In front of a sellout crowd at the 49er Softball Complex, Long Beach State (25-15, 7-2) clinched the series victory over Cal State Fullerton (16-22, 3-6) on Sunday, overcoming a 4-0 deficit by scoring seven runs in the third inning. The win gives LBSU five straight series victories over the Titans.
Erin Jones-Wesley made her second consecutive start and opened up the game giving up a single. The next batter got on base via a fielder's choice and Jones-Wesley was then credited with an error after trying to throw out the runner at second. After a wild pitch, Fullerton had runners on second and third, and after another Titan single, was able to score the first run of the game. Jones-Wesley was able to get out of the inning without giving up any other runs as CSUF stranded two base runners. In the bottom of the inning, Fullerton knocked off the top of LBSU's order to end the first inning.
Jones-Wesley gave up another hit in the top of the second, but CSUF could not convert. The 49ers got a hit after a Nalani St. Germain single, but couldn't convert either as the score stayed in the Titans' favor 1-0.
In the top of the third, Jones-Wesley gave up two hits to put runners on first and second. The third batter then hit a triple, which brought in two RBI, and after a throwing error by Shayna Kimbrough, the Titan base runner came home to score to push CSUF's lead to 4-0. Back on offense, the 49ers opened up the bottom of the inning with back-to-back hits by Ashley Holmes and Dana Garcia. A sacrifice bunt by Kimbrough moved the runners over to second and third.
After a 49er out, Fullerton made a pitching change and proceeded to walk Hannah De Gaetano to load the bases as Darian Tautalafua headed to the plate. She was walked as well, which brought in Holmes for the first 49er run of the game. Karli Sandoval then hit a single to right center field which brought in two more 49er runs. St. Germain followed with a single to the same location as Sandoval's, which brought in Tautalafua to tie the game at four all. CSUF then switched back to the starting pitcher, but Sarah Carrasco then hit a three-run homer to push the 49er lead to 7-4.
Jones-Wesley retired the first three Titan batters in the top of the fourth, putting LBSU back on offense, but Fullerton answered, retiring the first three 49er batters as the game moved to the fifth with the score in LBSU's favor, 7-4. Each team got a hit in the fifth inning, but neither could convert as the game moved to the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, Jones-Wesley gave up a hit, but struck out the next two and the 49ers got the final out after catching the Titan runner who was trying to steal a base. Garcia was able to get a double for the 49ers in the bottom of the inning, but that was all the offense the 49ers could produce.
Fullerton then came to bat for their last chance to tie or win the game and Jones-Wesley retired the final three batters to clinch another 49er win. She improves her season record to 13-6.
Long Beach State will host Cal State Northridge in a single game on Wednesday, Apr. 10 at 3:00 pm before hitting the road to face Pacific May 13-14 in Stockton.