Matadors Host No. 9 UCLA, CSU Bakersfield in First Homestand of 2013

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Northridge Faces Bruins, Roadrunners in Three-Game Slate

The Cal State Northridge softball team (8-15) hosts No. 9 UCLA on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and CSU Bakersfield  on Saturday in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. in the Matadors' first three home games of the season. On Wednesday, Mar. 6, the Matadors host the Bruins in a single game at 2 p.m. at Matador Diamond. Then on Saturday, Mar. 9, the Matadors host the Roadrunners in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. All three games will feature live stats available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check with the softball program's official Twitter account (@CSUNSoftball) and the CSUN athletic department official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates for all three contests.

Last week, CSUN went 3-3 during their time at the Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. The Matadors picked up impressive victories over New Mexico State and DePaul and posted their second run-rule victory of the season in an 8-0, five-inning win against Weber State.

In a homecoming for the Las Vegas native, senior Mikayla Thielges batted .444 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. Fellow senior Korinne Randazzo also had strong weekend at the plate, batting .385 to go with six walks, three stolen bases and two doubles. Finally, freshman Maylynn Mitchell batted .667 in four games in Sin City and Mia Pagano posted impressive complete game wins against New Mexico State and DePaul.

This week, CSUN takes on its fifth ranked opponent of the season in No. 9 UCLA. The Bruins are 18-2 on the season and are on a five-game winning streak. Stephany LaRosa leads the club in hitting at .426 and has five doubles, two triples, six home runs and 22 RBIs on the season. B.B. Bates already has 12 home runs and 35 RBIs on the season and as a team, UCLA is hitting .319 in over 118 innings of action. 

In the circle, Ally Carda is 11-1 on the season with a 1.66 ERA in 67.2 innings of work for UCLA. She has held opponents to a .218 batting average and has 82 strikeouts on the season. Paige McDuffee is 5-0 with a 0.42 ERA and a 155 opponent batting average in 33 innings. UCLA leads the all-time series with CSUN 39-9 and the Matadors' last win in the series came in a doubleheader sweep on April 15, 1998 at Matador Diamond.

On Saturday, CSU Bakersfield comes to Matador Diamond for a doubleheader, the third and fourth meeting between the two schools in 2013. CSUN won 2-1 and 8-0 in five innings in the previous two match-ups, both of which took place at the Stanford Nike Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Roadrunners enter the week with a 1-12 overall record. Sydney Raeber is batting .300 for the season having started all 13 contest. She adds a double and two RBIs on the season. Shay Fryer and Amy Ricciardi both have eight base hits on the season and Fryer has both a double and a triple. As a team. CSUB is batting .187 as a team in 84 innings.

In the circle, Kelsie Monroe is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 50.2 innings of work. She has 29 strikeouts, 20 walks and opponents are batting .321 against her for the season. Amber Mills is second on the team in innings pitched at 22.1 and is 0-3 with a 4.70 ERA and seven strikeouts. Long time rivals in Division II, CSUN owns a 7-3 record in Division I play against the Roadrunners.

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Senior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges has had a strong start to her final season at CSUN. She carries a .370 batting average, .538 on-base percentage and .759 slugging percentage through 23 games. At the tournament in Las Vegas, she batted .444 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. Both homers came against DePaul and raised her season total to four and career total to 23, one shy of tying for sixth in school history. At the Stanford Nike Invitational, Thielges batted .462 with two doubles, four RBIs and four walks. She also has 85 career RBIs, one shy of moving into a tie for 10th in program history. For the season, Thielges has 22 hits, 13 runs, 10 doubles, 12 RBIs, 44 total bases and two stolen bases. Thielges leads the Big West in doubles, on-base percentage and total bases. She also ranks among the top 10 in batting average, slugging percentage, RBIs, runs, and walks.

Tait That Something

Senior Shelly Tait carries a 4-5 record, 2.79 ERA and .243 opponent batting average through 12 appearances into the weekend. In Las Vegas, Tait tossed her second shutout of the season in a victory over Weber State, striking out a career-high nine batters in the victory. In the Santa Clara tournament, Tait set a new career high with 9.2 innings against Saint Mary's. She earned her third win of the season with a strong performance at Santa Clara. Tait tossed five innings of one-hit softball in CSUN's 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield and added a save in the Matadors' 2-1 earlier victory over the Roadrunners. Tait picked up her first win of the season in the circle with a commanding performance vs. Western Michigan. She tossed 6+ innings and allowed only four hits and one unearned run in the victory over the Broncos. Tait ranks among the league's top 10 in ERA, opposing batting average, wins and strikeouts.

Mama Mia!

Senior Mia Pagano continues to be a two-way threat for the Matadors in her final season with the club. In the circle, Pagano is 3-5 with a 3.54 ERA and a team-high 53.1 innings of work. In Las Vegas, Pagano earned complete game victories over New Mexico State and DePaul, allowing just five earned runs in 14 innings. She also has 26 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .263 batting average on the year. She ranks among the league's top 10 pitchers in opponent batting average and innings pitched. At the plate, she carries a .167 batting average and nine base hits on the season. She also has a double, four runs and hit a three-run home run in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Western Michigan.

Burning Down the House

Sophomore Sydney House has come out of the gates swinging in her second season with the Matadors. At the tournament in Las Vegas, House cranked her first career home run and finished with a career-high four RBIs in the victory over Weber State. For the season, House owns a .298 batting average, having collected five career doubles while leading the team with 14 RBIs, which ranks fifth in the Big West. She had a career-high two hits at Fresno State and two RBIs vs. San Jose State. She also sports a .468 slugging percentage, a .397 on-base percentage and has drawn nine walks for the year.

Randazzo's Return

Senior Korinne Randazzo had a strong weekend at the plate for CSUN in Las Vegas. She batted .385 with two doubles, six walks and three stolen bases in the six games. Randazzo now leads the Matadors and ranks seventh in the Big West with six stolen bases on the year. She belted a grand slam, her first home run of the season, in the Matadors' 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield. She drove in  two runs in the game with California and had a season-high two hits vs. Arizona State. For the year, Randazzo is batting .240 with 10 runs, two doubles, a home run, eight RBIs and a .387 on-base percentage.

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Maas

Sophomore Crystal Maas enters the weekend batting .250 with 14 base hits in her second season with the club. A two-way threat, Maas also sports a 3.34 ERA and .204 opponent batting average in 8.2 innings of work. She tossed her first career shutout, striking out a career-high seven in a 5-0 victory over Santa Clara. At the plate, Mass collected a season-high two RBIs in CSUN's win over Weber State. She hit the first home run of her career in the Matadors' victory over Western Michigan and has tied a career high with two hits in three different games. Maas also recorded her first career stolen base this season and sports a .903 fielding percentage.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Sophomore Abby Linn is batting .203 with 10 runs, five stolen bases and three doubles through the first 23 games of the 2013 season. Linn tied a season high with two hits and two runs scored in CSUN's second win over CSU Bakersfield. She recorded her first career double in the game vs. San Jose State and scored two runs against the Spartans. Her five steals have come in five different games and also has three sacrifice hits.

Brianna the Elder

Sophomore Brianna Elder tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit softball against DePaul in Las Vegas. She also turned in an impressive performance in relief at Fresno State. Entering the first game in the first inning, Elder did not surrender a hit to the Bulldogs for the rest of the contest. In all, she went 5.2 innings with no runs, no hits and just two walks. For the season, Elder is 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a .293 opponent batting average in 20.1 innings of work.

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome four true freshmen to their roster for the 2012 season: Madalyne Handy, Samantha Jakeway, Maylynn Mitchell and Ariana Wassmer. Through four weekends of play, both Mitchell and Wassmer have made immediate impacts in the field and at the plate. Mitchell is batting .275 for the year after posting a .667 clip in four games in Las Vegas. She had a season-high three hits and two RBIs in the Matadors' win over Weber State and sports two doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored for the season. Wassmer enters the week batting .191 for the season with three doubles and six RBIs. She has had a season-high two hits twice, has more walks (6) than strikeouts (5) and has three sacrifice bunts. Handy has appeared in 15 games thus far and is batting .182 with three runs and her first career stolen base.

Walk This Way

The Matadors have shown a good deal of patience at the plate through 23 games in the 2013 season. As a team, Northridge has drawn 66 walks, the most free passes in the Big West. Mikayla Thielges leads the squad with 12 free passes, ranking third in the league. Korinne Randazzo drew six walks in six games in Las Vegas and now has 10 on the year. Leann Lopez and Sydney House are right on her heels with nine base on balls. CSUN has also been hit by a pitch 17 times, the second-most in the conference. Thielges has been plunked eight times already this season. As a team, Northridge spots a team on-base percentage of .324 through 23 games.

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

Through 23 games, the Matadors have recorded 25 sac bunts to lead the Big West Conference. Leann Lopez leads the team with four sac bunts while Korinne Randazzo, Abby Linn, Tanna Bindi and Ariana Wassmer all have three to their credit. Seven other Matadors have at least one to their credit and Northridge has executed a sac bunt 16 more times than their opponents (25-9).

Double Your Pleasure

Through 23 games, the Matadors have smashed a league-leading 30 doubles. Setting the pace for Northridge is senior MIkayla Thielges, who leads the Big West Conference with 10 doubles. Sydney House is second on the team and tied for fifth in the league with five on the season and five other players have at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits have yet to lead to a triple for CSUN, the only team in the conference without a three-base hit.

Lights, Camera, Action

The Matadors' doubleheader with Long Beach State on April 10, 2013 at 49ers Softball Complex will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. and the two teams will complete the season series a week later with a single game at 3 p.m. also at the 49ers Softball Complex.