The Cal State Fullerton softball team took care of business and swept the Easton Tournament for the second year in a row, echoing last year’s success when the Titans beat the defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners.
The Titans improved to 18-12 on the season with wins over DePaul, Boise State, Nebraska and Charleston Southern this weekend at Anderson Family Field.
Fullerton opened the Easton Tournament against the DePaul Blue Demons. Redshirt junior Desiree Ybarra got the starting nod in the circle for the Titans and pitched a stellar effort, allowing just three hits on her way to five innings of shutout ball.
Junior Jasmine Antunez came in as relief and didn’t allow one hit in her two innings of work to close out the game.
On the offensive end, the Titans got the scoring started in the fourth inning when Courtney Rodriguez forced an error by stealing second, allowing Missy Taukeiaho to score from third. The scoring continued when Bryanna Ybarra’s sac bunt brought Rodriguez in.
Errors continued to plague DePaul when center fielder Angela Scalzitti couldn’t put away the out, allowing Arianna Espinoza to score from second. The four-run inning was capped by an RBI-single by Shianne Brannan that drove in Samantha Galarza.
The Titans would tack on another run in the fifth when Eliza Crawford’s sacrifice fly to left field plated Taukeiaho, as Fullerton cruised to a 5-0 victory.
The superb pitching continued in the back end of the doubleheader against Boise State.
Although sophomore Christina Washington was erratic while allowing seven walks, she struck out six and only allowed just two hits as she went unscathed through 5.2 innings pitched.
The hot streak of freshman Samantha Vandiver continued in the third inning with a single. An error by Bronco third baseman Makenzie Sullivan on the play allowed Brannan to trot home from second for the first Titan run of the game.
Fullerton extended their lead in the fourth when Rodriguez led off with a triple and was then brought home by Melissa Sechrest’s single to right field.
The Titans kept attacking in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Taukeiaho earned the RBI the tough way, by getting drilled by a pitch to score Brannan.
Ybarra would come on for the the final 1.1 innings to earn the save and the shutout win at 3-0.
Pitching and defense was once again on display for the Titans in their 3-0 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Ybarra took the circle determined not to allow the first opposing run of the tournament, and she delivered. The Riverside native tossed a four-hit complete-game shutout, recording four strikeouts in the process.
The Titans got on the board early in the first when Rodriguez tripled to right center and then scored on a wild pitch.
Fullerton was held scoreless in the second, but threatened once more in the third when they loaded the bases.
Rodriguez took advantage of the opportunity and earned a pair of RBIs by lining a single down the left field line to plate Delynn Rippy and Vandiver.
Those early runs would be all that Ybarra would need to shut the door on the Huskers.
Washington looked to match Ybarra’s complete-game shutout against Charleston Southern, and came very close to the feat.
The Titans were first on the board again when Bryanna Ybarra laced a single to center to score Rodriguez in the third.
Fullerton extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Vandiver singled in Rippy before being driven in herself by Taukeiaho.
Washington pitched five clean innings before being touched up by the Buccaneers in the sixth.
Buccaneer right fielder Cheyenne Gandara roped a single to left field, allowing Natalie Yonan to cross home.
The Titans would add two more insurance runs in the sixth to shipwreck the Buccaneers 5-1 and complete the sweep of the Easton Tournament.
Tuesday, Fullerton’s season continues with a doubleheader against the University of Buffalo Bulls starting at 3 p.m. at Anderson Family Field.