LOS ANGELES — Kelly Ford praises her team for its resilience.
Cal State Fullerton lived up to its coach’s expectations Saturday by surviving two elimination games at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional at Easton Stadium to advance to Sunday’s final against UCLA.
Arianna Burns hit a game-winning RBI single with two outs in the seventh inning to beat San Jose State 1-0 Saturday night after the Titans stayed alive in the four-team, double-elimination tournament with a 10-8 win over Lehigh in their first game Saturday.
“It’s unreal,” Ford said of her team bouncing back. “There are 32 teams left and we’re one of them. Anything can happen and although I feel like it’s been a long day, I feel energized. I want to get these guys some food, some rest and do this again tomorrow.”
Burns credited a pre-at-bat pep talk from teammate Brooke Clemetson for giving her the confidence to line a soft single to third base to bring Zoe Richard home for the game-winning run against San Jose State (37-19).
“She pulled me aside and was like, ‘You got this. You got this,’” Burns said. “I think without Brooke, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to go with two outs and get the job done.”
After pitching two innings of relief against Lehigh, sophomore Sydney Golden pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings against the Spartans while giving up only one hit to earn the win.
“My mindset was that I have nothing to lose,” the former Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year said. “I wasn’t really thinking, I was just out there pitching.”
Fullerton found much greater success scoring in its first game of the day after a four-run sixth inning completed a comeback against Lehigh.
Down 8-6 to start the sixth, Fullerton had its first five batters reach base safely, starting with a single from Richard. Clemetson stole second as a pinch runner and came home on a double from Shianne Brannan. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch that loaded the bases with no outs, Sydney…