CSUF will take on the University of Middle Tennessee to open their season in the annual Titan Classic. (Eliza Green / Daily Titan)

It’s the beginning of another season for CSUF and the team are the favorites to win their fifth consecutive Big West title.

The Titans are not newcomers to the Big West conference as they have built a reputation after four years of consecutive championship wins.

Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford, the 2019 Big West Coach of the Year, plans to take on the 2020 season with no distractions. 

“My job is to make sure that the student athlete stays present —  keep them playing this game pitch by pitch. That sounds simple, but it’s the hardest thing to do in this sport,” said Ford.

After competing in 56 games, CSUF finished their 2018-19 season with an overall record of 38-18 and 18-3 at the conference. Their 2019 season ended with losses of 7-3 to Weber State and 7-4 to Missouri at the UCLA Regionals. They finished their season with a 2.62 run average and a .285 batting average. 

“I think our seniors are going to carry us through an amazing season,” Ford said. “We will compete every pitch because this group will not let anything other than that happen in 2020.”

CSUF’s 2020 team remains mostly intact from last year, as eight of their starting nine are returning members, along with their entire pitching staff. Included on the pitching staff is Dani Martinez, who was awarded Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2019. 

Among the returning players is senior infielder Irie Sofiele, who is ready to take the Titans to their fifth Big West championship victory.  

“Our team culture means attacking whatever is in front of us —  whatever is in our present moment, and we’re just going to do that this season on our way to getting a five-peat and to OKC,” Sofiele said.

Throughout her previous three seasons, Sofiele has played 111 games with a total of eight home runs, 57 hits and a .259 batting average.

CSUF will begin their 2020 season with the Titan Classic, a four day home tournament from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9, where they will compete against Middle Tennessee State, San Jose State, Utah State, University of the Pacific and Loyola Marymount University. 

The first game of the the Titan Classic is against Middle Tennessee, and it will be held on field one at Anderson Family Field today at 6 p.m.

Middle Tennessee is returning with eight starters and their top three pitchers this season. They finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 29-30.

Middle Tennessee is led by star Summer Burgess, who was named to Conference USA’s Preseason Team. Burgess was also a part of the Conference USA Freshman Team in 2017 as well as the All-Conference First Team last spring.

The annual Titan Classic will host a total of 17 games over the course of the four-day tournament. Viewers can register to watch each of the games through a live stream on FloSoftball.

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