While continuing to battle the rainy weather, Cal State Fullerton softball will host the Easton Invitational for its final tournament in nonconference play this weekend.
Fullerton will compete Friday and Saturday with doubleheaders, followed by a single game Sunday. The last time the Titans played back-to-back days of doubleheaders was during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic where CSUF left the tourney split, 2-2.
The Titans, now 11-13 and on a three-game losing streak, will face five competitors including a rematch against Ohio State, who took a 3-1 victory over Fullerton on March 11.
“They’re a well coached team and they take care of the ball, they hit the ball. We just have to compete every pitch,” said Titans Head Coach Kelly Ford.
To be competitive this weekend Fullerton must revisit its time at the plate. The focus on hitting has been a reoccurring issue every member on the team needs to improve on, especially after dropping both of its matches Tuesday.
“There’s not many games we’re going to win by scoring zero runs and to score one run in 14 innings, that’s shocking,” Ford said.
Being hesitant and lacking confidence at the dish has caused the Titans batting average to drop from a .297 to a .287, making contact 169 times in their 588 of their at-bats.
Ford said she doesn’t recognize the team after drops in its overall statistics, and it’s been difficult for the Titans to return to their winning ways since their 4-3 win over the San Diego State Aztecs on March 11.
“We didn’t really go out and grab anything, we didn’t compete for anything, it was really a lukewarm performance by Cal State Fullerton softball,” Ford said.
CSUF has trailed off from last year’s winning record by one, and to become the team Ford knows they are, a team who previously dominated the field, Ford said it must regain its level of competition.
With a day left before the tourney, CSUF players are not the only ones looking to improve. The coaching staff also is looking to make progress before the first pitch Friday at 5:30 p.m.
“I put a challenge on everybody ‘What they can do,’ what they can bring to the table and get better. Everybody came up with something, including the coaches, this is not just on the players,” Ford said. “We have to get better from the top and filter down.”
Jacob Tatham contributed to this report.