March 10, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - BATTER UP!: After having found its stride last weekend at the Long Beach Invitational, the Cal state Fullerton softball team (8-12 overall) welcomes 16 of the nation's top teams to Anderson Family Field for the prestigious 2009 Judi Garman Classic. Tournament play begins on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. as the host Titans take on Texas before the event takes full flight on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and runs through the weekend.
WHO PLAYS WHEN?: The complete tournament schedule is available online at http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/w-softbl/2009-judi-garman-classic.html. Scores and box scores will be updated for each game as soon as they become available.
I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER: Due to some problems with travel arrangements, there has been a slight change to Sunday's tournament schedule. The 1 p.m. game between DePaul and Fresno State scheduled for the main field at Cal State Fullerton has been moved to nearby Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., and is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Mt. SAC is located at 1100 N. Grand Ave. in Walnut and a map to the campus can be found here: http://www.mtsac.edu/maps/. Cal State Fullerton's game against Washington, originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. will now be played on the main field at 1 p.m.
LOADED: This week's tournament is among the finest in the nation, attracting some of the best softball talent from across the country. Of the 17 teams competing this weekend, nine are currently ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation with another team receiving votes. In addition, four of the teams are ranked in the top 10 in one poll or another.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties (insert sound of knocking on wood here), Gametracker will be available for all five of Cal State Fullerton's games this week from Anderson Family Field. Links will be available on the softball schedule page of FullertonTitans.com.
TITANS AT THE PONY... ERR... KIA... ERR... JUDI GARMAN: Cal State Fullerton is 104-51 (.671) all-time in 29 years in its showcase event that has been held under numerous monikers since 1981.... the Titans were 74-22 at the PONY Tournament, 5-5 at the unsponsored Cal State Fullerton Tournament, 20-16 at the KIA Klassic, and are 5-8 since the event was renamed to honor Fullerton's Hall of Fame Head Coach Judi Garman in 2006... the Titans were 2-2 at last year's event, downing New Mexico and Arizona while falling to Fresno State and Florida State.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS: Texas enters the week with a 16-5 overall record and will meet Cal State Northridge on Tuesday in a doubleheader before heading to Fullerton... the Longhorns have won eight of their last nine after splitting a doubleheader with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last week... Loryn Johnson leads a potent Texas lineup, batting .463 with three home runs and 20 RBI... Texas, as a team, is hitting .315... Torrey Schroeder leads the way in the circle with a 7-1 record and a 3.07 ERA as five pitchers have seen action for the Longhorns this season.
THE SERIES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Texas, 7-4-1, but is winless in its last three against the Longhorns, falling to Texas, 1-0, and tying the Longhorns, 4-4, at the Time Warner Texas Invitational last season... Fullerton's last win in the series came in 2004, a 10-3, eight-inning triumph in Arizona.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEMONS: DePaul enters the week with a 9-4 record having lost two straight at a waterlogged NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga... Amber Patton leads all regulars offensively, hitting .500 with 16 runs scored and six RBI... seven players are batting .300 for the season, helping the Blue Demons to a .324 average as a team... Becca Heteniak (4-3, 2.50 ERA) and Lindsay Dean (5-1, 2.77 ERA) lead the way in the circle.
THE SERIES: DePaul leads the all-time series, 4-2, having won the last two straight meetings... the Blue Demons downed the Titans, 9-6, in eight innings at the 2007 Judi Garman Classic in the last meeting... Fullerton's last win came in 2001 as it defeated DePaul, 1-0, to win the KIA Klassic title.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS: Bowling Green enters the week with a 4-8 overall record, having lost its last three contests following a 1-3 showing at the Buzz Classic hosted by Georgia Tech last week and a 1-0 loss to Austin Peay on March 8... Susan Sontag leads all regulars with a .370 average to go with 10 runs scored... Hayley Wiemer (2-6, 2.20) has seen the majority of time in the circle while Melissa Bolt (1-1, 10.28) and Zada Lines (1-1, 11.16) have also seen action.
THE SERIES: Cal State Fullerton has never lost to Bowling Green in six all-time meetings, including a 5-0 mark at home... the Titans won the last meeting, 4-0, in 2005 at the Worth Invitational at Anderson Family Field.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS: Oklahoma enters the week with a 17-6 overall record, but is just 4-3 in its last seven following a 1-3 showing at The Preview presented by Worth in Oklahoma City last week... the Sooners will open Big 12 play on Tuesday against Texas Tech before heading to Fullerton... Amber Flores leads the team with a .421 average, slugging five home runs and driving home 23... three players already have posted 20-or-more RBI this season for the Sooners while combining on 13 of the team's 19 home runs... D.J. Mathis (6-2, 2.35), Kirsten Allen (5-3, 2.33), and Allee Allen (6-1, 2.89 ERA) are a triple threat in the circle for OU.
THE SERIES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 8-3, after posting a 10-2, five-inning win at home last season... the Sooners' last win came in 2003 in a 3-0 win at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: Washington enters the week with a 20-2 overall record and is the highest-ranked team competing in this week's tournament... the Huskies had started 18-0 before suffering their first loss to Alabama during a 3-2 week at the Easton SEC/Pac-10/Big 12 Challenge hosted by the Crimson Tide last weekend... Ashlyn Watson leads the team offensively, batting .466 with six home runs and 18 RBI while Ashley Charters is hitting .400 with five home runs and 14 RBI... Danielle Lawrie, who sat out all of last season to prepare for the Olympics with Team Canada, is 15-1 in the circle with a 0.27 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 103.1 innings.
THE SERIES: Washington leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 12-6, including a 7-3 mark on Fullerton's home field... the Huskies posted a 5-4, nine-inning win over the Titans in the last meeting in 2006... Fullerton's last win came in 2004 as the Titans downed UW, 11-2, in five innings.
OH, YES, THEY CALL IT THE STREAK: Cal State Fullerton snapped out of its school-record losing streak in a big way, posting three straight wins last weekend at the Long Beach Invitational. It marked only the second time this season that the Titans had won back-to-back games and the longest winning streak since they won four in a row at the end of April last season.
"ARI"-ING IT OUT: Sophomore right-hander Ari Cervantes had herself a player of the week type week at the Long Beach Invitational, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.52 ERA during the week with striking out 19 batters. She earned the win in a pair of complete-game six-hitters against Syracuse and FIU while entering in relief against Longwood to pick up the victory in 3 2/3 innings of work. Against Big Ten power Iowa, Cervantes struck out a career-high 12 batters in the complete-game, 10-inning loss, allowing just two earned on six hits. For the week, Cervantes held opposing batters to just a .202 average.
SHE CAN HIT TOO: Cervantes' prowess on the diamond this past weekend wasn't just limited to the circle as she hit a team-high .400 for the weekend to extend her hitting streak to three games while also driving in two runs and swiping three bases. She also flashed the leather on defense with no errors in 15 chances.
"EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE `LEMOND'": Those of you who took French will find that hilarious (and, yes, we know it's spelled wrong). Freshman Morgan LeMond provided a much-needed spark to the Fullerton offense this past weekend, reaching base safely six times and accounting for five of Fullerton's 19 runs scored. Despite hitting just .273 on the weekend, she reached base safely in five straight plate appearances over the course of two games, including slugging her first career home run in a 3-1 win over FIU and following that up with her second career shot in a slugfest victory over Longwood.
NEW GAME, DIFFERENT HERO: In Cal State Fullerton's eight victories this season, the Titans have had six different players account for the game-winning RBI while eight different Fullerton baserunners have come around to score the game-winning run.
NO POWER SHORTAGE HERE: The Cal State Fullerton lineup continues to generate power this season as five more home runs this weekend has boosted the Titans' Big West-leading total to 17 entering this week's games - besting second place Cal Poly by four long balls to start the season and standing as one of four conference teams with double-digit home run totals. Three Titans rank among the league leaders as sophomore Torrie Anderson (who hit two home runs this past weekend) is second in the league with five while senior Courtney Martinez and junior Francesca Gonzales stand in a tie for third with four apiece.
LUPINETTI'S "GRAND" DAY: Senior Lauren Lupinetti put a "1" in the home run column in grand fashion last weekend in Lakewood, slugging her first career grand slam in a win over Longwood and the first for a Titan since Kiki Munoz and Torrie Anderson hit one apiece in an 11-0 victory over UC Riverside on April 5 last season.
ANDERSON ALSO STREAKING: Sophomore Torrie Anderson is tied with teammate Ari Cervantes for the team's longest active hitting streak, hitting .400 (4-for-10) over the last three games with a pair of doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and three RBI while also walking twice.
OFFENSE FINDS A GROOVE: A big weekend for the offense at the Long Beach Invitational improved the Titans' team average 10 points over the four games while the 26 hits were just one shy of the total for the team's previous eight games combined. the 10 runs scored against Longwood marked the first time this season Cal State Fullerton reached double digits in the runs column while the nine hits against the Lancers were the most since the Titans banged out 13 hits in a win over NC State on Feb. 19 at the Cathedral City Classic.
SHE HITS IT HIGH... SHE HITS IT DEEP...: Last Saturday's victories over FIU and Longwood produced five total home runs (two vs. FIU and three vs. Longwood), marking the second and third times this season that the Titans have hit multiple home runs in a single game. Fullerton led-off the season with a school-record tying four home runs in a 9-2 win over Indiana on Feb. 8.
MARATHON WOMEN: Fans who forgot to move their clocks forward last weekend probably didn't miss much of Cal State Fullerton's 10-inning contest against Iowa on March 8 as it was the Titans' longest regular season game since they battled Cal Poly through 14 innings on March 29 last season. Sunday's battle was Fullerton's longest of the season in terms of innings and the second longest in terms of time of game (2:35) to its win over NC State on Feb. 19 that lasted 2:48.
LET'S TURN TWO: Quite adept at the double play over the past few years, the Cal State Fullerton defense is continuing the tradition of "turning two" in 2009. The Titans, who ranked No. 24 in the nation last season with 0.38 double plays per game and tied for eighth overall in the country with 24 double players overall, stand tied for second in the Big West with 11 double plays turned this season - including three last weekend at the Long Beach Invitational.
"WE NEED A LIVE ROO... WAS IT A LIVE ROOSTER?": The hex is certainly on the Titans' gloves in the field thus far in 2009 as they have committed 29 errors in their first 20 games (second most in the Big West) compared to just 19 miscues at this time a season ago. Fullerton, which was tied for third in the Big West with a .963 fielding percentage in 2008, ranks seventh out of eight teams at .955 entering this week's games.
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.
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.