Matadors Face Lobos in Doubleheader on St. Patrick's Day
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (5-19) faces No. 23 New Mexico in a three-game series Mar. 17 and 18 at Matador Diamond. The Matadors and Lobos will play a doubleheader on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday Mar. 17, beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a noon contest on Sunday, Mar. 18. Links for live stats will be available at GoMatadors.com and fans are also encouraged to check with the athletic department's official twitter account (@GoMatadors) for updates for all three games.
Last week, the Matadors went 1-3 in the Northridge Classic at Matador Diamond. Junior Mia Pagano allowed one unearned run and had six strikeouts in the Matadors' 2-1 victory over Maine. In her two appearances at the tournament, Pagano finished with a 0.55 ERA and a .089 batting average against in 12.2 innings of work.
CSUN also got some nice pitching over the weekend from redshirt freshman Brianna Elder, who posted a 0.88 ERA in eight innings of work at the event. She tossed her first complete game and allowed only one earned run with a season-high five strikeouts in the 3-0 loss to Harvard.
New Mexico enters the weekend ranked in both national polls, although the Lobos dropped both ends of a doubleheader Monday at Texas Tech and also faced New Mexico State Wednesday in Las Cruces. As a team, the Lobos are batting .340 with 39 home runs and 34 doubles on the season. As a team, New Mexico sports a .610 slugging and a .425 on-base percentage for the season.
In the circle, New Mexico sports a team ERA of 5.05 and a .319 batting average against. Kaela DeBroeck leads the club with a 10-1 record and 75.1 innings of work this season. She has 33 strikeouts and a .339 batting average against for the season. Carrie Sheehan is 6-2 with a team-bets 4.55 ERA and .289 batting average against in 55.1 innings of work.
Next week is a light one for CSUN, as the Matadors play a doubleheader at LMU on Saturday, Mar. 24 in Westchester starting at noon. The following week, Northridge hosts Oregon State in a doubleheader on Mar. 28, and then travel to Stockton to face Pacific in both team's Big West opener on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1.
Luck Be Thielges Tonight
Junior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges leads the Matadors with a .258 batting average heading into the series with the Lobos. She hit two home runs during the Matadors' time in San Diego, giving her a team-leading six on the season and 18 for her career. In her first meeting with Utah State, she smashed a career-high two home runs, the first multi-homer game of her career. Among league players, Thielges ranks seventh in slugging (.548), second in home runs (6) and eighth in total bases (34). She has also been hit by a pitch five times this season.
Junior Mia Pagano has gone 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA over the past two weekends for the Matadors. At the Northridge Classic, she allowed one unearned run in CSUN's 2-1 win over Maine. Pagano finished with a career-high eight strikeouts twice (BYU, Nevada) during her five appearances at the San Diego Classic I. She tossed her first career shutout and tied a career-high with six strikeouts in the extra-inning victory over the Hawkeyes. For the season, Pagano is 4-9 with a 4.11 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 98.2 innings of work. She ranks fourth in the Big West Conference in strikeouts, second in innings pitched, ninth in ERA, tied for 10th in wins and tied for third in appearances (21).
Senior Samantha Sloniker enters the weekend batting .363 over her past 14 games and checks in at .245 for the season. She tied a career-high with two hits against Nevada and scored her first two runs of the season in San Diego. Sloniker had her best offensive weekend at the 2012 Cathedral City Classic. She tied a career-high with two hits against Boise State and also picked up her first RBI of the season against the Broncos as well. She also had four sacrifice hits during the weekend and now is tied for third in the league with six.
Brianna the Elder
Redshirt freshman Brianna Elder made quite an impression in her first career appearance as a Matador, leading the club from the pitching circle in a win over Utah State. Against the Aggies, Elder started and went 4.1 innings allowing four hits, one unearned run and one walk to go along with two strikeouts. Last weekend, she tossed her first complete game and allowed one earned run in eight innings of work at the Northridge Classic. Elder has overcome numerous hip and leg injuries to now have finally returned to the diamond.
La Reina De CSUN
Senior Alyssa Ray hit her first career home run, a two-run shot against Nevada, and finished with five RBIs during CSUN's time in San Diego. She added a two-hit, two-RBI performance in Northridge's win over Fresno State. At the Kajikawa Classic, Ray started all five games at third base and finished the weekend with a .571 batting average. She had her first career hit, an RBI ground rule double, against Nebraska and then had two hits, including another ground rule double, against Western Michigan. She ended the weekend with a double against Arizona and is second on the team with the four doubles.
Senior Jaci Carlsen had two doubles and two stolen bases for CSUN during the Northridge Classic. She now ranks in a tie for fifth in school history with 31 doubles for her career. She also ranks fifth in school history with 36 career doubles. She batted over .300 and had two more stolen bases during the Matadors' stay in San Diego. In Northridge's victory over Fresno State, Carlsen had two hits, two runs and two steals. For the season, Carlsen is tied for seventh in the Big West Conference with her team-leading seven stolen bases.
Time for Madeline
Sophomore Madeline Sale batted over .300 during CSUN's time in San Diego. She tied a career-high with three hits in the Matadors' victory over Utah State and scored a career-high two runs in the win over Fresno State. In fact, the four runs Sale scored in the five games in San Diego represents one more run than she scored in all of her freshman season. For the year, Sale has scored seven runs and a .304 on-base percentage.
The Leann Lopez Show
Sophomore Leann Lopez had a strong week at the plate in Las Vegas at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. She hit her first career home run in the Matadors' game against BYU, then picked up her first career two-hit game against Hawai'i. She also had an RBI against Utah State and scored a run against Utah at the tournament. For the year, she leads the team with eight walks.