Offensive woes for the Cal State Fullerton softball team resulted in a game one loss against Long Beach State on Saturday.
The Titans (27-18 overall, 5-5 Big West) only mustered up one run in their 6-1 loss to the 49ers at the 49er Softball Complex.
The lone run came from second baseman Samantha Galarza on a RBI-single by left fielder Samantha Vandiver in the top of the third inning.
Vandiver went 2-for-4 and had her 15th multi-hit game of the season. In the end, the Titans finished with two more hits and stranded six runners on base.
The four-hit outing was the lowest since the contest against UCLA on April 8. Run production has been a struggle of late for the Titans, who have only scored one run in each of their last two games.
Fullerton’s Christina Washington (14-5) logged six innings, giving up five earned runs and striking out four.
Long Beach (19-22 overall, 6-4 Big West), on the contrary, was an offensive powerhouse.
In the bottom of the fourth, with Haley Tobler on second and Lauren Lombardi on first, Long Beach home run-leader Darian Tautalafua stepped up to the plate.
But the 49ers weren’t thinking home run; they were thinking small ball. Tautalafua laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached second on a throwing error by Fullerton catcher Kylie Padilla.
Tobler scored from second and Lombardi stayed on third. Long Beach extended its lead with an RBI-single by freshman outfielder Summer Pohl to drive in Lombardi from third and make it 2-1 in the 49ers’ favor.
Long Beach later added to its one-run lead in the fifth with a grand slam from Lombardi. She had a monster game, going 2-for-3 at the plate, recording four RBIs and scoring two runs.
She leads the Long Beach team in RBIs with 42 and is now second on her team in home runs with seven, tied with her sister Julia.
Christina Clermont (12-6) had a solid outing for the 49ers, pitching her 12th complete game of the season, while giving up four hits and one earned run and striking out five. The ace boasts a 2.30 ERA on the season.
The loss brings the Titans’ road record to 4-5. Fullerton is now in fourth behind Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State and the University of Hawaii in the Big West conference.
Fullerton has allowed an average of 4.34 runs in conference play compared to 3.81 runs in overall games.
Every game from here on out is a conference game for the Titans and crucial if they are to qualify for the postseason.
They will have time to gather and prepare to end their two-game skid before the next game with the 49ers.
The three-game series with Long Beach continues on Wednesday with a doubleheader at the 49ers Softball Complex. The first game starts at 1 p.m. and both will be televised on ESPNU.