The Cal State Fullerton softball team sustained its undefeated status in Big West Conference play as it downed the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs in a three-game series sweep over the weekend.
The Titans went into the weekend coming off a strong showing in their first conference series of the 2016 season. CSUF won in convincing fashion, sweeping the UC Riverside Highlanders 3-0 and outscoring them 23-4.
Saturday featured a series-opening double header against Mustangs, where the Titans established their dominance early.
Despite senior left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra allowing a run at the bottom of the second, the Titans answered back by scoring eight runs in the third frame. During that stretch, 13 Fullerton batters went up to the plate. The Mustangs finally managed to stop the bleeding on a groundout to second base from Titan infielder Missy Taukeiaho.
Fullerton, however, remained silent the rest of the way and did not score another run in the following four innings.
The sixth inning saw quick stints from relievers Jasmine Antunez and Christina Washington. Antunez allowed two Mustang runs, but Washington came on too close out the inning, thwarting a Cal Poly comeback.
Freshman Sydney Golden pitched the final inning for Fullerton, surrendering two hits but not allowing a run. The eight-run third inning was all the Titans needed to secure the 8-3 victory over the Mustangs.
Before being relieved after the fifth, Ybarra gave up six hits but recorded six strikeouts in five innings pitched. She earned the win, improving her record to 9-5 on the season.
Taukeiaho had a nice outing offensively, recording a hit, two RBIs and one run scored.
The Titans continued the double-header with Golden in the circle.
Both sides were tied 1-1 through the first three innings until the Titans took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth. A Samantha Vandiver RBI single was the catalyst of the breakaway, as she brought in Brooke Clemetson to score, followed by two straight base hits from Taukeiaho and Alexis Gonzalez.
In the seventh inning, Fullerton added an insurance run on their way to claiming the 5-1 victory. Golden tossed a complete game as she allowed no earned runs, but only one strikeout to improve her record to an impressive 12-3.
Vandiver was the Titans’ best player offensively in the game as she went two-for-four with an RBI and two runs scored.
In the series finale, the Titans quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Taukeiaho and Sarah Moore scored off a wild pitch and a throwing error, respectively.
The Mustangs closed in on the Titans’ lead in the third inning as Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland drilled an RBI single up center field to bring in Stephanie Heyward.
Neither team would score another run in the game as the Titans held on to take the game 2-1 behind solid pitching efforts from aces Ybarra and Golden.
Ybarra pitched five complete innings, allowed four hits and notched three strikeouts before being relieved by Golden, who finished the game and picked up two strikeouts in the process.
The Titans have now improved their overall record to 31-10 and conference record to 6-0.
Fullerton returns home for a three-game series against the UC Davis Aggies this Friday and Saturday at Anderson Family Field.