CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – It was a pair of tough games for Cal State Fullerton on Sunday as they came up short against No. 19/19 California (14-1) and No. 17/15 Arizona State (13-2) on Sunday to close out the Mary Nutter Classic.
Fresh off a one-run complete game victory against Mississippi State, freshman Taylor Dockins was given the ball to face one of the best offenses in the game in the Golden Bears and she did not disappoint. Through the first four innings, Dockins surrendered just five hits and one unearned run as she grinded to keep her team in it.
The Cal offense started to hit the ball hard in the fifth against the right-hander though picking up a pair of runs on a two-run home run by Jazmyn Jackson. It would have been more, but right fielder Brooke Clemetson prevented that with some full-fledged robbery to end the frame.
Fullerton's offense never got going though, only picking up four hits in the ballgame and stranding eight on base. The chances were there for the Titans, but they couldn't get the big hit they needed.
Dockins would go five innings giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits before being pulled for Trish Parks who would throw a shutout sixth inning. The Golden Bears would get a complete game shutout from Zoey Conley as they defeated the Titans 3-0 in Fullerton's first game of the day.
A field change for Fullerton and then it was time for game number two as they got ready for No. 17/15 Arizona State.
The Sun Devils got out to the early lead courtesy of a solo home run from Danielle Gibson in the bottom half of the second. Fullerton would answer big though as they plated three runs in the top half of the third.
Clemetson stayed hot at the plate to start the rally as she got aboard on an infield single and then stole her 12th bag of the season to get in scoring position for Sammie Vandiver, who singled up the middle allowing Clemetson to score easily. Ari Williams came to the plate next and scorched a ball past the second baseman and into the gap, good for an RBI triple giving Fullerton the lead. Freshman Deshea Hill came up next and grounded it to short, but a beautiful slide by Williams at the plate gave the Titans their third run of the inning.
Starting pitcher Hannah Johnson was cruising through the first three innings only allowing the one run in the second and her shutout third kept the momentum in favor of the Titans. The fourth inning spelled the end of cruise mode though as the Sun Devils found every hole on the field and plated four runs in the bottom half of the fourth on five hits.
ASU would tack on a pair of runs in the fifth as well, but Breanna Macha had the Titan offense in check by then as she cruised through the fourth inning until the game ended in a 7-3 final in favor of the Sun Devils.
Cal State Fullerton will look forward to a big weekend as they host the Judi Garman Classic. The Titans start the tournament on Thursday evening against the Florida Gators.
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