In its only games of the week, the Cal State Fullerton softball split
a non-conference doubleheader with visiting San Diego State on Friday
night, winning the opener, 4-2, before falling in the nightcap, 2-0, at
the Titan Softball Complex.
The Titans now stand at 7-7 overall while the Aztecs are 16-9 overall.
In game one, Candice Baker's two-out, two-run double to center snapped
a 2-2 tie before she entered the game in the seventh to earn her first
save of the year as the Titans downed San Diego State, 4-2.
SDSU's Cori Janelli (6-6) cruised through the first two batters in the
sixth before Lindsey Bashor smoked a single through the right side. A
walk by Katie Gollhardt put two runners on, forcing the Aztecs to lift
Janelli in favor of Celena Velasquez to face Baker.
The sophomore then lined a 2-0 pitch over the head of the centerfielder,
plating both runs for the 4-2 lead.
An infield single by Erin Mahoney led of SDSU's half of the seventh forcing
the Titans into a pitching change -- Baker for Marissa Marzan.
Baker struck out the first two batters she faced, but a pair of wild pitches
during those at bats moved Mahoney to third. However, Baker induced Megan
McDonald into a game-ending ground ball to escape the jam.
Marzan (3-3) earned the win, allowing just one earned run on five hits,
walking three and striking out three. Bashor had two hits to lead the
San Diego State jumped out quickly, scoring an unearned run on a sacrifice
fly by Kristen Carranza in the first and an RBI groundout by Allison Smith
for the 2-0 lead through five.
The Titan offense responded in the bottom half of the fifth, breaking
out of a slump that saw them strand eight runners through the first four
innings. Gollhardt led off with a walk and beat out the throw to second
on Ashley Van Boxmeer's fielder's choice two batters later.
After a groundout moved both runners into scoring position, Marzan smacked
a two-run single to right that was booted by the fielder, allowing both
runners to come home to knot the game at 2-2.
Both teams combined to leave 18 runners on base for the game.
In game two, San Diego State starter Celena Velasquez stymied the Titans'
bats, allowing just three hits and striking out seven in the 2-0 shutout
Velasquez (8-2) walked only one in the complete-game effort, including
stranding the tying runs on base at the end of the game. Candice Baker
(4-3) suffered her second consecutive loss, allowing one run on no hits,
but walked four (all in the first inning) and struck out three.
A pair of walks, a stolen base, an error, and a wild pitch led to the
Aztecs first run in the opening frame as Erin Mahoney scampered home with
the game-winning run.
The Aztecs would add another in the sixth on an RBI double to right by
Bree Boyer to make it 2-0.
Fullerton didn't have a hit until Amanda Kamekona's two-out single in
the third and the Titans' rally in the seventh started with singles by
Ashley Van Boxmeer and Marissa Marzan, but Velasquez got a pop out and
a ground ball to end the game.
The Titans' defense buckled down to strand eight Aztecs on base for the
game, but Fullerton's bats could not come through with the clutch hit,
stranding six of its own -- three of those in scoring position.
Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Tuesday (March 15) at 6 p.m.
with a single game against Syrcause before opening the 16-team Kia Klassic,
which runs March 16-20 on both fields of the Titan Softball Complex.