Wildy Different Results Mark Doubleheader Spilt At No. 25 Cal State Fullerton
Senior Darian Tautalafua ties LBSU single-season home run record with her 14th of 2016.
Fullerton, Calif. -
Long Beach State saw every batter in the lineup get a hit in the opening game on the way to a big win, but Cal State Fullerton returned the favor in game two of Wednesday's doubleheader as the Beach split on the road against the Titans.
Two home runs set the tone of game one in the second inning. Long Beach State (26-18, 7-7 Big West) took a 2-0 lead as Kelli Finan roped a liner off of the left field foul pole in the top half, and then a Melissa Sechrest solo homer pulled Cal State Fullerton (39-11, 13-1 Big West) within one.
The Beach opened up a larger lead in the third, keeping the scoring with the long ball. Darian Tautalafua led off the inning with a solo home run, tying the Long Beach State single-season with her 14th home run of the season. Then after a single from Haley Tobler, Julia Lombardi followed with a two run shot to center field, pushing the 49er lead to 5-1.
After a quick fourth, Long Beach State added more in the fifth. Lauren MacLeod started off the rally with a one-out single, and after Cookson reached on a ground ball, a single from Alley Perkins loaded the bases. LT Torres then came through with a double, scoring a pair, and then two straight walks brought home one more with a bases loaded base on balls to push the lead to 8-1.
Long Beach State was held off the board the rest of the way, but the cushion was more than enough for Christina Clermont in another commanding performance from the circle. After the second inning, Clermont held the Titans to just two more hits, striking out six on the her 17th win and 18th complete game of the season.
The Beach ran into immediate trouble in game two. Leaving the bases loaded in the top half, the first six batters of the game for Cal State Fullerton reached base, and all six would come around to score as Selene Polamalu and Skie Munoz struggled to get out of the first inning.
Cal State Fullerton manufactured a seventh run in the bottom of the third inning, but Lacey Alderman came on to pitch for the Beach, and cooled off the Titan bats, holding Cal State Fullerton off of the board and allowing just one hit over the fourth and fifth innings.
Two walks set the stage for the Titans in the sixth inning, and a bloop single from Ariana Williams ended the game 8-0 in the first run-rule loss of the season for the Beach.
Finan led the way with four hits on the day, while Lombardi, Tautalafua and Perkins each added three for the Beach. Long Beach State had chances in game two, but were unable to convert, stranding nine runners through the six innings.
The series will conclude Friday with a night game starting at 6 p.m. in Fullerton.
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