It may be March Madness, but the big college games this weekend were actually happening at Anderson Family Field in the Easton Tournament.
The Titans took three of four games in the tournament, which pitted them against ranked opponents No. 6 Alabama and No. 13 Oklahoma. They also faced Arkansas and New Mexico State on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
CSUF’s success in the classic improves its record to 23-9 overall and contributes to an impressive 10-1 streak in its past 11 games.
Fullerton kicked off the tournament with a 2-1 pitching-duel loss to Alabama on Thursday night. Both teams had a difficult time generating offense, as Titan and Crimson Tide pitching only gave up four and three hits, respectively.
“I think that was our best outing (against Alabama), even though it didn’t go on our end,” said Fullerton Pitching Coach Tori Tyson.
Titan pitcher Sydney Golden earned her third loss of the season, despite only allowing two runs on three hits in five and one-third innings pitched. Desiree Ybarra relieved Golden in the fifth and recorded four strikeouts in one and two thirds innings.
Fullerton split the matchups with ranked opponents, taking a win against Oklahoma, Titan Head Coach Kelly Ford’s alma mater, Friday night.
“(Oklahoma is) such a well-coached team, such a seasoned team,” Ford said. “I’m so proud of the Titans.”
Titan pitching did not give up an earned run in that game, despite the 7-5 win. Ybarra also created her own run support by picking up two RBIs.
Fullerton is now 11-5 against Oklahoma all-time.
In Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, senior third baseman Missy Taukeiaho sent a towering three-run homer to left, giving the Titans a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. They went on to win the game 8-1.
“The tough thing for Missy is she does not get a lot of good pitches because everybody knows she’s such an offensive threat.” Ford said. “I know it just had to feel really good for her today. I’m proud of her. She’s an amazing player and a pleasure to coach.”
Freshman centerfielder Ariana Williams wasted no opportunities in the Arkansas game. She went 3-4 with three RBIs. Together, Taukeiaho and Williams were responsible for six of the eight Fullerton runs.
“I’m not surprised by her (Williams’) performance tonight,” Taukeiaho said. “That just shows the type of person that she is, the type of player that she is. She’s a great teammate.”
Ybarra finished the weekend on Sunday with a complete-game shutout against New Mexico State, giving up only three walks and five hits. Ybarra, the staff leader in strikeouts, posted seven in her seven full innings against the Lobos.
“The most special thing about being a pitching coach is seeing (your players) succeed and get the reward,” Tyson said. “Great pitchers finish weekends.”
Offensively, Williams led the charge for the Titans again, following her excellent performance against Arkansas with a 2-3 day against New Mexico.
The Titans’ next challenge is a matchup with No. 24 Fresno State at Anderson Family Field on Tuesday at 5 p.m.