After winning three out of five games in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, the CSUF softball team returned home and defeated San Diego State 5-1 on a rainy Wednesday night.
Junior right-hander Sophie Frost got the win for CSUF, making her 5-2 for the year. Frost pitched 5.2 innings in relief of starting pitcher Janelle Rodriguez. Frost shutdown the Aztecs, giving up only two hits and striking out three, and had three 1-2-3 innings.
It was Rodriguez’s first start this season for the Titans (8-3). The Whittier native lasted 1.1 innings, giving up one run and two walks.
Eight Titans had hits, including senior Ari Williams, who had two hits for CSUF. Along with Williams, three other Titans drove in an RBI.
Aztec MJ James was handed her first loss on the season for SDSU (6-4). James pitched four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.
SDSU leadoff hitter Kiera Wright got the game going for the Aztecs, as she got on base after Rodriguez threw an illegal pitch. Junior Shelby Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Wright in and give the Aztecs their first run of the game.
After giving up runners on first and second with one out, Rodriguez was replaced by Frost, who was able to get out of the jam thanks to Wright stepping out of the box on a would-be two-run hit.
“Janelle didn’t have her stuff tonight, but the way she greeted me off the field, willing to give me that ball, that shows a lot about her character,” Frost said. “I wanted to do good for her.”
With rain coming down at the Anderson Family Field, a rain delay was called after junior Kelsie Whitmore was hit by a pitch in the second inning to load the bases with two outs.
The Titans pulled the tarp out onto the field as the rain began to pour. During the delay, CSUF Athletic Director Jim Donovan helped the grounds crew push water out from the field.
Shoutout to our awesome Athletic Director, Jim Donovan, for joining the grounds crew in getting the field ready after the rain delay! pic.twitter.com/QLk1oSzEkz
— Titans Softball (@Fullerton_SB) February 21, 2019
The Titans were able to capitalize with the bases loaded after the 40-minute rain delay, as freshman Alexa Neil hit an infield single to get CSUF on the board.
“We washed off the start of the game and we came back fresh,” said head coach Kelly Ford.
It was the bottom of the fourth when the Titans caught fire, as senior Ari Williams hit a double to bring in Kelsie Whitmore and give the Titans their first lead of the ballgame. On the following at-bat, Irie Siofele hit an infield single to bring Williams in. With the bases loaded once more, Rodriguez drew a walk, and freshman Paola Villegas scored on James’ wild pitch to give the Titans a 5-1 lead.
“We started going after a smaller zone,” Ford said. “When we hit pitches in our strike zone, good things happen.”
After the Aztecs led with a hit in the final inning, Hill made a leaping catch at third base and was able to get the runner out for the double play. Down to their final out, SDSU’s Kylie Fraser grounded out to shortstop Kelsey Munoz.
“This just gets our mojo going heading into (Cathedral City),” Ford said.
Arnulfo Gonzalez contributed to this article.