BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Roadrunner softball team mounted comebacks in both of the games of their doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday afternoon, but both times, the Titans rallied and took a pair of wins from CSU Bakersfield.
The ‘Runners dropped the first game of the doubleheader at the Roadrunner Softball Complex by a score of 7-2. In the second game, Maddi Clark tied the CSUB all-time record with six RBI, but CSF’s powerful offense answered back to take a 10-7 victory in Bakersfield.
“I thought that we did a better job today,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, CSUB’s head coach. “I think we have a lot of growing up to do in a lot of different roles. I keep challenging the team and I thought that they did play a lot better.”
Buck-Ziegler was pleased to see her offense wake up on Wednesday, but was not satisfied in the overall performance: “It was nice to see them come alive in the second game. It was good to see Julea Cavazos hit today. Maddi was awesome. I’m really happy for her. You could tell that she was going to hit the ball and was locked in. It should have won us the ball game, but we just have to bounce back and keep going after it.”
After a lead-off walk, the Titans used precision small ball to bring the first run of the game around in the second inning. A stolen base by pinch runner Ariana Williams followed by a pair of sacrifice bunts allowed Williams to score and put Cal State Fullerton ahead 1-0 early in the game.
The ‘Runners answered right back with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second. With ‘Runners on second and third, senior Josie Flores singled up the middle to plate both runs and put CSUB ahead 2-1.
Two fielding errors cost the ‘Runners in the top of the third. After the errors, the Titans went on to plate four unearned runs and take a 5-2 lead over the ‘Runners. CSF extended its lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth inning.
A final run for the Titans came in the top of the seventh and sophomore Sydney Golden came in to close out the 7-2 victory. Kelsey Kessler earned the win for CSF while junior Summer Evans (1-3) took a tough loss. Bakersfield’s starter pitched six innings and gave up six runs, but only two were earned as a result of CSUB’s defensive woes in the third inning.
Four ‘Runners tallied hits in the game including Flores’ two-RBI single. While going 0-for-1 from the plate, junior Kaylynn Burt would up on base twice with a pair of walks. Junior Megan Marcy had the only double of the game for CSUB.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second game on Alexis Gonzalez’ home run to left field in the top of the first. In the top of the third, the Titans brought a third run in before an error allowed two more unearned runs to come around and score. Cal State Fullerton took a 5-0 lead to the bottom of the third inning.
The ‘Runners started a rally in the bottom half of the third, loading the bases with no outs. Freshman Cydney Curran drew a walk to bring a run in with Clark coming to bat. CSUB’s designated player singled up the middle and drove home two more runs, cutting the CSF lead to 5-3.
Clark, a junior from Fresno, Calif., came to the plate with the bases loaded again in the bottom of the fourth. This time, the DP sent a high flyball into left center that cleared the fence for a grand slam. The blast was Clark's first of her collegiate career and put the ‘Runners ahead of Cal State Fullerton, 7-5.
After a quiet fifth inning and a 10-minute delay to repaint the batter's boxes and pitching lanes, the Titans exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth. Cal State Fullerton’s offensive burst helped the team take a 10-7 lead.
Down to their final three outs, the ‘Runners were unable to get another rally going and fell to the Titans. Chris Hipa came in to relieve with the lead and ended up taking the loss after giving up the four runs in the sixth. CSF’s Cerissa Rivera earned the win while Golden pitched a perfect final two innings to earn her first save of the season.
While all four ‘Runner pitchers threw in Wednesday’s second game, senior Lyndsay Klimenko and junior Summer Evans were the most effective. Klimenko pitched 2.2 innings and gave up only two runs after relieving starter Alley Stockton. Evans pitched the final inning and a third, allowing just a hit and a walk.
Clark was the star of the game for the ‘Runners as her six RBI tied the CSUB all-time single-game record. The feat had previously been accomplished three times, most recently in 2011 by Jazmin Lee. Clark was 3-for-4 in the game while Cavazos also added a pair of singles and scored twice. Curran was the only other ‘Runner to drive in an RBI in Game 2.
The Roadrunners (1-8) will continue their home stand this weekend with a three-game series against Saint Mary’s. Saturday will feature a doubleheader against the Gaels while Sunday will be a single game here at the Roadrunner Softball Complex.