With an 11-game winning streak, Cal State Fullerton softball is now facing up against the UC San Diego Tritons for doubleheaders this Friday and Saturday at the Triton Softball Field.
The Tritons are carrying a five-game losing streak, with their most recent Big West loss against Cal State Long Beach ending with a score of 7-6. UC San Diego played them again for a non-conference game, though the match was called early at the fifth inning, with the Tritons losing 14-4.
Despite their losses, UC San Diego sits at No. 5 in the Big West with a 4-5 record in conference play and a 7-12 record overall. The Tritons’ last conference win was on April 3 against the University of Hawaii.
On the other hand, CSUF tops the Big West with a 9-0 record in conference play and a 24-11 record overall. The Titans’ last games were against Cal State Northridge, where Fullerton swept the three-game series. Fullerton’s last win finished with a score of 9-1, forcing the game to end early at six innings.
Even with the outstanding victories this season, the Titans are not taking practice lightly. Head coach Kelly Ford is making sure the team continues to push themselves.
“We gotta get back to work on Monday. I mean that's what next week's about. If we do any kind of coasting, it's gonna pass us right by, so we have to have our best week of practice next week,” Ford said after their most recent game.
The Titans boast a .315 team batting average, with senior Julia Valenzuela leading the team with a .383 batting average. While Valenzuela’s offense has proven valuable to CSUF with four home runs and 36 hits, senior Sophie Frost is the factor keeping runners off first base.
With an ERA of 2.21, Frost has pitched a total of 98 innings while striking out 93 batters. Frost has been named Big West Pitcher of the Week on three occasions in her career, most recently receiving the honor on March 1.
The Tritons will have to play fiercely both offensively and defensively to win against the Titans, as CSUF leaves UC San Diego with no room for error.
Senior Robyn Wampler has an ERA of 3.27, pitching a total of 62 innings and allowing 61 hits off her. Stepping up to the plate, the Titans could be challenging for Wampler as CSUF plays with a handful of heavy hitters.
With the Tritons’ batting average of .264, battling against Frost’s pitches will be difficult. The Tritons will have to depend on their best hitters to get some runs on the scoreboard.
Senior Sherriah Harrington and junior Keila Bosinger lead the Tritons with batting averages of .350 and .328, respectively. However, the most important part about batting is making contact and getting on base; these two lead their team in hits, on-base percentage and runs scored. Harrington has 21 hits and an on-base percentage of .426, while Bosinger has 19 hits and a .435 on-base percentage.
The four-game series will be hosted by UC San Diego at the Triton Softball Field. Friday’s doubleheader will begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s doubleheader will be at 1 p.m. The first three games will count toward conference, but the last game will be non-conference.