May 1, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - With a three-game sweep on the line and breathing room at the top of the conference, the Pacific softball team suffered a setback on their road to the Big West championship as the Tigers dropped an 8-1 decision to Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, May 1. The loss for the Tigers dropped their record to 32-16 overall and 11-4 in the Big West while the Titans jumped back above .500 with a 21-20 record and a 10-5 mark in the conference.
Despite the loss the Tigers still took the season series from the Titans, 2-1, the first time Pacific had won a series against the Titans since the 2004 season while it was the first road series win since the 1999 season. Pacific's dropped its lead over Long Beach State to just a half a game in the conference standing with the 49ers in action against UC Santa Barbara.
In a complete reversal of the day prior the Tigers fell behind the Titans early as Cal State Fullerton found its offense that was made to look virtually nonexistent in its pair of losses. Sending seven to the plate in the first inning, the Titans took a three run lead on the Tigers out of the gate, putting together five hits including two big flys to do their damage. The big hits came off the bats of Nicole Johnson and Morgan LeMond as the duo went deep in back-to-back at bats to put Pacific behind for the first time in the series.
An inning later, the Tigers got into trouble once again as the Titans used a two-out rally to plate two more runs in the inning. The first hit of the inning was the sixth of the day for Cal State Fullerton, a total that matched its production from the day prior in both games combined. The four straight singles at the top of the lineup by the Titans would put an end to the day for freshman Tori Shepard as the freshman could not duplicate her dominance from her two-hit shutout on Saturday as she finished with nine hits against and five runs given up in 1.2 innings of work.
Called upon to relieve her young starter, senior Shaina Brock got through the Titan's bats in the third without harm before another two-out rally in the fourth put Pacific in a seven run hole. Back-to-back doubles by the Titans brought home three runs in the inning to push their lead to 8-1. In the inning, Cal State Fullerton picked up four more hits including three doubles to do their damage.
Offensively the Tigers managed just five hits against the Titans' Ari Cervantes while scoring just one run in the top of the third to avoid the shutout. Sophomore Nikki Armagost came through with her 39th RBI on the year with a bloop double down the right field line. Scoring on the play the was freshman Megan Foglesong who had put herself in scoring position with her sixth stolen base of the season after reaching on a fielder's choice just prior to Armagost's at bat.
In the game, the Titans posted 17 hits against the Tigers, a season high for the Cal State Fullerton offense. In total, the top seven hitters in the Titan lineup recorded multi-hit games with Johnson finishing with a game-high three RBI. For the Tigers, five different Tigers recorded a single hit in the game.
Cervantes moved to 13-12 on the year with the victory finishing the game three straight perfect innings. The loss was charged to Shepard who fell to 12-7 on the season. In relief, Brock gave up six hits and three runs while sophomore Gabby McDaniel, in her first appearance in Big West play, gave up just two hits in two innings of work.
Pacific will look to regroup and reclaim sole possession on first place when they face UC Santa Barbara at home at Bill Simoni Field on Friday, May 6 in a Big West doubleheader. The first game of the series is scheduled for 12:00 pm on Friday afternoon.