Cal State Fullerton softball is looking for a better showing than the 1-3 record it produced in the Judi Garman Classic when hosting the Long Beach State/Fullerton Tournament this weekend.
The Titans will open against San Diego State (12-7) Thursday before facing Boston (7-9) and Harvard (3-2) Friday. Saturday will feature a game with Longwood (6-10) and a rematch with Boston.
The Titans’ only victory of the Judi Garman Classic was a walk-off win on the last day of the tournament against Baylor, which snapped a four-game skid for Fullerton.
Titan ace Kelsey Kessler was spectacular in the Judi Garman Classic, pitching 16.2 innings and striking out 15 while giving up two earned runs. She pitched two complete games and took home the win against Baylor with a shutout performance. Kessler is third in the Big West in ERA with 1.83 and tied for second in wins (six) and strikeouts (69).
Overall, Titan pitchers are second in the Big West in strikeouts with 128 and fourth in ERA at 3.37.
The Titans’ bats did not produce much offense in the Judi Garman Classic. Fullerton was shut out twice and only scored two runs on 15 hits all tournament thanks to Trish Parks’ solo home run against Arizona State and an RBI fielder’s choice hit by Irieanna Siofele to lift the Titans over Baylor.
Both Delynn Rippy and Lexi Gonzalez rank in the top 10 in the Big West in batting average. Gonzalez is sixth with a .375 average and Rippy is ranked seventh while putting up .368. Gonzalez also leads all Titan hitters with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
The rest of the Titans have been less successful, which is why the team ranks sixth in team batting average (.265) and fourth in runs scored with 72.
Fullerton has split the last two contests against San Diego State. Last year, the Titans beat San Diego State 8-4 in the Titan Classic, but the Titans lost 9-3 against the Aztecs in the 2015 Judi Garman Classic.
Titan pitchers will be tasked with keeping several key hitters silent this tournament. Boston slugger Alex Heinen leads the Terriers with four home runs and 11 RBIs. Maddy Kaplan leads Harvard with eight RBIs and a .588 batting average while Krista Kelly leads Longwood with 11 RBIs.
The Titans swept their competition last year in the tournament, going 5-0 against Mississippi State, Utah Valley, Princeton and Iowa State.
The Titans will play their first game at 6 p.m. Thursday against the San Diego State Aztecs at Anderson Family Field.