A grueling weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, CA left the Cal State Fullerton softball team with a 2-2 record by the conclusion of the tournament.
The Titans found victories against Notre Dame on Saturday and against 16th-ranked Arizona State University on Sunday. Fullerton failed to defeat the University of Utah and Oregon State in the early games both of those days.
The first double-header on Saturday pitted the Titans against the Utes in a bout that concluded with a comeback victory in the last inning. Utah opened up a large margin in the second inning and started the scoring for the afternoon with a six-run inning.
CSUF’s Dani Martinez, who earned the nod to pitch for the match, gave up four earned runs, while a pair of unearned runs allowed Utah to widen their lead. The Titans made up some ground in the bottom of the second and third innings as they added a pair of runs.
Despite falling early, Fullerton managed to utilize a five-run sixth inning to take a one-run lead over Utah. The Utes answered back shortly with the addition of two runs in the top of the seventh inning to reclaim the lead and seal the victory, 8-7.
Fullerton’s second game of the double-header followed with just as much suspense as the first, as it was not decided until the final innings. However, the Titans were able to spoil Notre Dame’s lead and comeback for a 5-4 victory.
The Titans took the upper hand in the third inning when Alexa Neil brought home Julia Valenzuela off a single to right center field that was mishandled by Emma Clarke. The run was deemed as unearned. The Fighting Irish switched roles to open the fourth and took the lead with a three-run inning.
The score remained the same until the sixth inning when Fullerton was able to recover from their deficit and reclaim the lead. Deshea Hill sparked the inning with a lead-off single and was succeeded by Janelle Rodriguez, who came up clutch as a pinch-hitter and tied the game, 3-3, with a two-run home run to right field.
Neil earned the only other RBI of the game later in the inning with a sacrifice pop fly that brought Megan Delgadillo home from third base. A throwing error by the Notre Dame allowed Alyssa Hernandez to score off Neil’s at-bat to add insurance to CSUF’s lead.
Despite Notre Dame’s added run in the seventh inning, Fullerton prevailed, 5-4 .
CSUF’s bats cooled down significantly against Oregon State in their first game of their double-header on Sunday. The Titans managed to earn two hits with no runs in their 2-0 loss to the Beavers.
Martinez started the pitching once again for the Titans, and although she produced a decent stat line by only giving up three hits in six innings of play, the offensive end for Fullerton failed to produce much against Oregon State’s Mariah Mazon, who tossed a two-hit shutout while pitching the entire game.
The Beavers took an early lead in the first inning when Missy Nunes brought in Izzy Owen to score. The only other run of the game came in the top of the fifth inning when Fallon Molnar smacked a solo-shot home run to seal the match.
In the final game of the Mary Nutter Classic, the Titans finished on a high-note over Arizona State with a 4-3 victory against the Sun Devils. The win for Fullerton marked their highest ranked-victory since 2018 when they bested third-ranked UCLA in the NCAA Regionals.
Trish Parks, who was credited with the win after tossing five innings from the circle in Sunday’s finale, is also credited with the win against UCLA.
The Sun Devils took the initial lead in the bottom of third inning with a 1-0 lead. But, it was a critical four-run fourth inning where the Titans added all the runs they needed to take the go-ahead over the Sun Devils
Arizona State attempted to cut their deficit in the fifth and sixth innings with a pair of runs, but the Titans were able to fend off the Sun Devils’ bats and clinch the victory, 4-3.
The Titans will return back home this weekend for the Judi Garmin Classic at Anderson Family Field where they will host six games from Thursday to Sunday.