Bakersfield, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball rode the arm of Jasmine Antunez in tossing six solid innings to run away from CSU Bakersfield, 6-2 in game one, while blowing a six-run lead in the night cap to conclude the contest in a seven inning 10-10 tie, first decision of this type for the Titans since the 2008 season.
Following the non-conference doubleheader, the Titans climb to 19-12-1 on the season while CSU Bakersfield falls to 9-25-1.
Game One: Cal State Fullerton 6, CSU Bakersfield 2
Antunez (8-6) tossed six strong innings of two-run ball en route to her team-high eighth victory of the season. The right-hander surrendered seven hits while fanning five Roadrunners overall.
Sophomore Missy Taukeiaho led the Titans offensively including a two-run homer to left field, her team-high 10th of the year. The transfer finished batting 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while driving in three RBI. Taukeiaho also made her debut in the circle, pitching the final frame and yielding one hit and no runs in her relief appearance.
Amongst the 11 hits the Titans produced, five different players including Taukeiaho manufactured multi-hit games while four different players managed to hit a double.
Designated player Eliza Crawford finished with a 2-for-3 performance, including an RBI-single in the opening frame.
Starting in right field for the first time all season, Samantha Galarza chipped in two hits on three at-bats including her second double of the season.
Outfielders Paige Kisling and Leesa Harris had identical lines respectively, batting 2-for-4 and scoring one run apiece. Harris used her speed to scurry around the bases for her team-high fourth triple of 2014. Kisling's hits were in the form of two singles, one in the sixth and another in the seventh inning.
Junior infielder Carissa Turang also made her season debut, starting in the two spot in the batting order while batting 0-for-3. The Corona, Calif., native chipped in a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning to earn her first RBI.
Taukeiaho led off the game with a double down the left field line, later followed by Ariel Tsuchiyama's base on balls. Crawford lined a 3-2 pitch into center field for an RBI-single to open up the scoring for Fullerton, capturing a 1-0 lead in the opening frame off of CSUB starter, Kelsie Monroe.
Monroe (7-12) tossed five innings in the loss, surrendering eight hits and four earned runs. She also issued one walk and fanned three Titans on the afternoon.
Roadrunner Sydney Raeber began the rally in the bottom of the first inning by dragging a bunt for a single. Raeber quickly stole second base and Jessica Castaneda drove her in with a single into the right center field gap.
The contest would be out of reach in the fourth inning as Harris tripled into the right center gap. Taukeiaho took the 0-1 pitch and crushed the deciding two-run round-tripper over the left field wall to put the Titans up 4-1. Fullerton would tack on another two runs on three hits in the sixth inning and never looked back.
Game Two: Cal State Fullerton 10, CSU Bakersfield 10
In a game that the Titans held a 7-1 lead, Bakersfield stormed back using a seven-run fourth inning to eventually force CSF into its first extra innings contest, but to only see two runs erased in the eighth inning after the contest was ruled a tie in seven official innings due to darkness and the lack of lights. Game two marked the first ever tie the Titans have recorded since tying the Texas Longhorns, 4-4, on Feb. 17 in 2008.
Freshman Christina Washington was given the nod in the circle for game two, tossing the opening three innings yielding two earned runs off of five hits while fanning two Roadrunners.
The Titans bullpen relief of Monique Wesley, Antunez and Taukeiaho could not hold on to the lead, combining for four innings of work surrendering six runs on six hits. The group also issued six walks while only striking out one batter over that span.
The Titans used 17 different athletes in the three hour plus contest, while using the power of three round-trippers in the opening three innings to flex the offensive muscles early before the lead was erased.
The night cap began in similar fashion to game one, with Taukeiaho leading off with a double to right center field. Senior Aragon drew a two-out walk to bring up first baseman Crawford who later followed with a towering three-run homer to deep center field off of CSUB starter, Amber Mills.
Taukeiaho batted 1-for-2 with two runs scored and drew two walks, while Crawford drove in four RBI and scored one run en route to a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.
Mills tossed three innings of six-hit ball, yielding four earned runs while striking out one Titan. She also surrendered two out of the three home runs before giving way to Lyndsay Klimenko who was lit up for two quick runs as Lauren Mario went yard for her third homer of the year.
Mario concluded her day batting 1-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI. Shortstop Aragon also went yard for her fourth homer of the year, a solo-shot earlier in the third inning, batting 1-for-2 with two runs scored, one RBI and one walk.
The Roadrunner offense exploded in the fourth inning as Bakersfield produced seven runs on five hits. The outbreak was highlighted by Amber Mills' two-run homer to left center, Amy Ricciardi's two-run double to left, and Kara Frankhouser's game tying RBI-single to right field eventually sending the game into extra innings. The Titans also surrendered two hit by pitches and two bases loaded walks in the inning, losing control of the strike zone as the runs continued to come across.
After the six-run lead was lost, the Titans were quick to respond. Harris used her speed to record her second triple of the doubleheader, this one deposited into the left center gap. Taukeiaho was intentionally walked and infielder Turang executed a perfect sacrifice bunt as Harris squeezed home to tie the game at eight apiece. Harris concluded the double-header batting an efficient 5-for-7 with two runs scored overall.
Catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama later followed in the sixth inning with a crucial RBI-double down the right field line scoring Taukeiaho, recapturing the lead. Crawford would tack on another run after pulling an RBI-single into right field, completing the Titan frame now with a 10-8 lead.
CSU Bakersfield rallied once more in the bottom of the sixth inning after a sacrifice fly by Mills and another bases loaded walk drawn by Karysn Guzman, dead locking the game at 10 apiece. Both teams went scoreless in the final frame before the umpire crew called off any progress in the eighth inning and reverted back to the seven inning game as an official 10-10 tie.
Emily Vizcarra also recorded her first at-bat of her career, flying out to left field in the fourth inning for her only appearance at the dish for the game.
Cal State Fullerton returns home to host its Big West opening series against UC Santa Barbara this weekend. The teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 29 at 4 and 6 p.m. and will conclude the series on Sunday, Apr. 30 at 12 p.m. for the Titans annual Pink Day game.