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COLLEGE SOFTBALL / NCAA DIVISION I REGIONAL : Titan Offense Takes Charge in Victory Over Illinois State


NORTHRIDGE — The mock temper tantrum by Cal State Fullerton's Julie Williams was understandable.

The Titans had just scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 9-1 lead over Illinois State Friday when the plate umpire ended the first-round regional game at Cal State Northridge because of the eight-run rule.

Williams, the only Titan in the lineup to go hitless against Illinois State, was in the on-deck circle when Chris Zboril (three for four) scored the final run. Williams certainly wanted another chance to join the hit parade.

But the third-ranked Titans (43-16) didn't need her bat. Fullerton had eight others pounding out 14 hits.

The Titans also had Heidi Robertson--and she alone was plenty.

Robertson, the leadoff batter, ripped two triples and a double and collected two RBIs in for her first three at-bats.

"She set the tone," Fullerton Coach Judi Garman said. "The only thing better would have been a home run."

But the only home runs hit Friday were by Northridge players against Missouri in the other first-round regional game. Home runs by Chelo Lopez and Scia Maumausolo gave the Matadors a 2-1 victory over Missouri.

Fullerton will face seventh-ranked Northridge (42-15) at 10 a.m. today, and the winner advances to Sunday's championship game. The loser will face the winner of the Illinois State-Missouri game at 3 p.m. today.

The Titans faced each of the Redbirds' three pitchers--and each failed to keep the Titans off the bases.

"[The pitching] was a little slower than usual," Robertson said.

Added Garman: "But that's the kind of pitching we've been losing to all year."

Robertson led off the first with a deep fly to right-center field. Both fielders had plenty of time to get under it, but miscommunication allowed the ball to drop and Robertson dived into third.

Two pitches later, Rose Garces turned on a changeup and lined a single to right, driving in Robertson.

After a two-out single by Tracie Noggle (two for three) an inning later, Robertson ripped a 2-0 riseball into the right-center-field gap for a double and a 2-0 lead.

With two early runs, senior right-hander Jennifer Mortensen knew the rest was up to her. Mortensen didn't disappoint. She gave up five hits and struck out three.

The Redbirds (45-13) denied Mortensen (20-6) a shutout by scoring an unearned run in the fifth to close within 4-1.

But the Titans were never threatened. Shannon Dolan (two for three), Traci Fischer and Beth Queypo started the sixth with consecutive singles to lead off the inning. Dolan scored on a passed ball and Fischer and Queypo followed when Casi Cusac's throw home glanced off the glove of catcher Angela Curry.


Regional notes

Scia Maumausolo hit a home run in the fifth inning for the go-ahead run and Cal State Northridge held on to defeat Missouri, 2-1, in the other game. . . . Jennifer Brundage, a former Times Orange County player of the year from Irvine High School, hit the 20th home run of her career to set a UCLA school record, as the second-ranked Bruins defeated Campbell, 8-0, at Columbia, S.C.

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