Titans Split With Rival Long Beach State, Capture Series

Titans Split With Rival Long Beach State, Capture Series

FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team split a doubleheader against Long Beach State at Anderson Family Field on Thursday. CSF was led by Christina Washington's complete game five-hitter to outlast LBSU in game one, 3-1, while dropping game two after blowing a season-high six-run lead led by Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi's six RBIs in an 8-6 decision in favor of LBSU. Fullerton clinches the overall series with a 2-1 record.

Following the split of the Big West doubleheader, the Titans climb to (26-18-1, 7-5) while the 49ers advance to (33-11, 10-2). This was the first series victory for Fullerton over Long Beach State since the 2008 season when the Titans took 2-of-3 contests in Fullerton, Calif.

GAME ONE: Cal State Fullerton 3, Long Beach State 1

Freshman Washington (9-5) tossed a complete game five-hitter to down the 49ers in game one of the doubleheader. The left-hander pitched the distance without the benefit of a strikeout, issuing two walks while surrendering one run.

Senior Gabby Aragon batted 1-for-3 with one RBI. Making just her third start of the season, Sydney Colenzo chipped in a perfect 2-for-2 effort with one RBI.

After two innings of scoreless play, Fullerton finally struck in the third frame as transfer Missy Taukeiaho single through the hole into left field. Ariel Tsuchiyama immediately executed a sacrifice bunt to advance Taukeiaho to second.

Eliza Crawford
soon followed with an infield single to load the bases. Aragon delivered an RBI single to left center, scoring Taukeiaho for an early Titans 1-0 lead off of LBSU starter, Erin Jones-Wesley.

Jones-Wesley (18-6) suffered her second loss in as many days, tossing the full six innings surrendering two earned runs on seven hits. The right-hander issued four free passes and fanned five Titans.

The third frame continue as Colenzo hit an RBI single to center, scoring Jena Rubio who pinch ran for Crawford earlier in the inning. Aragon also scored on the play as LBSU center fielder Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi mishandled the single by Colenzo. The Titans concluded the inning out front 3-0.

Long Beach State attempted a two-rally in the top half of the fourth inning as Karli Sandoval singled into left field. Ashlynn Booker later followed with another single into center, placing two runners on. Sarah Carrasco put the 49ers on the board with an RBI double to left center, scoring Sandoval and trimming the Titans lead to 3-1. Washington eventually forced Ashley Holmes to fly out stranding the bases loaded and ending the threat.

The Beach reached base only three more occasions as the Titans picked up game one of the doubleheader behind Washington's stellar pitching performance.

GAME TWO: Long Beach State 8, Cal State Fullerton 6

Long Beach State was led by Tupua-Tautalatasi's 4-for-4 evening, driving in a career-high six RBIs while scoring two runs. The Titans blew a season-high six-run lead to drop the night cap in the doubleheader, but captured the overall series earlier in the day after a 3-1 victory in game one.

Down 6-0 by the third inning, LBSU chipped away at the lead after picking up one run in the third and two runs in the fourth inning off of Titans starter, Jasmine Antunez. Tupua-Tautalatasi delivered a three run-homer in the sixth to notch the game up 6-6, and followed that up with a go-ahead two-run single to left center in the final frame to stun the Titans and salvage one win out of the series.

Within striking distance at 6-3 in the final game of the set, LBSU continued the comeback with a double by Sarah Carrasco in the sixth frame. Christina immediately followed by reaching base on a fielding error by Titans third baseman Missy Taukeiaho. Tupua-Tautalatasi later followed with the three-run bomb, completing the comeback, but was looking for more.

The seventh frame exhibited a similar tone to the previous inning as Ashlynn Booker lead off with a base on balls for the 49ers. Carrasco roped her second hit in as many innings with an infield single advancing Booker to second. Lauren Lombardi singled to center field to load the bases. Tupua-Tautalatasi delivered the two-run single into left, placing Long Beach State in an 8-6 lead that would prove to be the final tally.

Antunez tossed four innings yielding three runs on seven hits while striking out four 49ers. After a dominating performance in game one, Washington relieved Antunez and was significantly less successful than the early afternoon bout. Washington surrendered another two earned runs on four hits.

Wesley (3-5) the third pitcher to enter for Head Coach Kelly Ford, registered the loss for Fullerton tossing the final one and 2/3 innings and surrendering the decisive two runs to cap off a pitching staff that couldn't hold onto the lead.

Fullerton opened up the scoring in the very first inning as Crawford lined an RBI single down the right field line, scoring Jena Rubio who pinch fan for Tsuchiyama after she doubled earlier in the inning.

Already setting the pace at 1-0, the Titans would extend their lead in the second inning with five more runs on five hits. The frame was highlighted by a solo homer by senior Lauren Mario, RBI single by Taukeiaho, and a three-run round-tripper to right field off the bat of Tsuchiyama.

Tsuchiyama batted 2-for-4, scoring one run and driving in three RBIs. From the lead off, Taukeiaho chipped in a 2-for-4 effort, producing one RBI while scoring once.

Overall, Long Beach State's high powered offense tallied the final eight runs of the game over the next five innings to complete the comeback.

Following the series victory over Long Beach State, the Titans hit the road for a three-game series at Cal Poly. The Titans and Mustangs will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday (Apr. 26) starting at 2 & 4 p.m. and will wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday (Apr. 27) first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. All games will be contested at Bob Janssen Field in San Luis Obispo, Calif.



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