Softball looks to get back on track against Weber St. and Virginia Tech

WINNIE HUANG/ For the Daily Titan

WINNIE HUANG/ For the Daily Titan

Coming off a tough showing at the Easton Invitational, the Cal State Fullerton softball team (8-11) will look to turn their season around starting today as they first hit the road to compete in the Long Beach State Invitational. The Titans will take on Weber State and Virginia Tech at Mayfield Park in Lakewood, Calif. as part of a doubleheader.

While CSUF has had an inconsistent start to the season, the Weber St. Wildcats have been downright struggling, posting a 1-14 record and having been shutout a total of seven times. The team has a .181 batting average with only a total of one home run and 17 RBIs.

Freshman infielder Alyson Kulp has been one of the more consistent players, recording 11 hits to go along with three RBIs. Sophomore catcher Janel Cunningham and freshman outfielder Jazmine Thompson have also played well. Cunningham is batting .250 and has six RBIs, while Thompson leads the team in doubles.

The second game of the doubleheader will be much more of a test for the Titans as Virginia Tech comes into the game with an overall record of 12-1. The Hokies have been playing stellar all season and are led by senior first baseman Courtney Liddle, who leads the team in home runs (2) and RBIs (12). Sophomore outfielder Lauren Gaskill has also contributed by leading the team in batting average (.450) while knocking in six RBIs. One of the surprises for Virginia Tech has been freshman pitcher Kelly Heinz, who is 4-0 this season with a 0.79 ERA.

On Friday, March 8, CSUF will come home and start an eight game homestand with Charleston Southern University. The Buccaneers have been struggling this season, compiling a record of 4-11, and are winless on the road. Junior catcher Marci Christian has been playing well for CSU as she has three home runs, 16 RBIs and is tied for the team lead in hits with 16. Junior third baseman Stephanie Sbardella is second on the team in batting average (.400) and has 10 RBIs, while senior pitcher Linzy Rother leads the Buccaneers rotation with two wins and a .214 opponents batting average.

The Titans will play another doubleheader on Saturday, March 9, starting with the University of Utah; a team that has gone undefeated in their last eight games including one tie against Cal Poly Pomona. The Utes are led by senior infielder Kelsi Hoopiiaina, who leads the team with three home runs and 16 RBIs. Utility player Marissa Mendenhall has also been consistent for Utah, with two home runs and 12 RBIs, and junior pitcher Naomi Amu has pitched well, compiling a record of 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA.

CSUF has had its share of struggles this season, but are working hard under first year Titan head coach Kelly Ford. Sophomore pitcher Desiree Ybarra has been a dual threat for the team, as she is batting .310 with two home runs and 12 RBIs this season and also has started six games on the mound with a 3.24 ERA.

Junior catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama and sophomore infielder Eliza Crawford have also been playing well for the Titans. Tsuchiyama leads the team in batting average (.326) and has 10 RBIs while Crawford is second on the team with two home runs and third with nine RBIs.

For more information on the softball team, rosters and their upcoming schedule, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Angel Mendoza

Angel Mendoza was a previous sports editor at the Daily Titan, and graduated as a journalism major with an emphasis on print. Mendoza enjoys watching most sports but basketball is his passion. When the Lakers lose, it’s a bad day. His dream job is to work for the Los Angeles Times or Sports Illustrated.