Daily 49er

LBSU, Cal State Fullerton split doubleheader to open series

Darian Tautalafua ties a school record as the 49ers and Titans trade big wins over each other.

LBSU+catcher+Lauren+MacLeod+gets+a+hit+during+the+49ers%E2%80%99+8-1+win+in+game+one+of+Wednesday%E2%80%99s+doubleheader+against+Cal+State+Fullerton+at+Anderson+Family+Field.
LBSU catcher Lauren MacLeod gets a hit during the 49ers’ 8-1 win in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton at Anderson Family Field.

LBSU catcher Lauren MacLeod gets a hit during the 49ers’ 8-1 win in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton at Anderson Family Field.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Do | Daily Titan

Photo courtesy of Patrick Do | Daily Titan

LBSU catcher Lauren MacLeod gets a hit during the 49ers’ 8-1 win in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton at Anderson Family Field.

Josh Barajas, Sports Editor

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FULLERTON, Calif. — After night and day performances by the Long Beach State softball team, the 49ers split their doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton Wednesday at Anderson Family Field.

The 49ers (27-19, 7-8) picked up an 8-1 win in game one, notching 14 hits and three home runs in the victory before allowing six runs on five hits in the first inning of game two against the Titans (39-11, 13-1). Fullerton eventually added two more runs to win 8-0 in six innings.

“We came out hitting the ball real well,” LBSU senior infielder Darian Tautalafua said. “And in the second game we didn’t. We had about the same amount of hits, we just didn’t string them together like [Fullerton] did.”

Tautalafua, already LBSU’s all-time leader in home runs (51), RBIs (169), walks (101) and runs (133), entered the game one home run shy of establishing a new single-season high and three RBIs short of breaking the Big West all-time record.

The Carson native delivered home run No. 14 of the season in the third inning of game one to put the 49ers up 3-1 and tie Lauren Johnson for the single-season record for most home runs at LBSU in the process.

“I really didn’t think it was a home run,” Tautalafua said. “It was hit really high, I just didn’t think it was going to go over.”

Tautalafua holds several records and is close to breaking a few more, but the third baseman said she doesn’t worry too much about them.

“I try not to pay attention to these records because we’re still playing,” Tautalafua said. “Right now I just want to do what I can to help the team win.”

Freshman Kelli Finan put LBSU on the board first in game one by lining a two-run home run, her first of the year, off the left field foul pole to give the 49ers a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

The Titans answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot by senior Melissa Sechrest, but the 49ers piled on the runs in the top of the third. After Tautalafua’s record tying home run, senior Haley Tobler singled to put a runner on and sophomore Julia Lombardi crushed LBSU’s second two-run home run of the game to make the score 5-1.

Then in the fifth, with one out and the bases loaded, sophomore L.T. Torres hit a two-RBI double to make the score 7-1. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded once again, Tobler drew a two-out walk to make the score 8-1.

LBSU showcased some hitting ability, but game one also featured another gem by right-hander Christina Clermont (17-8). The junior transfer from Syracuse tossed her 18th complete game, allowing just five hits and one run while striking out six.

“They came out timely hitting and good pitching the first game,” CSUF head coach Kelly Ford said. “And then the second what’s what we did.”

In game two, the rest of the 49er pitching staff ran into trouble early. Game two starter Selene Polamalu allowed four earned runs on three hits and failed to record a single out before she was pulled from the game. Freshman reliever Skie Munoz replaced Polamalu and allowed two more runs on three hits to make the score 6-0 after one inning of play.

“I said [to my team between games], ‘We’ve got to separate this game, you’ve got to have a short term memory and you’ve got to be accountable,’” Ford said. “So we were accountable for our defense being poor, our pitching being poor, our hitting being poor, our coaching being poor in game one and we all committed to turning it around.”

Fullerton added a run in the third and another in the sixth to end the game on a run rule. Senior left-hander Desiree Ybarra (13-5) shutout the 49ers and threw her 11th complete game, allowing eight hits and striking out four in the 8-0 win.   

The conference RBI record will have to wait for Tautalafua, who is sitting in second place with 169 behind Pacific’s Jennifer Curtier’s 170.

The 49ers return to Anderson Family Field on Friday for the series finale against the Titans. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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