Matadors Win Pair Saturday at San Diego Classic I

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (4-15) defeated Utah State and Nevada at the San Diego Classic I in Santee, Calif. on Saturday. The Matadors had outstanding pitching on the day, as Brianna Elder won her career debut against Utah State and Mia Pagano tied a career high with eight strikeouts against Nevada. 

In the first game of the day, CSUN posted a 4-2 victory over Utah State, avenging an earlier 12-9 defeat to the Aggies this season. Mikayla Thielges continued to terrorize opposing pitchers, hitting her sixth home run of the season in the top of the first. The two-run blast scored Madeline Sale, who had a three-hit game Saturday against Utah State. 

Utah State got one run back in the first, but the two teams did not score again until the fifth inning when CSUN scored twice. Jaci Carlsen started things with a single and moved to second when Thielges drew one of her three walks in the game. 

After a throwing error on the catcher, Alyssa Ray connected on an RBI single to score Carlsen. Thielges would then come around to score on an RBI groundout by Jessica Fridwall. 

The Aggies scored one more in the seventh, but Mia Pagano got out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the inning to earn her first save of the season. After a sac fly, Pagano got a groundout to short and a strikeout to end the game. 

Elder, a redshirt freshman, had an outstanding performance in her first career game. She went 4.1 innings, allowing four hits, one unearned run and one walk to go with two strikeouts.

Crystal Maas served as the bridge between Elder's and Pagano's innings, getting three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. 

Against Nevada, Mia Pagano tied a career high with eight strikeouts and worked around nine hits and three walks. The eight-strikeout performance was her second of the weekend. 

At the plate, Alyssa Ray clubbed her first career home run, a two-run shot, and Samantha Sloniker had two hits and an RBI. Mikayla Thielges and Jessica Fridwall each had a hit and scored a run. 

After the Wolfpack struck for two runs in the top of the first, Thielges slapped a two-out single on the first pitch. Ray then homered to left field on a 1-1 offering to tie the game. 

Nevada answered with a run in the top of the second, but CSUN responded with two more in their half of the inning. Fridwall singled to start the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt by Tanna Bindi

With two outs, Sloniker sent one back up the middle to score Fridwall and she moved to second on the throw to the plate. Madeline Sale then reached on a fielding error by the pitcher, allowing Sloniker to come all the away around to score. However, with runners on second and third, CSUN struck out looking to end the rally. 

From there, Pagano had six strikeouts and fanned the side in the top of the sixth.