NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (5-19) travels to Los Angeles to face Loyola Marymount in a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 24 at Smith Field. The Matadors and Lions will meet on the diamond for the first time since the 2006 season.
Last weekend, the Matadors saw their three-game series with New Mexico rained out and cancelled. The two teams have decided to reschedule the contests and the two squads will now play a doubleheader on Sunday, April 8 at Matador Diamond beginning at 11 a.m.
This week, CSUN faces a familiar foe that it has not seen in over six years. LMU enters the weekend with a 20-11 record and are led by Sam Fischer, a senior who has 12 doubles and 14 home runs already this season. She is also batting .528 and has 39 RBIs and a .618 on-base percentage.
In the circle, LMU features Molly Medeiros, a junior who is 14-5 with a 1.60 ERA. She has 55 strikeouts in 118 innings of work and has held opponents to a .217 batting average.
CSUN leads the all-time series with LMU 20-4 and won the last game that was played between the two schools. The Matadors are 6-1 all time at Smith Field.
Next week, Northridge plays five times as it starts the Big West Conference portion of its schedule. On Wednesday, Mar. 28, the Matadors host Oregon State in a doubleheader at Matador Diamond beginning at 1 p.m.
After the two games with the Beavers, CSUN travels to Stockton to face Pacific in both team's opening series of league play. The Matadors and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 31 and a single game on April 1. Both days start at noon.
Luck Be Thielges Tonight
Junior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielgesleads the Matadors with a .258 batting average heading into the games with the Lions. 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.
Junior Mia Pagano has gone 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA over the past two weekends of play 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 then 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.
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.
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.
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.