JAH softball stock (1 of 2)

CSUF softball lit up UC Riverside for 26 runs in the final three-game series of the regular season. (Joshua Arief Halim / Daily Titan)

The CSUF softball team returned to the winner’s circle after sweeping UC Riverside to close the regular season and clinch their fourth consecutive Big West title on Saturday.

This marks just the third time in conference history that a school finished atop the standings in four straight seasons and is the 12th title in CSUF history.

While the Titans played well at home this season, as evidenced by their 20-5 record, the road was not as friendly, going 9-6 on the road prior to Friday’s series opener against UCR.

In game one, CSUF defeated the Highlanders 5-3 on a big performance from catcher Julia Valenzuela who tied her season-high in hits in a game with three to complement her four RBIs.

Valenzuela drove in the game’s first run on a double to left center field to bring home shortstop Sam Kennedy.

The La Mirada native capped off her four-RBI night with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.

Dani Martinez pitched her eighth complete game of the season, limiting UCR’s offense to three runs on five hits.

The Titans hit the ground running in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader as they rattled off five runs in the first two innings.

CSUF softball hit four home runs with a pair of solo shots by Alexa Neil and Daisy Munoz in the first inning.

Riverside whittled the Titans’ lead to one after first baseman Melanie Olmos hit a three-run home run in the third.

However, CSUF pulled away from the Highlanders with a seven-run outburst in the sixth inning, with pinch hitter Janelle Rodriguez hitting a grand slam as the game concluded in a 14-6 sixth inning mercy rule win for CSUF.

With the 7-2 win in the series finale, CSUF won seven straight games to close out the 2019 campaign.

Pitcher Taylor Dockins had the starting gig in the circle for the final game of the regular season, pitching 6 ? scoreless innings of scoreless, allowing just five hits.

In her final year with the team, center fielder Ari Williams added an exclamation point to her list of accomplishments as she became the first player in school history since 2002 to reach base in every Big West game in a season on a third-inning single.

The Titans wrapped up the regular season with a 38-16 record while finishing conference play 18-3.

By clinching the Big West’s automatic NCAA Tournament spot, the CSUF softball team will participate in the Los Angeles Regional at UCLA’s Easton Stadium for the fourth consecutive season and will play the University of Missouri at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The other match-up will be No. 2 UCLA against Weber State, as the Titans will look to make their first Super Regional since 2007.

 

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