Titans Put Winning Streak on the Line Against Rival Long Beach State
April 12, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Winners of its last seven straight and 10 of its last 12, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (24-15 overall, 6-0 in the Big West Conference) looks to continue its roll this weekend as the Titans head to rival Long Beach State for a three-game Big West series at the 49er Softball Complex. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader and Sunday's single-game finale is set for 1 p.m.
ON THE AIR: Audio and Gametracker will be unavailable for this week's contests. Please visit www.FullertonTitans.com for game recaps and box scores, which will be posted as soon as possible after the games.
IN THE POLLS: Cal State Fullerton continues to receive votes (3) in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball poll while jumping back into the votes section of the USA Today/NFCA poll with seven votes this week. Long Beach State is unranked.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with long-time rival Long Beach State by the count of 64-41 after taking two-of-three from the 49ers last season at Anderson Family Field... Fullerton is 32-16 all-time on the road against the 49ers while posting a 29-24 record at home... the 105 games played between the two long-time rivals are the most with any other school in the history of the Cal State Fullerton program... in their last trip to Long Beach, the Titans were swept by the 49ers in a three-game series in 2005 by the scores of 5-4 (8 inn.), 2-0, and 5-0.
A LOOK AT THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the weekend with an 18-20 overall and a 2-4 mark in Big West play for fourth place... the 49ers were swept in a three-game series last weekend against league co-leader Cal Poly, outscored 12-2 by the Mustangs, after taking two-of-three from Cal State Northridge to open conference play... Lacy Tyler leads the 49ers offensively, hitting .376 with nine doubles and 16 RBI... Jessica Beaver (.375), Whitney Radcliff (.327), and Panita Thanatharn (.314) are also hitting better than .300 on the season... Bridgette Pagano (12-8, 2.13 ERA), Kelly Cross (5-6, 4.11 ERA), and Tyler (1-6, 6.32 ERA) have all seen significant action in the circle.
LUPINETTI MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW FOR THE TITANS: Sophomore Lauren Lupinetti was named the Big West Conference Co-Player of the Week on April 9 after hitting .500 and driving in four runs during the Titans' sweep of Cal State Northridge. Lupinetti joins two-time honoree Jessica Doucette as Big West weekly honorees from Cal State Fullerton this season.
HOW `BOUT THIS START?: Fullerton's perfect 6-0 start to the 2007 conference season is its best since the 2003 squad won its first six games to start the Big West schedule. It is the sixth time since 1986 that the Titans have opened 6-0 in league play and the fifth time in Head Coach Michelle Gromacki's eight seasons that Fullerton has gotten off to an unbeaten start. Opening the season undefeated through six games has been a harbringer of good luck as the Titans have gotten off to 11-0 (2001), 13-0 (2002), and 10-0 (2003) starts the last three times they have opened 6-0.
COMEBACK KIDS: Cal State Fullerton had to muster up rallies in all three games this past weekend against Cal State Northridge, giving the Titans nine come-from-behind victories this season. The comeback from a five-run deficit in game one of the series with the Matadors was the largest Fullerton had rallied from this season after trailing by no more than two runs in each of its other eight comeback wins.
A SERIES FOR THE AGES: Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State have met 105 times since the 1981 season - one of the longest-running series in the nation. According to research done by Florida State SID Michael Smoose, the Titans-49ers series is the third-longest in the nation by number of games played, trailing only the New Mexico-New Mexico State series (128) and the "Bedlam Series" between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (120). Fullerton's series with UC Santa Barbara, which reached the 100-meeting plateau earlier this season, is the ninth-longest in the country with the Titans' 93 wins against the Gauchos the most among those schools who responded.
SAVE ME: Our apologies for being so late, but senior Brooke Weekley was belatedly credited with the second save of her career on April 1 against UC Santa Barbara in the Titans' 5-0 win. According to the NCAA rule book, a reliever "who pitches effectively for at least three innings" is eligible for a save. Weekley was as effective as one could get, allowing just one hit in the final three innings of the game against the Gauchos to help lift the Titans to the win.
HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?: Thus far this season it has been W-E-E-K-L-E-Y... as in Fullerton senior right-hander Brooke Weekley, who earned a pair of wins in relief during this past weekend's sweep of Cal State Northridge.
Weekley shut down the Matadors to the tune of one hit over 3 1/3 innings in two appearances and improved to 6-3 overall this season. In game one, she retired all four batters she faced in 1 1/3 innings of work while allowing just a single hit in two innings of game three, setting the stage for Titan comebacks in both instances.
In 20 2/3 innings (nine appearances) of relief this season, Weekley has allowed just five earned runs (1.69 ERA) while striking out 21 and holding opponents to a .211 average.
THRICE AS NICE: Cal State Fullerton has used all three of its pitchers in a single game twice this season with good results as the Titans are 2-0 in games that they have "plattooned" in the circle - including a win this past weekend in game one against Cal State Northridge. Fullerton first used the platoon back on March 17 in a 4-3 win over No. 24 Florida State.
LUPINETTI STREAKING: Cal State Fullerton sophomore Lauren Lupinetti extended her hitting streak to seven consecutive games with her performances over the weekend against Cal State Northridge, hitting .400 (10-for-25) with a home run and five RBI in that stretch while raising her batting average 19 points to .312 on the season.
SPEAKING OF STREAKS: The Titans' season-best seven-game winning streak is their longest since they won 11 straight games from April 30-May 21 in 2005.
BOX BOMBS HER WAY INTO THIRD: Cal State Fullerton senior Ashley Van Boxmeer slugged her 30th career (and seventh of the season) home run in the game one of the series against Cal State Northridge, moving her into sole possession of third place on the school's all-time list. She is just three back of tying All-American Jenny Topping, who hit 33 home runs as a Titan from 2001-03, for second place.
SERIES BUSINESS: Fullerton's sweep of Cal State Northridge this past weekend gave the Titans their 10th consecutive Big West series victory dating back to 2005. Fullerton's last series loss came at home on April 24 of that season as visiting Utah State took two of three from the Titans.
OFFENSE PICKING UP: The Titans' offense has found its stride as of late, outscoring their opponents by a 48-19 count and netting double-digit runs and hits in three of contests. Fullerton, which has raised its batting average 15 points to .259 as a team entering this week's games, is averaging just under seven runs per game (6.86) while holding opponents to just under three runs per contest (2.71 rpg).
KIKI TORCHING OPPOSING PITCHING: Since Big West Conference play has started, junior catcher Kiki Munoz has been torching opposing pitchers, hitting .533 (8-for-15) with four runs scored, a home run, five walks, and seven RBI in six games. In that stretch, Munoz has raised her batting average 44 points to .299 since hitting a season-low .255 on March 31.
MORE ON MUNOZ: Friday's 2-for-2 performance against the Matadors was the 10th multi-hit game of the year for the junior catcher, a total that leads the team. She also leads the team with seven multi-RBI games this season.