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Gagnier comes close to perfection in win

6/11/2006

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton pitcher Lauren
Gagnier took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and struck out nine
as the Titans beat the Missouri Tigers 9-1 on Saturday to earn
their 14th trip to the College World Series.
The entire team ran out of the dugout and piled on one another
in the middle of the infield, celebrating a dominant weekend in
which they scored 16 runs and held Missouri to just two in two
games. Fullerton (48-13) will start a three game series against
North Carolina on Friday in Omaha, Neb. North Carolina upset
fourth-seeded Alabama in dramatic fashion earlier in the day.
Fullerton's offense spotted Gagnier a three-run lead before he
ever took the mound and used two big innings to prevent Missouri
(35-28) from ever coming close.
But the night belonged to Gagnier, whose 118-pitch performance
gave the Titans their 12th win in a row and the 3,370 fans at
Goodwin Field a night to remember in the team's last game on its
home field.
Missouri was technically the home team per NCAA tournament
rules.
Gagnier threw eight innings, surrendering the only two Missouri
hits in the eighth inning, including the lone Tiger run, a solo
shot by catcher J.C. Field. Gagnier walked one batter.
Offensively, the Titans were led by Danny Dorn, who went 2-for-5
with a pair of two-run doubles and scored two runs, keying a
three-run first and four-run seventh innings. The first five
batters in the order were pesky, hitting 7-21 and scoring eight of
Fullerton's nine runs.
With a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning, head coach George Horton
was nearly ejected after an extended argument with home-plate
umpire Tony Maners over a batter's interference call on a leadoff
drag bunt by Brandon Tripp. The play and argument was a microcosm
of Fullerton's aggressiveness, as the team continued to attempt
small-ball plays even as its lead grew.