May 10, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - The road to the Women's College World Series for the Cal State Fullerton softball team will begin in Tempe, Ariz., as the Titans will travel to the desert for the 2009 NCAA Tournament this weekend.
Fullerton, the No. 3-seeded team in the regional, is making its fifth consecutive postseason appearance and will meet No. 2-seeded LSU in the regional opener on Friday afternoon (May 15) at 2:30 p.m. PDT at Farrington Stadium on the Arizona State campus in a nationally-televised contest on ESPNU. The host and No. 10 national-seeded Sun Devils will meet San Diego State in the other pairing and will play at 5:30 p.m. PDT that afternoon.
The winner of the Tempe regional will face the winner of the Norman regional than features host Oklahoma, North Dakota State, Tulsa, and Arkansas.
Cal State Fullerton finished the regular season with a 29-19 overall record and a 17-4 mark in Big West Conference play to finish second. The Titans will be making their 25th NCAA appearance in 28 tries and will be looking to rebound from a 2008 postseason that saw them go 0-2 in regional play for the first time since 1993. This year's postseason will mark only the fourth time in the 30-year history of the program that Fullerton will be travelling outside the state of California for regional play after travelling to Seattle in 1999, Tucson, Ariz., in 2001, and Columbus, Ohio, in 2007.
LSU, ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation according to last week's coaches polls, finished the regular season 32-16-1 overall and 15-10-1 in the SEC, falling to Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Kirsten Shortridge leads the offense, batting .429 with 23 RBI and 36 runs scored while Cody Trahan (11-6, 2.31) and Brittany Mack (11-4, 2.36) have split starting duties for the most part in the circle.
Among regional opponents this season, the Titans have faced only San Diego State this season, going 0-2 against the Aztecs in a home-and-home doubleheader on March 20-21. Overall, Cal State Fullerton has faced 15 of the 64-team field, going 7-13 against those teams with notable victories over national No. 3 seed Washington and national No. 7 seed Oklahoma.
Cal State Fullerton is one of three Big West Conference schools to earn postseason berths as league champion Cal Poly will travel to Palo Alto for regional play hosted by No. 8 national seed Stanford while third-place Long Beach State makes the short jump to Westwood in a regional hosted by No. 2 national seed UCLA. The Mustangs open against Nevada while the 49ers will take on the host Bruins.
2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT - TEMPE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday (May 15)
GAME 1: \#3 Cal State Fullerton (V) vs. \#2 LSU (H) - 2:30 p.m. PDT
GAME 2: \#4 San Diego State (V) vs. \#1 Arizona State (H) - 5 p.m. PDT
Saturday (May 16)
GAME 3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 - 3 p.m. PDT
GAME 4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 - 5:30 p.m. PDT
GAME 5: Loser G3 vs. Winner G4 - 8 p.m. PDT
Sunday (May 17)
GAME 6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5 - 2:30 p.m. PDT
GAME 7: Winner G6 vs. Loser G6** - 5 p.m. PDT
** if necessary