The Cal State Fullerton softball team was swept by rival Long Beach State after dropping both games of their doubleheader Wednesday.
Game one was a stalemate until the fourth inning, until Fullerton got on the board first by playing small ball.
Bryanna Ybarra, who went 2-for-3 in the game, led off the inning with a double and was pinch ran for by Paige Kisling.
Samantha Galarza laid down a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to advance Kisling to third.
With Kisling just 60 feet away from scoring, freshman Shianne Brannan brought her in with a suicide squeeze play.
Brannan bunted to third baseman Darian Tautalafua, however, Tautalafua’s throw to home was too late. Brannan tried to stretch her single into a double, but got caught with a throw from catcher Lauren Lombardi.
Long Beach answered back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring five runs to pull away for good.
With the bases juiced, CSUF junior pitcher Jasmine Antunez walked Haley Tobler to score the first run for the 49ers.
Sophomore Christina Washington replaced Antunez, but gave up a grand slam to Lombardi. The Titans must have felt a bit of deja vu with Lombardi also smashing a grand slam on Saturday to down the Titans.
The game ended with a final score of 5-1 as the 49ers clinched the series.
Looking to avoid the sweep, the Titans put up a battle in the series finale.
Fullerton came out swinging, scoring in three consecutive innings—two runs in the first, one in the second and two in the third.
In the first, the Titans loaded the bases before junior first baseman Melissa Sechrest grounded out to second base to plate Samantha Vandiver. Courtney Rodriguez also scored in the inning on an RBI-single by Ybarra.
However, Long Beach answered with a two-run home run by Tobler in the bottom of the inning.
In the second, Fullerton regained the lead with an RBI-single by Rodriguez to score Vandiver.
In the third, Long Beach’s pitching collapsed. Selene Polamalu allowed two more runs to cross the plate, the first on a wild pitch and the second on a balk.
Long Beach would not give up, though, and came storming back in the fifth. Ybarra dropped an infield pop-up to allow the third out of the inning to reach base.
Lombardi was walked to load the bases before Tautalafua scored two with a single down the left field line.
The tying run came with another shot down the left field line by Julia Lombardi.
The game was tied at five going into the final inning.
Fullerton took back the lead in the top of the seventh with a one-out bases loaded RBI-single by Sarah Moore.
The Titans looked to be in good position, but could not hold their lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Julia Lombardi hit a grounder to Galarza that was mishandled, allowing both the tying and winning run to score.
In the end, CSUF was defeated 7-6. The Titans are surely disappointed that only three of Long Beach’s runs were earned in the game.
The sweep drops Fullerton down to a tie for fourth in the Big West with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Davis.
Fullerton will look to bounce back with a three-game home series this weekend against the Cal Poly Mustangs.