Cal StateFullerton’s softball team will host the University of Hawaii for a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday in the penultimate series of the regular season.
CSUF is coming off of a three-game sweep against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on the road, while Hawaii dropped all four home games against Long Beach State last weekend.
After they lost two of three against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in May 2017, Fullerton softball has won 20 consecutive Big West series. With the team’s thorough trouncing of the Mustangs away from their home, their success is likely to continue.
In the last three games against Cal Poly SLO, the Titans were able to outscore the Mustangs by a 30-2 margin, the most competitive being a 5-0 Fullerton victory in game one that ended up another complete-game shutout by Fullerton ace Sophie Frost. Frost also started the second game, and pitched four innings and allowed no runs.
The steady contributions of senior catcher Julia Valenzuela continued against Cal Poly SLO after notching five hits and four RBIs throughout the series, but Kelsie Whitmore exploded with seven hits and nine RBIs — six came in the final matchup of the weekend.
On the flip side, Hawaii was on the business-end of the same story while being outscored, 50-15, in their four-game series against Long Beach.
Not much went right for the Rainbow Wahine despite their respectable conference record of 10-8 and a healthy array of hitters that are good at making contact. Four members of the Hawaii lineup are hitting over .300 and three of them have an on-base percentage at or above .400, though none of their top pitchers are comparable to the season numbers of Frost.
The main difference between these two teams is the presence of power in the lineup and the depth of talent on the roster.
As a team, the Titans have slugged 55 home runs on the season with 73 doubles and six triples. Freshman Hannah Becerra, and Whitmore, a senior, are both tied for the team-lead and for the most in the conference with 12 home runs each.
Becerra leads the team in RBIs with 41 and is second in the Big West. Valenzuela’s .413 batting average is ranked fourth in the conference, while freshman Megan Delgadillo leads the Big West with 27 stolen bases.
Frost’s 18 wins as a pitcher are the most in the Big West, five more than the No. 2 pitcher and her 1.76 ERA is third in the conference. Hawaii isn’t represented in the conference’s top performers in any category and have only hit 14 home runs as a team, though they have played only 24 games to Fullerton’s 46.
CSUF has an overall record of 34-12 and is an unbeaten 18-0 in conference play. The Titans are No. 1 in the Big West standings, followed by Long Beach at No. 2 and incoming Hawaii is tied at No. 3 with UC Davis.
Fullerton has beaten Hawaii in their last 12 contests, the last loss came on April 4, 2015 by a score of 8-6.
The first doubleheader against Hawaii will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, while Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 4 p.m.