April 14, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
FIRST PITCH: After dropping its first Big West Conference series of the season last weekend, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (9-29, 4-2) looks to rebound on the road this wek as the Titans head to the Central Coast to take on defending conference champion Cal Poly in a three-game series. The Titans and Mustangs open with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon (April 17) at 12 p.m. in San Luis Obispo before closing out with a single game on Sunday (April 18) at Noon.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live in-game statistics via CBS College Sports' Gametracker will be available for all three contests this week from Bob Janssen Field. Fans can access the links from the softball schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor Cal Poly are ranked in either the USA Today/NFCA or the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches polls entering this weekend's games.
ABOUT THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the weekend with a 15-17 overall record and shares first-place in the standings with Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside with a 4-2 mark in Big West play... after losing eight in a row, Cal Poly has rebounded to win four of its last five, including a series sweep of UC Santa Barbara last weekend by the scores of 7-2, 5-0 and 5-0 in Santa Barbara... the Mustangs are 3-6 at home this season, opening league play with a series loss to the Highlanders two weekends ago to start the league slate... Jill-of-all-Trades Anna Cahn leads the team at the plate with a .325 average and 13 RBI while also posting a 10-9 mark in the circle with a 1.70 ERA and a .227 average against... Krysten Cary is also batting better than .300, hitting .313 on the year with a team-best five home runs and 13 RBI... Rebecca Patton (3-4, 3.89 ERA) and Helen Pena (2-3, 4.57 ERA) have also seen significant action in the circle.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 32-19, but the Mustangs have taken two of the last three series between the two teams... the Titans took two of three from Cal Poly last year at Anderson Family Field with wins of 2-0 and 5-3 and a 7-5 loss... Fullerton is 20-8 all-time against the Mustangs at home, but just 10-11 in San Luis Obispo, losing three in a row and seven of its last nine dating back to 2004... Cal Poly posted a sweep of the Titans in the last meeting between the two in San Luis Obispo in 2008, winning by the scores of 9-1 (5), 1-0 (14), and 2-1.
WELL, THIS IS NEW: Cal State Fullerton's series loss to UC Riverside last weekend was the first to the Highlanders since they joined the conference in 2001-02. The Titans had entered the weekend 25-3 against UCR in the history of the series.
MISSING: BATS... PLEASE RETURN: After exploding for 27 runs on 36 hits in their opening weekend sweep of UC Santa Barbara, the Titans' bats were held in check in week two of Big West play, scoring just seven runs on eight hits in a series loss to UC Riverside. Fullerton, which entered last weekend batting .409 with eight home runs in conference play, hit just .125 (8-for-64) with no home runs last weekend.
BATS STILL AMONG THE BEST, THOUGH: Despite the struggles last weekend against UC Riverside, Fullerton still sports a .289 average in conference play - well above its overall average of .217 and standing second in the league behind the Highlanders - while leading the league in runs scored (34), standing third in hits (44), and tops in home runs (8), RBI (31), and slugging percentage (.493)
HEINLE TAMES HIGHLANDERS: Sophomore Krystal Heinle was the most effective hurler for the Titans last weekend, going 1-0 while allowing just one run on five hits in a combined 10 2/3 innings (0.66 ERA) while holding UC Riverside to a .143 average. Thus far, in Big West play, Heinle has emerged as the ace of the staff, posting a 2-0 mark with a 0.75 ERA, allowing just four runs (two earned) on 14 hits in 18 2/3 innings and holding opponents to a .194 average.
MORE ON HEINLE: In her last five appearances (three starts), Heinle has been nothing short of stellar as both a starter and reliever, allowing just three earned runs (four overall) on 20 hits while striking out eight in 22 2/3 innings. She has posted a 0.93 ERA in that stretch and has held opponents to just a .227 average.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: Junior Torrie Anderson has been just that for the Titans this season, leading the team in both game-winning RBI (3) and game-winning runs (3). Anderson has driven home the game-winner in victories over Southern Utah, Baylor, and UC Santa Barbra while scoring the go-ahead runs against the Thunderbirds, Gauchos, and UC Riverside.
MORE ICE FOR JOHNSON: Sophomore Nicole Johnson must have been wearing some kind of a target last weekend as she was hit by a pitch three times against UC Riverside, giving her a team-high 10 HBP's in 2010. She is one of two players in the conference this season (UC Davis' Jessica Gonzalez, who leads the Big West with 15, being the other) to reach double digits in that category and stands just one bruise shy of breaking onto the school's single-season top 10 list - trailing current volunteer assistant coach Courtney Martinez, who was hit 11 times in 2008. After being hit nine times as a freshman in 2009, Johnson now ranks eighth on the school's all-time list for bein plunked with 19, standing eight shy of moving into a four-way tie for fifth with Lauren Lupinetti (2007-09), Katie Gollhardt (2005-08), and Candice Baker (2004-07).
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: Most of the damage done against the Titans this season has come in the middle three innings as Fullerton has been outscored by a combined total of 117-50 in the third-fifth innings. The worst inning offensively for the Titans this season has been the fifth, outscored by a 46-11 count, while opponents have scored the most runs against them in the fourth inning, plating 48 runs to just 21 for Fullerton.
"BOOM" GOES THE DYNAMITE: The Titans' bats were shutout in the home run category last weekend, but that hasn't knocked them from their perch atop the league standings in that category as Fullerton continues to lead the league with 26 long balls on the season - besting second-place Cal State Northridge by seven. Sophomore Trina Harrison leads the league with nine home runs on the season with teammate Torrie Anderson standing third with seven home runs in 2010. Ari Cervantes and Nicole Johnson are also among the top 10, joining four others in a tie for 10th with three home runs apiece.
GAME-WINNING WALK-OFF PUTS TORRIE IN THE BOOKS: Anderson's walk-off two-run home run to clinch the Titans' game-three victory over UC Santa Barbara on April 3 not only won the game for the home team, but put the hard-hitting outfielder among the top power hitters in the history of the program. Anderson's seventh home run of the season gave her 21 for her career - tying her with All-American Jodie Cox (2000-03) for 10th on the school's all-time list. Next up: Katie Gollhardt (2005-08), who finished her stellar four-year career with 23 home runs, good for ninth place.
WHILE WE'RE AT IT...: Trina Harrison's nine home runs this season have her on the verge of breaking into the school's single-season top 10 list with 15 regular season games remaining, trailing three players (including teammate Torrie Anderson) with 11 home runs in a season for ninth place. Anderson, who hit 11 home runs last season as a sophomore, joins former Titans Jessica Doucette (11 in 2007) and Chris Zboril (11 in 1996) in that spot.
PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER: Cal State Fullerton has drawn at least one walk in each of its last 14 consecutive games and ranks tied for second place in the league with 98 bases on balls thus far this season, matching Cal Poly's total in 2010 and trailing only league-leading Long Beach State (133). Junior Torrie Anderson has had the most patience this season, drawing 18 walks to rank fifth in the league while fellow junior K.C. Craddick ranks tied for seventh with 16 walks overall in 2010. Right behind the duo is freshman Ariel Tsuchiyama, who is in a four-way tie for ninth with 15 walks on the year. Sophomore Trina Harrison is the only other Titan in double digits in that category with 12 as no other player has walked more than seven times (Gabby Aragon).
SECOND-HALF HITTER: Half of Torrie Anderson's team-high 30 hits have all come in the last 14 games as the junior is batting .366 (15-for-41) in that span with 11 runs scored, 11 walks, and six RBI. Prior to that, Anderson was hitting just .217 (15-for-69) in her first 24 games of the year, despite scoring 10 runs, slugging six home runs, and driving in 15 more. Thanks to her second-half splurge, the Valencia native has raised her average 56 points to .273 overall.
HARRISON GOES THE EXTRA MILE: Or 60 feet as it were. Of sophomore Trina Harrison's 23 hits this season, 13 have gone for extra bases as she has slugged a league-leading nine home runs and four doubles to pace the team, helping her to a .557 slugging percentage which ranks second in the league. She also stands tied for second in RBI (25) and third in total bases (54).
CATCHING ON FAST: Freshman Ariel Tsuchiyama has done a bang-up job behind the plate defensively 36 games into her rookie season, posting a .994 fielding percentage (one error in 155 chances) as the Titans' starting catcher while throwing out a league-best 11 baserunners from behind the dish.
LUCKY SEVEN: Sophomore Trina Harrison became the first Titan to drive in seven runs in a single game in almost eight years, matching the performance of former Cal State Fullerton All-American Jodie Cox, who finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a triple, and seven RBI in a victory at Utah State on March 30, 2002. Harrison becomes the fifth Titan since 1997 to drive in as many runs, joining Cox, Yasmin Mossadeghi (vs. UNLV on 3.29.00) and Dara Marzolo (vs. Georgia State on 3.19.97) with seven RBI, while Gina Oaks drove in eight runs against Kansas on a pair of grand slams on Feb. 2, 2001. Oaks' eight RBI are the most in program history dating back to 1987 when complete season box scores are available.
ISN'T THAT "GRAND"?: Sophomores Nicole Johnson and Trina Harrison each slugged grand slams as part of the Titans' 12-3 victory in game two against UC Santa Barbara on April 2, the first time that has happened since current Titan Torrie Anderson and former All-American Kiki Munoz accomplished the feat as part of an 11-0 win over UC Riverside on April 5, 2008. The grand slams were the second and third hit by a Titan this season after Anderson slugged one at UCLA back on Feb. 24 as Fullerton tried to rally in the seventh. For Johnson, it was her second career grand slam after hitting one against Cal Poly on March 29 last season, and the first in Harrison's brief career while Anderson leads all active Titans with three in her two-plus seasons at Fullerton.
PULLING RANK: Fullerton's win over then-No. 15 Texas (and, subsequently, its victory over then-No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette) marked the Titans' first win over a ranked opponent this season in 10 tries and their first since they took two-of-three from then-No. 24 Cal Poly to kick off Big West Conference play on March 28, 2009. Fullerton is 2-10 against ranked opposition this season.