Loyola Marymount’s two-run double in the top of the seventh from outfielder Brooke Christensen helped lift itself over Cal State Fullerton softball for a 3-1 victory Wednesday.
The Titans’ pitching circle finished the three innings prior with several runners left on base. However, the Lions were able to find enough hits when it mattered to secure the victory.
CSUF had runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a chance to close the game out, but third baseman Bryanna Ybarra failed to make anything of the final at-bat of the game.
“We did not have productive outs and we did not put the bat on ball like we’re capable of. From the last time we saw LMU to tonight, they got better. We took a step back.” said Titans Head Coach Kelly Ford.
The players shared Ford’s disappointment with their productivity in the postgame huddle. Ford said only one player said they were happy with their effort in the game.
Ford believes the fix to get her team mentally invested again is not too complicated.
“(I just need to) be real with them. They don’t need any blown smoke, they don’t need any rah-rah. I can’t make it any more simple: we’ve got to get better,” Ford said.
In the first inning, right fielder Brooke Clemetson stole second and took advantage of an error to advance to third. That steal brought her total up to 24 this season, which leads the Big West conference.
Clemetson was brought in by left fielder Sammie Vandiver, but after that point, the Titans failed to score while leaving 11 runners on base.
“That’s ridiculous. That killed us. Multiple times we had runners on second and third and the heart of our lineup up and not producing.” Ford said.
Pitcher Sophie Frost completed her ninth game of the season, giving up three earned runs for only the third time this season. However, Ford said Frost put the team in a position to win, but Fullerton’s offense didn’t capitalize on the moment.
Hitting will be the main focus for CSUF in its one day of practice before the next game against LMU. Regardless of what Thursday’s weather holds, Ford believes the practice will be essential for the team’s success going forward.
“We’re going to work tomorrow in the cages. It’s supposed to rain but we’re going to be practicing anyway, working on hitting pitches with curve spins because we’ll see that same kind of pitcher in the Big West,” Ford said.
The Titans will finish the series with a doubleheader against the Lions Friday starting at 3 p.m.