .333 average... the Hoosiers are hitting .273 as a team... Four pitchers have seen time for Indiana this season: Jessica Dobson (1-0, 3.00), Monica Wright (2-1, 3.82), Sara Olson (2-3, 5.58), and Cassie Loweth (0-2, 5.79).
ABOUT FLORIDA: The Gators enter the weekend with a 12-1 overall record, winning its last 11 straight since falling to Georgia Tech on Feb. 13 in only the second game of the season... Florida swept a three-game series with Northwestern state by a combined score of 30-1 last weekend following a 5-0 weekend at the Lipton Invitational in Gainesville... Francesca Enea leads a loaded offense, batting .417 to help the Gators to a .324 team average in 13 games this season... five regulars are hitting better than .300 on the year while Florida has already slugged 28 home runs and has outscored the opposition, 91-25... Stephanie Brombacher has started eight of the team's 13 games, posting a 10-1 record with a 1.79 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 54.2 innings... opponents are hitting just .207 against the Gators' staff this season
ABOUT OREGON STATE: The Beavers enter the weekend at 5-10 overall following a 1-4 showing at the Cathedral City Classic last weekend... Oregon State posted its only win over Syracuse while falling to Oklahoma, Fordham, Ohio State, and Texas... OSU has lost seven of its last 10 games heading into this weekend... Paige Hall enters the weekend leading the offense, batting .459 with six RBI... Mary Claire Brenner is the team's top power threat, batting .356 with seven home runs and 19 RBI... Oregon State is batting .271 as a team... Kelly Dyer (2-1, 3.35) and Paige Hall (3-9, 4.07) have split all 15 starts in the circle.
SERIES RECORDS: Stanford holds a 14-6 lead in the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, downing the Titans in this tournament by the score of 7-0 last season... the Titans are 4-0 against Indiana, posting a 9-2 rain-shortened, five-inning win in last year's season-opener... the two schools hadn't met prior to last year's meeting since 1987 - a 2-1 win for Fullerton at home... the Titans are 4-2 all-time against Florida, but the Gators have won the last two straight - winning 2-0 in 2008 and 2-0 in 2004... Cal State Fullerton is 9-7 against Oregon State, but the Beavers won last season's meeting, 6-2, at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
HOME SWEET HOME: Cal State Fullerton is 23-7 all-time in home openers dating back to 1980, winning its last two over Santa Clara and Indiana over the past two seasons. The Titans March 5th start is tied for the second-latest date that they have ever opened a home schedule, missing the record of March 7 set by the 1980 squad. Fullerton has also opened the season on the 5th of March in 1999, 2003, and 2005.
INSERT BAT SPONSOR HERE: Cal State Fullerton has hosted the "Insert Bat Sponsor Here" Tournament dating back to 1998 under the Easton, Worth, and DeMarini Invitational monikers, posting a 40-22 (.645) record in that span. The Titans are looking to rebound from last season's tournament that saw them go winless for the first time in this event, finishing 0-4 with losses to California, Minnesota, Auburn, and Oregon State. Fullerton's best record in this tournament came in 2002 when it finished a perfect 6-0.
Torrie Anderson - PROFESSIONAL HITTER: Cal State Fullerton junior outfielder Torrie Anderson has had herself quite a last couple of weeks, extending her team-best hitting streak to seven consecutive games after a big week against No. 3 UCLA and stiff competition at the Cathedral City Classic. During her streak, which dates back to a loss against Hawaii on Feb. 21, Anderson is batting .455 (10-for-22) with six runs scored, three doubles, four home runs, and 11 RBI while slugging 1.136 and posting a .500 on base percentage. The 10 hits are almost a quarter of the team's total in the last seven games while she has driven in half of the team's 22 runs in that stretch. All of this follows a stretch where she was hitless in six straight games and was just 3-for-27 (.111) in the squad's first nine contests of the year.
SPEAKING OF STREAKS: Sophomore Adriana Martinez started a little bit of a hitting streak of her own last weekend in Cathedral City, batting .429 (6-for-14) with a pair of runs scored and a stolen base. After tallying only one hit in eight at-bats last season with 10 runs scored, Martinez has seized her opportunity at the plate, finishing with a career-best two hits against both Baylor and Colorado State and notching a hit apiece against Ohio State and Syracuse. For the season, Martinez is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with three runs scored, a walk, and a steal.
NO BRINGING THAT BACK: Thanks to Torrie Anderson and Trina Harrison, the Titans are back to their home run-hitting ways in 2010, as the duo has combined to slug 10 of the team's 11 home runs thus far this season. Fullerton, which led the Big West Conference with 46 long balls last season, is tied for the league lead thus far this season, matching Long Beach State, which has slammed 11 home runs in 14 games. The dynamic duo is tied for second place entering the weekend in the Big West with five long balls apiece.
EYE ON THE RECORD BOOK: Anderson's two home runs against Baylor and Colorado State gave her 18 for her career - just three shy of breaking into the school's all-time top 10. Jodie Cox (2000-03) currently stands 10th on the list with 21 career home runs during her stellar All-American career.
CATCHING ON FAST: Freshman Ariel Tsuchiyama has done a bang-up job behind the plate defensively 15 games into her rookie season, posting a perfect fielding percentage in 88 chances as the Titans' starting catcher while throwing out a league-best eight baserunners attempting to steal in 22 chances.
MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON: With 17 more wins this season, Cal State Fullerton will be the first school in league history to compile 1,000 victories as a member of the league. The Titans are also 17 wins short of 1,300 all-time in school history, entering this weekend with a 1,283-597-5 (.682) all-time record in the history of the program.
ONE OF THE BEST, EVAH!!!: Fullerton's 1,280 wins entering the season positioned the Titans as one of the winningest programs in the history of the NCAA, ranking fourth behind only UCLA (1,471), Texas A&M (1,329), and Florida State (1,308). Fullerton enters the year as one of only 15 programs in the country with more than 1,000 victories. Our thanks to Bonnie Senappe at the NCAA national office for doing the research to compile the list and Big West softball SID Chris Hargraves for passing it along.
GROMACKI CLOSING IN ON ANOTHER: Last season, head coach Michelle Gromacki became just the fourth coach in Big West Conference history to win 350 games and 150 conference contests during a career. In 2010, the Titans' 11th-year head coach has her eyes set on yet another milestone, needing just 30 more victories to log her 400th career coaching victory. Gromacki currently carries a 370-221-1 (.626) all-time record in over 10 years at the helm of the Fullerton program.
GIMME SOME GLOVE: The Titans' defense has been rock solid thus far in 2010, committing only 13 errors in the field through the team's first 16 games - well ahead of last year's pace that saw Fullerton commit 24 miscues in the field in the same span. The Titans' .970 fielding percentage thus far this season is second in the Big West Conference entering the weekend, trailing only Cal Poly's league-leading .979 percentage in eight games to start the year.
TITANS-49ERS PICKED UP BY ESPNU: The Big West Conference announced that the doubleheader between Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State from Anderson Family Field on May 8 will be broadcast live on ESPNU beginning at 11:30 a.m. The matchup pits two programs which have combined to win 10 of the last 12 Big West Conference softball titles and will mark the fourth consecutive season that the Titans have appeared on national television after the ESPN family of networks carried Fullerton's super regional contests against Arizona in 2007 and the Titans' regional games at UCLA and Arizona in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
TURNING JAPANESE: Former Cal State Fullerton catcher Lauren Lupinetti has signed a contract to play professionally in Japan this summer, competing with the Honda Motor Company squad out of Tochigi, Japan, under the direction of first-year head coach Takenao Hamanaka. The team is part of the country's A League and will feature other former U.S. collegiate stadouts such as Monica Abbott (Tennessee), Natasha Watley (UCLA), Garland Cooper (Northwestern), Jennie Ritter (Michigan), and Stacey Nelson (Florida) as well as former Cal State Fullerton All-American Jenny Topping. Lupinetti leaves for Japan on March 1 with the team's first game on March 4. The first half of the season runs through the beginning of June before breaking until September when the teams pick back up for the stretch run to the championship in Kyoto on Nov. 7.