Matadors face Lobos in Doubleheader on Easter Sunday
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (7-24, 2-1 Big West Conference) plays five games at Matador Diamond this weekend, beginning with a three-game conference series against UC Davis. On Friday, April 6, the Matadors and Aggies will play a doubleheader beginning at noon and then play a single game on Saturday, April 7 also starting at noon. Then on Easter Sunday (April 8), Northridge will host New Mexico in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. All five games will feature live stats available on GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the CSUN athletic department's official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates.
Last week, CSUN went 2-3 in five games but won its season-opening series of Big West Conference play. After dropping both ends of a doubleheader with Oregon State on Mar. 28, Northridge headed to Stockton, Calif., what would be its final league series with the Tigers, who are leaving the Big West following the 2012-13 season.
In game one, Madeline Sale delivered a two-run double to right-center that scored two runs and gave the Matadors the lead. Samantha Sloniker then delivered an RBI groundout in a three-run third. Jaci Carlsen added a sac fly that scored in Sloniker and give Northridge a 4-2 lead in the fifth.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers loaded the bases on Mia Pagano with one out. However, Northridge ended the game with a line-out double play when Carlsen snagged a hot shot at third and tagged the runner.
After dropping a 9-1, six-inning decision in game two of the series, the Matadors stormed back in the rubber match to hand Pacific its first conference series defeat in over a year. At the plate, Sale matched a season and career high with three hits. Sloniker had two hits and Crystal Maas delivered a key two-run single.
Finally, Carlsen hit her first home run of the season in the top of the seventh for what proved to be the winning run. Pagano scattered seven hits and did not walk a batter against a powerful Pacific line-up to record her second win of the weekend.
This weekend, UC Davis (12-22. 2-1 Big West) comes to Matador Diamond after winning two of three games at home against UC Riverside last weekend. The Aggies are led by freshman pitcher Justine Vela, who is 9-9 with a 3.07 ERA and a league-leading 147 strikeouts. At the plate, Megan Guzman is batting a team-high .315 with eight RBIs and two doubles. Kelly Harman checks in at .301 with 12 runs, three doubles, two home runs and 14 walks.
Sunday brings the New Mexico Lobos (22-10) to Matador Diamond for a doubleheader. The teams were to have played a three-game series on Mar. 17-18, but that was cancelled due to inclement weather in the San Fernando Valley. Despite having dropped their past four games, the Lobos are a talented offensive team that brings in a team batting average of .318 into the weekend.
Jessica Garcia leads New Mexico with a .430 batting average and also has seven doubles, 12 home runs and 44 RBIs. Stefanie Carramusa is batting .400 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 33 RBIs. As a team, New Mexico has 48 doubles, nine triples, 59 home runs and 222 RBIs on the season.
In the circle, Kaela DeBroeck is 11-4 with a 5.63 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 88.1 innings of work. Carrie Sheehan is 7-3 with a 3.99 ERA and 40 K's in 79 innings. Opponents have hit a combined .311 off Lobo pitching in 2012.
Next week, CSUN hits the road for another Big West series, this time at Cal Poly. The Matadors and Mustangs will play a doubleheader on April 14 and a single game on April 15. Both days will start at noon.
Junior Mia Pagano picked up two complete game victories at Pacific, helping lead the Matadors to a series victory. In both victories, Pagano worked herself out of critical seventh-inning situations to improve to 6-11 with a 3.85 ERA in 129 innings of work. 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. She ranks fifth in the Big West Conference in strikeouts (70), third in innings pitched, seventh in ERA and is tied for third in appearances (25).
Time for Madeline
Sophomore Madeline Sale batted .625 with a home run, a double and four RBIs in the Matadors' series victory at Pacific. She had a key two-run double in the game one victory and then added a three-hit performance that included a lead-off home run in the game three win. Sale hit her first home run of the season and second of her career in the second game of a doubleheader at LMU. 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. For the season, Sale is batting a team-high .269 with 10 runs scored, six RBIs, two home runs, seven walks and a .356 on-base percentage.
Linn-sanity Arrives at Northridge
Freshman Abby Linn had a very productive weekend for CSUN in its series victory over Pacific, batting a team-high .714 in the three games. She had two hits in both games of a doubleheader on April 1 and added her fifth hit of the weekend in the finale on April 2. The performance helped raise her batting average over 100 points and she enters the weekend at .191 while also drawing five walks to raise her on-base percentage to .269 for the season.
Senior Samantha Sloniker recorded two two-hit performances in the Matadors' series victory at Pacific. In game one, she finished 2-for-4 with a run, a double and an RBI. In game three, she went 2-for-4 again, scored a run and recorded her first stolen base of the season. She tied a career-high with two hits against Nevada and scored her first two runs of the season in San Diego. She had four sacrifice hits at the Cathedral City Classic and now is tied for sixth in the league with six. For the year, Sloniker is batting .221 with two doubles, the team's only triple and three RBIs.
Senior Jaci Carlsen blasted her first home run of the season in the finale of Northridge's three-game series at Pacific. Carlsen now has 20 home runs for her career, tying her for the seventh-most in school history. By also adding two RBIs over the weekend, Carlsen now has 85 for her career, the 10th-most in school history. Finally, Carlsen stole her eighth base of the season during the series and is now tied for fourth in school history with 37 in her career. With two more steals, Carlsen will set a new program Division-I record. 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. For the season, Carlsen is tied for eighth in the Big West Conference with her team-leading eight stolen bases and is batting .226 with 12 runs and five doubles.
Luck Be Thielges Tonight
Junior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges enters the weekend with a .265 batting average. 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 10th in slugging (.487) and second in home runs (6). She has also been hit by a pitch five times this season, which is tied for the fourth-most beanings in the Big West Conference.
Brianna the Elder
Redshirt freshman Brianna Elder brings a 1.84 ERA in 19 innings of work to the Matadors' five-game homestand against UC Davis and New Mexico. In her first career appearance as a Matador, Elder helped lead the club 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.
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.
The Leann Lopez Show
Sophomore Leann Lopez tied a season high with two hits in the second game of the doubleheader with Oregon State on Mar. 28. Lopez posted 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 is second on the club with eight walks and has two doubles and six RBIs.