March 2, 2014

CSUN Softball Defeats Portland State, Rutgers in Home Opener

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge softball team (9-8) defeated Portland State 5-3 and Rutgers 7-5 in its 2014 home-opening doubleheader Sunday at Matador Diamond. After batting the rain all weekend, all three teams were able to play twice Sunday and salvage what had been a long weekend.

Portland State Recap

CSUN picked up a 5-3 victory over the Vikings, collecting 11 hits as the visiting team in the contest. Kaitlin Toerner, Sydney House, Tanna Bindi and Taylor Nate all had two hits for the Matadors while Bindi added two RBIs.

In the circle, Brianna Elder (7-3) continued her strong start to the season. The junior recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts in picking up her sixth complete game victory of the season.

Bindi started things off with blast to right field in the top of the second. The Viking fielder made a diving attempt, but could not come up with the ball and Bindi hustled into third for a triple. However, the relay throw was mishandled and Bindi cruised home on the error.

The Matadors doubled their lead in the top of third. With two outs, House singled and then moved to second when Katie Hooper drew a walk. Leann Lopez pinch-ran for House and came around to score on an RBI single by Nate.

After Portland State scored two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game, the Matadors answered right back with a run in the top of the fourth. Maylynn Mitchellsingled to start the inning and moved to second a sac bunt from Bindi. She then came around to score on a bunt base hit from Toerner that was thrown into right field.

CSUN added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth that would prove important. Hooper started the frame with a double and Nate singled. Mitchell moved both runners into scoring position with a sac bunt and Bindi delivered a two-run single.

Elder closed the door on the Vikings in the seventh despite giving up a run.

Rutgers Recap

The Matadors and Scarlet Knights traded leads until the Matadors scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-5 victory.

Junior Crystal Maas (1-0) delivered in a huge jam in the top of the fifth with the scored tied at 3-3. Entering the game with the bases loaded and nobody out, Maas induced a double play and infield popout to end Rutgers' threat.

CSUN immediately retook the lead 4-3 in its half of the fifth. Abby Linn started the frame with a double and moved to third on a bunt single by Taylor Glover. When Glover broke for second, a throw was made to the base, but the ball was dropped and Linn came in to score.

Rutgers answered right back with a two-out, two-run triple. The inning was extended by a Matador error, so neither run was earned.

CSUN responded again, scoring three in the bottom of the sixth to take the victory. Maas drew a walk with Lopez coming into pinch-run for her. Sydney House delivered a pinch-hit single with Lopez moving to third. Toerner re-entered to run for House and after a groundout, Glover was intentionally walked to load the bases.

In the next at-bat, Carissa Sherman blasted a ball to the third base that was muffed and allowed Lopez to score the tying run. Hooper then delivered a two-run single up the middle to give the Matadors some breathing room in the seventh.

Elder struck out two in the seventh to earn her second save of the season. Maas tossed two innings and allowed two hits and two unearned runs to pick up her first win of the season. Daphne Pofek went the first four for the Matadors and allowed two earned runs and five hits.

Offensively, Glover reached base in all four plate appearances, picking up two hits, two runs and two walks. Linn scored two runs and drew a walk while Hooper scored a run to go with two hits and two RBIs. She now has a team-high 13 RBIs on the year.

The Matadors return to action Friday, Mar. 6 as part of the CSUN/UCLA Invitational. The day will start with Georgetown and Grand Canyon at 9 a.m., followed by CSUN and Grand Canyon at noon. The third and final game of the day will feature Oregon State and Georgetown.

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