Cal State Fullerton softball didn’t have the start to the season it had hoped for, finishing the Easton Invitational 1-3 and dropping two straight games on Sunday to the University of the Pacific.
“Overall throughout the weekend, we had some glimpses of greatness, we definitely had some frustration creep into our game,” said CSUF Head Coach Kelly Ford. “We really struggled getting it going and I’ll take that on. I got to find camaraderie or some chemistry in the lineup to get the flow going.”
The Titans were slated to play a doubleheader Friday against Pacific and Ole Miss. However, in the third inning of the first game against Pacific, rain started to come down at Anderson Family Field, forcing the game to be delayed until Sunday and the Ole Miss game to be cancelled.
As the rain started to pour heavily in the third inning, pitcher Sydney Golden showed visible signs of being thrown off by the weather. Catcher Lexi Gonzalez approached the circle with a hand towel for Golden to wipe her hands dry. However, the effort proved futile.
Just one batter later, Golden gave up a two-run RBI to Sydney Lahners. Before another pitch could be thrown, the umpires decided to end the game due to the continuous rainfall.
Fullerton faced off against Utah State for its first complete game of the season. Sophomore Trisha Parks made her debut in a Titan uniform after transferring from the University of Arizona. However, it was not an ideal homecoming for the Chino Hills native. Parks went just 0.2 innings, walking two batters and giving up three earned runs.
The Titans made a valiant effort for a comeback, including a two-run third inning when a run crossed the plate after Gonzalez reached base on a fielder’s choice. Fullerton, however, was unable to stifle Utah State’s batters, eventually losing the game 7-3.
“We had a lot of opportunities to learn tonight,” Ford said. “The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but boy, there was some glimpses of greatness that I’ll take.”
CSUF began the first of three games with a 4-2 victory over North Dakota State, scratching its first win of the season. Gonzalez, who led the Titans with 45 RBIs last season, started the year where she left off by finishing 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the first inning.
The remaining two games on Sunday didn’t go so smoothly. The second game of the day continued from where they left off on Friday night against Pacific before the rain delay occurred with the Titans trailing 2-0. The deficit only grew for CSUF as the Tigers pulled away in the fifth inning on a three-run home run by Samantha Owen to give Pacific a 5-0 advantage before eventually closing out the Titans 6-0.
Game two against Pacific didn’t go any better for the Titans. In the first inning with two outs and runners on first and second, Kelsey Kessler, a first-year transfer who has only been with the Titans since Feb. 8, gave up a three-run home run to Cassidy Gustafson.
“It’s timely hitting that we fell short on,” Ford said. “We have to do some pressure practice and really put them in situations that they’re practicing driving those RBIs in.”
CSUF will head to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the Puerto Vallarta Challenge, which begins Thursday against Texas Tech.