Softball's Homestand Ends With Four Games

April 8, 2008

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FULLERTON, CA - After getting back into the win column with a series victory over UC Riverside last week, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (18-19-1 overall, 2-4 in the Big West Conference) closes out its homestand with a quartet of contests at Anderson Family Field. The Titans host Southern California rival Loyola Marymount in a single game on Wednesday night (April 9) at 6 p.m. before welcoming UC Davis for a three game series on April 12-13, beginning at Noon on both days.

I NEED STATS, STAT: Gametracker live stats will be available for all four games this week. Links will be available at www.FullertonTitans.com.

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW: Live streaming Internet video courtesy of Big West TV will be available on a subscription basis for Wednesday's game against LMU and Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis. For more information, or to sign up, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Live streaming audio will be available for all four games this week with Mike Martinez handling the play-by-play duties as he has all season long. Access the links at FullertonTitans.com.

IN THE POLLS: Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, and UC Davis are unranked entering this week's games.

SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton is 11-2 all-time against Loyola Marymount, including a 7-1 mark at home... the Titans split a doubleheader with the Lions last season in Los Angeles, falling 2-0 in eight innings in the opener before rebounding for a 10-3 win in the nightcap... Fullerton has won five of the six meetings with LMU under Head Coach Michelle Gromacki's tenure... The Titans are 8-1 all-time against UC Davis, meeting the Aggies at home for only the second time since they transitioned to the Division I level... This weekend will mark the first official meeting between the two schools since the Aggies became full-fledged members of the conference... Fullerton swept UC Davis in last season's non-conference series and took two-of-three from the Aggies in 2006 at Anderson Family Field.

A LOOK AT THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the week with a 25-14 overall record after losing three-of-four to Santa Clara in conference play last weekend... The Lions won seven straight and nine of 10 before losing four of their last five... J.J. Hartung leads the team offensively with a .417 average while Chelsie Tysdal supplies the power with a team-best 10 home runs and 39 RBI to go with 10 doubles and a .390 average... The Lions are hitting .316 as a team, with six regulars hitting better than .300 on the year... Tiffany Pagano (15-7, 1.50 ERA) and Melissa Dykema (10-7, 2.39 ERA) have split time in the circle for LMU this season... Pagano leads the team with 204 strikeouts in 158.1 innings, holding opponents to a .168 average.

A LOOK AT THE AGGIES: UC Davis enters the week with a 16-26 overall record and a 1-5 mark in Big West Conference play... The Aggies lost two-of-three on the road at Pacific last weekend, winning the opener, 2-1, before falling 5-4 and 5-1 in the final two games of the series... UC Davis has lost 13 of its last 14, snapping an 11-game losing streak with the win over the Tigers... Seven of the team's last 13 losses have been by two runs or fewer... Julie Stauder leads the team offensively, hitting .303 with a home run and 13 RBI... Deanna Menapace leads the team with six home runs and 29 RBI to go with a .270 average... Jessica Hancock has seen the majority of time in the circle, posting an 11-15 overall record and a 2.36 ERA to go with 172 strikeouts in 166 innings... Alex Holmes (5-11, 4.64 ERA) has also started 16 games in the circle this season.

VIEYRA SETS SCHOOL MARK: Senior Crystal Vieyra was hit by a pitch three times this past weekend against UC Riverside, breaking Amanda Hockett's five-year-old school record in the category. Vieyra has now been hit 50 times in her four-year career with the Titans, moving her into sole possession of fifth place in the NCAA's career record book. With four more HBP's this season, she will match Purdue's Tricia Lilley and Centenary's Michelle Reeve for second place all-time in NCAA history while 12 more plunks will put Vieyra into a tie with Liberty's Cheryl Wyrick, who set the record with 62 HBP's in 2001.

ISN'T IT GRAND?: A grand slam is a rare thing... two in the same inning probably more so. However, that's exactly what happened in the sixth inning of the Titans' series opener against UC Riverside on Saturday as Kiki Munoz and Torrie Anderson both went deep with the bases loaded in Fullerton's 11-0 win. It was the first grand slam hit by a Titan since Jessica Doucette slugged one against Ohio State in the NCAA Regionals last season and the first time Fullerton hit two grand slams in a game since Gina Oaks slugged a pair against Kansas on Feb. 2, 2001.

LUPINETTI LOCKS AND LOADS: Junior Lauren Lupinetti had a huge week offensively against UC Riverside, hitting .600 (6-for-10) in the three-game series with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. She went a career-best 4-for-4 in the opener against the Highlanders, marking the first four-hit game by a Titan this season and upped her average 31 points to .296 this season - good for second on the team.

K.C. AT THE BAT: Freshman K.C. Craddick continues to make the most of her opportunities at the plate, starting the last four games at first base and posting hits in four of the team's last five games. In that stretch, Craddick is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with a pair of runs scored and the first three RBI of her career in the last two games of the series against UC Riverside.

MUNOZ MAKING IT LOOK EASY: Senior Kiki Munoz continued her torrid hitting last weekend against the Highlanders, hitting .444 (4-for-9) with a home run and four RBI. She notched two hits each in the first and third games of the series to give her 15 multiple-hit games on the season and two-or-more hits in eight of her last 12 games, batting .462 (18-for-39) in that stretch with four doubles and three runs scored. Her .417 average this season has Munoz ranked No. 31 in the NCAA in batting average - one of four Big West players to be nationally ranked.

DOUBLES TROUBLE: With the season just over half gone, the Titans are just past halfway to the school record of 99 doubles set in 1999. Smacking five doubles this past weekend brought Fullerton to 58 two-baggers on the season which leads the Big West Conference by nine over second-place Long Beach State. The Titans also rank No. 26 in the nation with 1.53 doubles per game entering this weekend's games.

PITCHER'S BEST FRIEND: Cal State Fullerton's defense has turned 13 double plays in 2008 - a total that has the Titans tied for tops with UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Conference. The Titans' 0.34 double plays per game also ranks No. 45 in the NCAA this season.

JUST ONE: Sunday's series finale against UC Riverside marked only the fifth time in 38 games this season that the Titans did not log an extra base hit, slapping nine singles in their 6-4 loss to the Highlanders.

DON'T WALK: Freshman Christine Hiner continued to be stingy about allowing free bases, allowing only two walks in three starts last weekend against UC Riverside - both coming in the second game of the series. It marked the fourth and fifth times that the right-hander has not allowed a walk in a start this season and the sixth time in 20 appearances overall. Hiner has walked only 32 batters against 94 strikeouts in 121 innings, ranking ninth in the conference in fewest walks allowed.

NO RUNS FOR YOU: Hiner tossed a gem of a game in last week's series opener, holding the Highlanders to just two hits in an 11-0 Titans victory. The shutout was her fourth of the season which ranks tied for third in the Big West Conference entering this week's contests.

SETTING THE TABLE: Senior Crystal Vieyra did her best to jumpstart the Fullerton offense, posting a .700 on base percentage last weekend against UC Riverside. Vieyra finished 3-for-6 at the plate with a walk and three hit by pitches, coming around to score three times on the weekend - including the game-winning run in game two of the series.

PERFECT: Not to jinx anything, but a quintet of Titans have been perfect in the field thus far this season as Jessica Doucette, Sammie Dabbs, Jenna Wheeler, and Torrie Anderson all rank among the league's top 10 defenders with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Freshman K.C. Craddick has also not made an error this season, but doesn't meet the league minimums to qualify. Doucette leads all Big West players with perfect fielding numbers with 189 chances on the year - the only player with more than 100 chances in that select group.

IRONWOMAN: Senior Katie Gollhardt continues to chug along in the Fullerton starting lineup, as Sunday's series finale against UC Riverside marked her 211th consecutive start (read: every game) since first donning a Titans jersey in 2005

S.O.S.: As in "Save Our Scorers." Cal State Fullerton has struggled to find that clutch hit in 2008, stranding 238 batters on base through 38 games - 144 of those (61 percent) in scoring position. The Titans, who are hitting just .245 with runners in scoring position this season, have left runners in scoring position in all but one game this season.

UNDER PRESSURE: Freshman right-hander Christine Hiner has been thrown into the fire against some of the nation's best teams in her rookie campaign, as eight of her 19 starts (and nine of her 20 appearances overall) have come against teams ranked in the top 25.

NOT YOUR RANK AND FILE SCHEDULE: Cal State Fullerton has played 14 games this season against opponents ranked in the top 25 - the most of any other Big West Conference school this season. However, the Titans have posted just a 3-10-1 record against those squad with the three wins coming against a trio of top-10 foes: No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 2 UCLA, and No. 7 Arizona.

DOUCETTE GOES THE DISTANCE: Senior Jessica Doucette threw all 13 2/3 innings of the Titans' March 29, 14-inning marathon against Cal Poly before the Mustangs struck for the winning run. The right-hander's performance marked the most innings by a Titan pitcher in a single game since that 16-inning Northridge contest when Jana Oetgen tossed 15 1/3 innings before the Matadors struck for two runs to end it.

STILL STINGY WITH THE HITS: Fullerton's pitching staff continued to be stingy in the circle, holding the Highlanders to a .238 average on the weekend and hold steady at .232 overall this season to rank second in the Big West Conference. Senior Jessica Doucette (.197) is one of only two pitchers in the league that are holding opponents to lower than a .200 average while freshman Christine Hiner ranks fourth in the league with a .235 average against.

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