April 6, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. - Sophomore Darian Tautalafua hit a towering grand slam for Long Beach State, capping off an 11-run second inning that ultimately led to a 15-4 run-rule victory for the 49ers. Karli Sandoval also hit a solo home run, finishing off a weekend where the senior reached base in every plate appearance.
It was the offense that stole the show back from the pitchers on Sunday, however, as Long Beach State (29-9, 6-0 Big West) batted around in the second inning. Alyssa Razo of UC Riverside (19-20, 0-6 Big West) set down the 49ers in order in the first, but Karli Sandoval hit a solo home run to lead off the second and put Long Beach State out in front.
Four more batters would reach consecutively against Razo, who walked Ashlynn Booker before giving up three straight singles. Ashley Ercolano would record the first out of the inning in relief, but walked Shayna Kimbrough, and then Sarah Carrasco was able to beat out a play at the plate to keep the bases loaded with the score now 4-0.
A double from Hannah De Gaetano plated two more runs, and after a hit batter loaded the bases once more, a station-to-station single by Booker put The Beach on top 7-0 with the bases loaded for Darian Tautalafua. The sophomore then hit her team-leading eighth home run of the season, cracking a grand slam off the top of the scoreboard in left to cap an 11-run frame for the 49ers.
Long Beach State tacked on four more runs on four hits in the third inning, two coming home on a double from Booker. The 49ers then held on the rest of the way, closing out the game 15-4 in five innings.
The 49ers remain in Long Beach for their next series, hosting Hawai'i in a crucial Big West series. The series starts Saturday with a "Gold Out" doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m., following by the finale on Sunday also at 1 p.m. All three games will again be carried live on ESPN3.
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