After a bye week, Cal State Fullerton softball didn’t miss a beat in their return to the field as they swept UC Riverside on the road in their weekend series against the Highlanders, extending their win streak to eight games.
The Titans started the Big West conference on the right foot in pursuit of their fifth consecutive Big West championship, as they have won their first six games of conference play. CSUF swept UC Davis previously and have now swept Riverside to improve their record to 21-11.
Fullerton’s offense poured on the runs against Riverside, outsourcing their opponents 35-5 in the three-game series. Each match ended early as the Titans won all three by virtue of the run rule. They have won six of their last seven games without having to play the seventh inning.
On Friday, the Titans held off a three-run third inning from the Highlanders that tied the game, 3-3. Fullerton pitcher Alexia Silvas came in for relief out of the bullpen and quelled Riverside’s bats as she kept them scoreless for the remainder of the afternoon while only giving up two hits.
Fullerton’s offense eventually wore on Riverside as they went on to score five runs in the fifth inning and added another four runs in the sixth inning to close the opening match.
First basemen Daisy Munoz led the offensive surge for the Titans recording five RBIs while batting 1-3. The sophomore had a three-run home run that gave Fullerton the go-ahead as they added two more runs off an error in the sixth inning.
Although Riverside’s offense was comparable to Fullerton’s recording five hits to the Titans’ six, errors plagued the Highlanders defensively as they gave up five runs in the afternoon which helped Fullerton pull away.
Saturday presented a doubleheader to cap the series and the Titans picked up right where they left off the day before.
Fullerton picked up a seamless 13-0 victory in the first game on Saturday, thanks in part to an impressive combined pitching effort from both Sophie Frost and Staci Chambers. Through five scoreless innings, the two only gave up one hit and one walk, allowing only four Riverside batters to reach base safely. A hit-by-pitch and a fielding error allowed the other two base runners to reach first base.
With Frost earning the win, her record on the season improves to 9-3 as the senior pitcher has now picked up victories in her last six starting appearances. This season she has maintained an ERA of 2.20 while striking out 81 batters.
Second baseman KK Humphries continued her freshman campaign with a perfect day at the plate, batting 4-4 with five RBIs. She started Fullerton’s scoring with an RBI double in the second inning, and in the third inning she contributed a three-home run before she ended the game in the fifth inning off an RBI single.
The Titans capped the weekend with a 10-2 victory. However, Riverside put up a better fight offensively, as they raked in eight hits, but left seven runners stranded on base and were unable to add to their scoring.
Pitcher Dani Martinez picked up the win for Fullerton, her second of the season, while Frost assisted in a relief role to clinch the series sweep.
Center fielder Kelsie Whitmore went 2-3 batting with four RBIs and a walk in the finale. She also had a rather peculiar performance on Friday where she reached first base safely in all four of her appearances at the plate, three of them off of walks and another after getting hit by a pitch. For the season she has an on-base percentage of .423.
Fullerton continues the Big West conference with another three-game series hosting Cal State Northridge starting on Friday at Anderson Family Field. Friday’s opening pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday to end the series.