Daily 49er

Torres, Tautalafua lead LBSU past Cal State Fullerton in series finale

The second and third basemen for the 49ers combine for seven RBIs to take the series on the road against the Titans.

LBSU+outfielders+Hannah+Cookson+and+Alley+Perkins+high-five+after+picking+up+a+win+in+game+one+of+the+series+against+Cal+State+Fullerton.+The+49ers+took+the+series+2-1+after+an+8-4+win+in+the+rubber+match+on+Friday+at+Anderson+Family+Field.+
LBSU outfielders Hannah Cookson and Alley Perkins high-five after picking up a win in game one of the series against Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers took the series 2-1 after an 8-4 win in the rubber match on Friday at Anderson Family Field.

LBSU outfielders Hannah Cookson and Alley Perkins high-five after picking up a win in game one of the series against Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers took the series 2-1 after an 8-4 win in the rubber match on Friday at Anderson Family Field.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Do | Daily Titan

Photo courtesy of Patrick Do | Daily Titan

LBSU outfielders Hannah Cookson and Alley Perkins high-five after picking up a win in game one of the series against Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers took the series 2-1 after an 8-4 win in the rubber match on Friday at Anderson Family Field.

Josh Barajas, Sports Editor

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FULLERTON, Calif. — Behind a record-breaking outing by senior Darian Tautalafua and sophomore L.T. Torres’ five RBIs, the Long Beach State softball team defeated Cal State Fullerton 8-4 on Friday at Anderson Family Field.

Trailing 2-1, the 49ers (28-18, 8-7) used a five-run fifth inning to put the game away for good against the Titans (39-11, 13-2). With the bases loaded and no outs, Torres delivered a two-RBI single to give LBSU the 3-2 lead.

“I was just thinking, ‘Put the ball into play, get the ball in the air and maybe get a fly out,’” Torres said. “I always tell myself to hit the ball hard and good things will happen.”

Tautalafua went up to the plate next and lined a two-RBI triple to right field and gave the 49ers a three-run lead. The third baseman’s pair of RBIs made her the Big West’s all-time leader in in that category; Tautalafua passed Jennifer Curtier of Pacific with her 171st RBI.

The RBI record is the second conference record under the Carson native’s belt after Tautalafua broke the Big West’s home run record earlier in the season.

“I’m going to care about [the records] after I’m done [playing at LBSU],” Tautalafua said. “Right now I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m just focusing on the team.”

LBSU extended its lead to 8-2 in the sixth after Torres hit a two-out, two-RBI double to right-center field. The second baseman went 2 for 4 and knocked in five runs on Friday.

The 49ers combined for 16 runs in their series against the Titans and they combined for 25 runs last weekend in their series against UC Santa Barbara, a vast improvement from scoring just one run in their series against Cal Poly on April 16 and 17.

“We knew that wasn’t us playing on the field [against Cal Poly],” Torres said. “We knew we needed to change, so we put in a lot of hard work and it paid off.”

Head coach Kim Sowder said slumps and hitting streaks are contagious and that she is relieved the 49ers found their swing in the middle of the conference schedule.

“We just worked at practice,” Sowder said. “We got the confidence back [against UC Santa Barbara], we slowed down our approach at the plate and just started doing what we’ve been doing for most of the season.”

The Titans scored two runs in the bottom half of the sixth, but were unable to rally for a comeback win.

The 49ers fell in a 2-0 deficit in the first inning that brought back memories of game two on Wednesday when the Titans struck for six runs in the first and never looked back. However, LBSU answered with a run in the third after Torres grounded into a fielder’s choice, but brought in a run in the process.

LBSU’s junior right-hander Christina Clermont (18-8) threw her 19th complete game, allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out three.

The 49ers return home after two weeks on the road to host UC Riverside, starting Saturday at 1 p.m. at the LBSU Softball Complex.

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