TUSCON, Ariz. - Cal State Fullerton pulled off a tremendous comeback topping Illinois-Chicago by a score of 12-8 in game one of the Hillenbrand Invitational and capped the night off with a 6-2 victory over the University of New Mexico. With two wins on the day, the Titans move to 6-1 on the season and are currently riding a four-game winning streak.
In game one of the day, Alexa Neil recorded her third straight multi-hit game going 2-4 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI. Zoe Richard also had two hits including the game-tying home run in the final frame.
Irie Siofele launched her third home run of the season going 1-3 with three RBI. Ari Williams launched her first home run of the season going 1-2 with two RBI and three walks. Sam Kennedy also hit her first home run of the season with a 1-2 performance and three RBI.
In the circle, the Titans struggled early on. Dani Martinez got the start giving up six runs in 2.1 innings. Taylor Dockins came in next giving up a run while recording just one hit followed by Mia Marinakis who threw 1.2 innings giving up a run on three hits. Sophie Frost would enter the game as Fullerton brought it back and closed out the victory throwing three innings only giving up one baserunner to pick up the win.
The first four innings belonged to the Flames as UIC put up two in the second, five in the third, and one in the fourth tallying four home runs in the process. While that was happening, the Fullerton offense managed only one hit until the fifth inning.
However, once that fifth inning started, it was a new ballgame. A three-run blast from Siofele would get the Titans on the board and Williams would make it back-to-back jacks launching a solo shot right after. Four batters later, Kennedy launched another three-run home run and made it a one-run game.
It would stay that way up until the top of the seventh. Richard would lead off the frame with a solo shot the opposite way and tie the game at eight.
From there, Fullerton would send nine more batters to the plate putting four more runs on the board. The eventual game-winning RBI would go to Neil who singled up the middle with the bases loaded.
The 12 runs marks the first time the Titans have scored double-digit runs since April 21 of last season against Hawaii.
Game two started almost two hours after the originally scheduled first pitch time and went past midnight, but Fullerton came out on top once again.
Ari Williams led the offense with her second career four-hit game going a perfect 4-4 at the dish with three singles, a home run, and three RBI.
Deshea Hill and Zoe Richard each recorded a hit and an RBI each while Janelle Rodriguez was the only other starter with a knock. Daisy Munoz and Kiana Parrish both had pinch hit appearances and both recorded hits. Munoz launched a solo shot to left, her second of the season, and Parrish had a single to the left side, the first knock of her young Titan career.
The circle belonged to Sophie Frost against New Mexico as she went the full seven innings for her first complete game of the season. She allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out a career-best 10 batters.
The Lobos got the scoring right off the bat plating two in the top of the first on a two-RBI double, but Fullerton responded right back. After Neil led the inning off with a walk, Williams would step in and launch her second home run of the day to tie things up at two runs each.
Hill's RBI single in the bottom of the second would give the Titans the lead and that would be enough run support for Frost.
Just for good measure, Fullerton would tack one more in the fifth thanks to Munoz's second career home run and one more in the sixth on an RBI single from Williams.
Overall, the Titans slugged six home runs and totalled 18 runs on the day. They will be back in action tomorrow with a double-header beginning at 11:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m. PT) against South Florida.
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