Cal State Fullerton pulled into a first-place tie with Long Beach State by sweeping Cal State Northridge, 6-2 and 2-1, in a Big West softball doubleheader Friday at Fullerton.
Long Beach swept Utah State on Friday. Fullerton and Northridge, which fell from first place to third in the Big West, conclude their series today at 2 p.m.
It's a conference race that makes little sense.
Fullerton (36-11, 11-3 in conference play) swept Northridge (23-20-1, 13-4), which last week took two of three from Long Beach (33-15-1, 11-3), which swept Fullerton in a three-game series three weeks ago.
In the first game, Northridge had trouble figuring out the Titans' Jodie Cox, who gave up one hit through six innings.
Cox surrendered an infield single to Jill Passafiume in the first inning, then got stingy.
Cox (14-3), a left-handed freshman, pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, then retired 13 batters in order from the second through six innings.
"I was glad to get out of that first inning and then get past the second because sometimes those innings have a way of carrying over into another," said Cox, who allowed three hits and struck out five.
Offensive support came in droves for Cox, who went three for four with a run-scoring single in the third inning.
"As a pitcher [offensive support] brings your confidence way up," Cox said.
The Titans pounded Sarah Farnworth (15-15) for 13 hits, including three doubles and a home run.
Jessica Maloney's two-run single in the fifth gave Fullerton a 4-0 lead and a two-run home run by Brenda Iglesias in the sixth made it 6-0.
Northridge scored in the seventh on a pinch double by Summer Richardson and a groundout by Chastity Johnson.
Fullerton, hitting a conference-high .317, continued the hit parade in the second game, but had few runs to show for the effort.
Richardson (7-4) allowed nine hits but was hurt only by Gina Oaks' two-run home run in the second.
Oaks relieved Christy Robitaille (11-6) in the fifth, retired the final six batters and picked up her second save.