April 3, 2013

Matador Softball Hits The Road For Series at UC Davis

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors Venture to Northern California for League Series versus Aggies

The Cal State Northridge softball team (14-21, 0-3 Big West) travel to Northern California this weekend for a three-game series at UC Davis. On Saturday April 6, the Matadors and Aggies will play a doubleheader at LaRue Field beginning at noon. The following day, the two teams will close out the series with a single game also at noon. All three contests will feature live stats. Select contests will have a free audio broadcast courtesy of UC Davis. Links for live stats and audio will be available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN softball's official Twitter account (@CSUNSoftball) for in-game updates throughout the weekend.

CSUN should come into the series plenty rested after having the last week off from action. Despite some close scores, the Matadors were swept by nationally ranked Hawai'i in both teams' Big West Conference opening series.

Freshman Sydney House hit a grand slam, the second home run of her career, in the bottom of the seventh in the game one loss. Senior Tiffini Lucero picked up her first career RBI in the second game of the series and then had a career-high two hits in the series finale.

In the circle, fellow senior Alexa Limon matched a career high with four innings pitched in the second game of the series. She enters the weekend with a 1.08 ERA and a .204 opponent batting average in 13 innings of work this year.

This weekend, CSUN meets UC Davis in a three-game series in Northern California. The Aggies carry a 13-17 overall record and 0-3 mark in the Big West Conference after being swept at Hawai'i last weekend. UCD is just 0-2 at home, but carries a 9-7 mark in neutral site play on the year. The Aggies have won five straight against the Matadors, though CSUN leads the all-time series 23-11.

Leading the charge for the Aggies is sophomore pitcher Justine Vela. She enters the weekend 8-4 with a 2.41 ERA, 111 strikeouts and a .186 opponent batting average. She has tossed a team-high 96 innings and ranks sixth in ERA and second opponent batting average among all Big West hurlers.

Joining her in the circle is freshman Leah Munden, who is 4-7 on the season with a 2.43 ERA and a .280 opponent batting average in 63.1 innings of work. As a team, UC Davis has held opponents to a .241 batting average in 201.2 innings of work.

At the plate, UC Davis carries a team batting average of .233 and 90 runs scored in 205.2 inning of work into the weekend. Megan Guzman leads the Aggies with a .318 average and has seven walks to just three strikeouts in 25 games. Jasmine Lee leads the club with 25 hits and has three doubles, four RBIs and five sac bunts on the season.  Kelly Schulze has a team-high 12 RBIs and .425 on-base percentage on the year.

Next week, Northridge has a four-game slate. First up is a road game at Long Beach State on April 10 at 1 p.m. CSUN returns to Matador Diamond for a three-game series against Cal Poly. The Matadors and Mustangs will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13 beginning at noon. The following day, the two teams will meet for a single game at noon. Finally, on Wednesday April 17, the Matadors will play a doubleheader at Long Beach State beginning at 1 p.m. with both games televised on ESPNU.

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Senior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges has had a strong campaign in her final season at CSUN. She carries a .356 batting average, .508 on-base percentage and .678 slugging percentage through 35 games. In the Matadors' just completed homestand, she batted .312 with seven RBIs and her team-leading sixth and seventh home runs of the season. She now has 25 home runs in her career, the sixth-most in school history. At the tournament in Las Vegas, she batted .444 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. At the Stanford Nike Invitational, Thielges batted .462 with two doubles, four RBIs and four walks. She also has 92 career RBIs, the eighth-most in program history. For the season, Thielges has 19 runs, 11 doubles, 19 RBIs, 61 total bases, three sac bunts and two stolen bases. Thielges leads the Big West in doubles, hit by pitches and on-base percentage and is second in slugging percentage. She also ranks among the top 10 in batting average, total bases, home runs, walks and is second among catchers with 10 runners caught stealing.

Randazzo's Return

Senior Korinne Randazzo carries a seven-game hitting streak into the weekend in Davis. She batted a scorching .471 during the Matadors' recent 12-game homestand. She had a career-high four hits in the first win over Seattle and then tied a career high with three runs scored in the second victory over the Redhawks. In the win over Northern Illinois, she stole two bases for the second time this season. She also 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 leads the Matadors and ranks fifth in the Big West with 12 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. For the year, Randazzo is batting .333 with 23 runs, six doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, 12 walks, seven sac bunts and a .446 on-base percentage. She ranks among the Big West Top 10 in batting average, on-base percentage, runs and sac bunts.

Tait That Something

Senior Shelly Tait carries a 6-7 record, 2.93 ERA, 46 K's and .256 opponent batting average through 17 appearances into the week. Tait earned wins over Seattle and LMU, the Matadors' first victory against the Lions since the 2006 season. 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, wins, opposing batting average and strikeouts.

Mama Mia! 

Senior Mia Pagano went 2-1 in the circle and picked up wins over Seattle and Northern Illinois. In early March, she was named Big West Pitcher of the Week after she picked up a pair of impressive victories for CSUN last week, including a complete-game performance in the Matadors' win over UCLA. She added 6.1 innings with one earned run and a season-high seven strikeouts against CSUB. For the season, Pagano is 7-8 with a 3.49 ERA, 52 K's and a team-high 94.1 innings of work. She also has held opponents to a .263 batting average on the year. In Las Vegas, Pagano earned complete game victories over New Mexico State and DePaul, allowing just five earned runs in 14 innings. She ranks among the league's top 10 pitchers in wins, strikeouts, appearances and innings pitched. At the plate, she carries a .205 batting average with five doubles, seven RBIs, five runs. She hit a three-run home run in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Western Michigan and had four doubles and a .304 batting average during the Matadors' recent homestand.

Burning Down the House

Sophomore Sydney House belted a grand slam, her second home run of the season, in the Matadors' first game against Hawai'i. For the year, House owns a .266 batting average, having collected six doubles and 20 RBIs. The six doubles ties her with teammate Korinne Randazzo for second on the team. 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. She had a career-high two hits at Fresno State and two RBIs vs. San Jose State. She also sports a .418 slugging percentage, a .362 on-base percentage and has drawn 13 walks for the year.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Sophomore Abby Linn is batting .198 with 12 runs, seven stolen bases and three doubles in 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 seven steals have come in seven different games and also has five sac bunts. 

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Maas

Sophomore Crystal Maas enters the weekend batting .246 with 15 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 .917 fielding percentage.

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 0-2 with a 3.80 ERA and a .322 opponent batting average in 27.2 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. While Jakeway is unlikely to play this season due to injury, Handy, Mitchell and Wassmer have made immediate impacts in the field and at the plate. Mitchell is batting .264 with seven runs, four doubles and nine RBIs. She tied a season high with two RBIs in the first win over Seattle and had a season-high three hits and two RBIs in the Matadors' win over Weber State. She has also been hit by a pitch seven times, the third-most beanings in the Big West Conference. Handy had a nice week at the plate in the games against Northern Illinois, Seattle and LMU. She batted .308 in the six games and had a season-high two hits, two runs and two RBIs in the first victory over the Redhawks. For the season, Handy is batting .219 with six runs, three RBIs and two sac bunts. Wassmer enters the week batting .213 for the season with four doubles and six RBIs. She has had a season-high two hits twice, has as many walks as strikeouts and has three sacrifice bunts.

Walk This Way

The Matadors have shown a good deal of patience at the plate in the 2013 season. As a team, Northridge has drawn 90 walks, the sixth-most free passes in the Big West. Mikayla Thielges leads the squad with 17 free passes, ranking sixth in the league. Sydney House has drawn 13 walks while Korinne Randazzo drew six walks in six games in Las Vegas and now has 12 on the year. Leann Lopez is right on their heels with 10 base on balls. CSUN has also been hit by a pitch 37 times, the most in the conference. Thielges has been plunked 11 times, tying for the most in the conference, while Maylynn Mitchell has been hit seven times and Korinne Randazzo has five beanings. Six other CSUN players have been hit by a pitch and as a team, Northridge spots a team on-base percentage of .330 through 35 games.

We're All Making Sacrifices Around Here

Through 35 games, the Matadors have recorded 38 sac bunts to check at third in the Big West Conference. Korinne Randazzo leads the team with seven sac bunts, ranking fifth in the Big West. Abby Linn has five and Leann Lopez and Tanna Bindi each have four. Four other players have three and four other Matadors have at least one to their credit. Northridge has executed a sac bunt 21 more times than their opponents (38-17).

Double Your Pleasure

Through 35 games, the Matadors have smashed a league-leading 45 doubles. Setting the pace for Northridge is senior MIkayla Thielges, who leads the Big West Conference with 11 doubles. Korinne Randazzo and Sydney House are second on the team with six on the season. Mia Pagano has five doubles 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 17, 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 earlier with a single game at 3 p.m. also at the 49ers Softball Complex.

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