Matadors Stun No. 9 UCLA 3-2 on Bindi's Walk-off Blast
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge softball team (9-15) defeated No. 9 UCLA 3-2 Wednesday afternoon in its 2013 home opener at Matador Diamond. Junior Tanna Bindi blasted a two-run home run, the first of her career, over the right field fence to give the Matadors their first win over the Bruins since 1998.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Matadors strung together quite a rally to stun UCLA. With one out, Jennifer Tyler was hit by a pitch and sent to first base. After a pinch runner was inserted, Bindi homered on a 3-2 count to propel the Matadors to their first win over a ranked opponent and its first win over a Pac-12 opponent since the 2007 season.
"I felt good all game and was seeing the ball well," Bindi said. "I got a good pitch and went with it to right field."
CSUN head coach Tairia Flowers, a UCLA graduate, said Bindi's previous appearances at the plate helped set up the dramatic finish.
"I thought in all three of her at-bats, Tanna was seeing the ball well and was getting her timing down. It was just a matter of time before she squared one up," Flowers said. "She's been putting in a lot of time and it is exciting for her to see it pay off."
The Matadors were able to stay in the game largely due to their defense. In centerfield, Abby Linn cut down a Bruin at the plate in the second and then doubled off a Bruin runner at second base in the fourth.
CSUN starter Mia Pagano (4-5) also delivered a strong performance in the victory. The senior tossed a complete game and scattered nine hits and three walks to go with three strikeouts. In all, UCLA stranded eight runners on base.
"My defense really rallied behind me and made some great plays. Whether it was our catcher, our second baseman or our centerfielder, when UCLA kept knocking on the door, the defense responded," Pagano said.
Northridge will look to keep the momentum going Saturday when it hosts CSU Bakersfield in a doubleheader at Matador Diamond. First pitch between the Matadors and Roadrunners is slated for 1 p.m.