Long Beach State (22-14, 4-1 Big West) picked up two conference wins on Friday against UC Riverside (15-20, 0-5) in a high scoring affair as the 49ers were led by Darian Tautalafua's hot bat. In all, the two teams combined for 37 runs, 49 hits and two grand slams in two games. LBSU won game one 14-11 and game two 10-2. Tautalafua led the team with 10 RBIs and three home runs, including a grand slam.
Game 1: LBSU 14, UC Riverside 2
Shayna Kimbrough opened up the game with a single on the first pitch of play, but after three quick outs, UC Riverside was up to bat. The Highlanders' started off with a ground out, but then hit a double to get on base. After an error by second baseman, Nalani St. Germain, the runner advanced to third. Starting pitcher Amanda Hansen then walked the next batter, who stole second base. A single by UCR's pitcher Ercalano brought in two runs, but Hansen was able to get out of the inning without any other damage as the 49ers trailed 2-0.
Sarah Carrasco was walked in the second inning, but the 49er offense couldn't get going as she was left on base. With UCR up to bat, Hansen held the Highlanders to just one hit on four batters as neither team could score in the second.
Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi started the third inning with a single, and advanced to second on an error by the UCR shortstop. After a perfect bunt by Kimbrough, Tupua-Tautalatasi advanced to third, putting runners on the corners. Brianna Stephan then grounded out to the second baseman, but Tupua-Tautalatasi was able to come home to score the first 49er run of the game. The bases were then loaded after St. Germain was walked. A single by Karli Sandoval to right centerfield brought in two more 49ers runs, giving them their first lead of the game, 3-2. Carrasco then hit a deep ball that should have been an out, but the left fielder dropped the ball, which brought in two more runs for the 49ers as they ended the inning with a 5-2 lead.
UCR made a pitching change to start the fourth, but Kimbrough's hot bat continued as she started the inning with a hit. Stephan followed with a single to center field, but both were left stranded on base. UCR started off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run shot to close within 5-3. The Highlanders then loaded the bases and hit a grand slam to retake the lead at 7-5. The 49ers opted for a pitching change, bringing in Selene Pola to the circle. She was able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs, moving the game to the fifth.
A booming single by Dana Garcia started the inning, and, after being hit by a pitch, Tupua-Tautalatasi headed to first. Kimbrough was then walked, loading the bases for the 49ers. Stephan then hit a ball to right field and a diving UCR outfielder couldn't get to it as three 49er runs scored to put LBSU back on top, 9-7. UCR was back on offense and tacked on another run after a deep single to left field brought in a Highlander, closing the score to 9-8. They then tied the game at nine after another single brought in a run. UCR then took the lead after a bunt and tacked on one more run after another single to lead 11-9. The 49ers then brought in Christian Carbajal to replace Pola as the 49ers got out of the inning without any more damage.
In the top of the seventh, Emily Gregorio was walked and after a single by Tupua-Tautalatasi, the tying run was on first. After a sacrifice bunt, runners advanced to second and third and then Gregorio came home after a hit by Stephan to bring the score to 11-10.The 49ers then loaded the bases after a De Gaetano walk, which brough tTautalafua up to bat. The freshman then hit a grand slam off of the scoreboard to put the 49ers on top 14-11. Her slam would prove to be the game-winner as Carbajal finished the game without giving up any runs to improve to 6-3.
Game 2: LBSU 10, UC Riverside 2
UCR walked Kimbrough to start the second game, followed by a Stephan single. De Gaetano then hit a double, bringing in Stephan for the first score of the game. Tautalafua then homered to left field, bringing in three more runs for the 49ers to give them a 4-0 lead. Erin Jones-Wesley then took to the pitcher's circle for her first game action since March 17, and gave up just one hit through four batters.
LBSU was able to load the bases in the top of the second, but couldn't get a run to score. Jones-Wesley hit the first UCR batter and walked the next, but was able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs as LBSU continued to lead 4-0.
The Highlanders got on the board in the bottom of the third after an RBI single. UCR was then able to load the bases, but Jones-Wesley worked her way out of the jam, striking out the batter for the third out of the inning.
Neither team got much going in the fourth as the 49ers went three up and three down, while the Highlanders only got one runner on base after being hit by a pitch. The 49ers tacked on another run in the fifth after a Tupua-Tautalatasi double brought in St. Germain for a score, and then, in the top of the sixth, the 49ers put two more runs on the board after a double to center field by St. Germain, extending The Beach's lead to 7-1. Carbajal came in to pitch for the 49ers in the bottom of the sixth and quickly worked through the order.
Tautalafua continued her successful day behind the plate as she hit another homerun, bringing in three RBI to give LBSU a 10-1 lead. Carbajal gave up one run in the bottom of the seventh, but that was it, as the 49ers won their second game of the day. Jones-Wesley got the win, improving her record to 11-6.