Softball looks to reform Rebels

The Cal State Fullerton softball team (17-25 overall, 4-8 Big West) will take on the visiting University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebels (18-23 overall, 4-5 Mountain West) in a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Anderson Family Field.

CSUF will be coming off a doubleheader at UC Riverside on Wednesday. Prior to those games, the Titans lost two out of three to the University of Hawaii this past weekend. The Titans faced tough competition in Hawaii, who lead the Big West standings with an 11-1 conference record. CSUF lost the first two games to Hawaii by large deficits.

They lost game one 14-2 and game two 8-4. The Titans had a never say die attitude and played well in Sundayโ€™s game to defeat Hawaii 11-3, handing Hawaii their only conference loss.

The Titans have found a way to defeat tough rivals throughout the season. They have defeated four nationally-ranked teams this season, including Hawaii (15th), UCLA (10th), Missouri (10th) and Virginia Tech (21st).

As a team, CSUF has 20 home runs, a .248 batting average, and a .302 on base percentage. The Titans are tied with UCR for the Big West lead in triples with 9.

Infielder Eliza Crawford leads the Titans in RBIs with 22 and hits with 36. Crawford also has a .308 batting average and a .379 on base percentage. Crawford, a red-shirt sophomore, is enjoying a breakout season. She is also playing excellently in Big West competition. She has a batting average of .378, two home runs, and eight RBIs.

Junior catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama has 34 hits and .304 batting average. Tsuchiyama also has two triples.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Jasmine Antunez has started 29 games with a 9-13 record. She has a 3.12 ERA with 136 strikeouts. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Desiree Ybarra has started 9 games with a 6-8 record. Senior Katey Laban has two saves this season. She is now in sixth all-time in career saves for CSUF.

UNLV has played very well of late, winning four out of their last six games. They have not fared so well on the road lately as they hold a three-game road losing streak. The team leaders for the Rebels include junior outfielder Stefany Valentino who has a .422 batting average, three home runs and 17 RBIโ€™s, senior infielder Tayler Aleman who has 24 RBIโ€™s and junior outfielder Pauline Monreal who has 22 RBIโ€™s. As far as pitching goes, right-handed junior Amanda Oliveto has started 30 games and completed 20 of them while posting a 15-11 record. She also has a 2.78 ERA.

CSUF has had some success against UNLV in their last few contests. The Titans have won seven of their last nine meetings. At Anderson Family Field, CSUF is 20-10 against UNLV.

Both Titan Head Coach Kelly Ford and Rebel Head Coach Lisa Dodd are in their first year coaching at their respective universities. Formerly, Ford coached for Mt. San Antonio College and Dodd coached as an assistant for the University of Oregon.

These two games are the last non-conference games for the Titans this season. After the non-conference weekend, the Titans will face UC Riverside on April 24 followed by a weekend series against UC Davis April 27-28.

For more information about softball, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Gaby Martinez

Gaby is a Sports Assistant for The Daily Titan.