NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Cal State Northridge Hosts Three Games Friday-Sunday at Matador Diamond
The Cal State Northridge softball team (17-9) return home to Matador Diamond for five games this weekend. CSUN will face three teams over the weekend while also hosting neutral-site contests between the visiting squads: Bakersfield, Harvard and Pacific. The Matadors open the weekend with a 2:30 p.m. contest against the Harvard Crimson on Thursday, March 20. The next day, Mar. 21, CSUN squares off with its historical rival Bakersfield Roadrunners at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Mar. 23, the Matadors renew acquaintances at 2 p.m. with former Big West Conference rival Pacific. Finally, on Sunday, Mar. 23, the Matadors take on Pacific (11:30 a.m.) and Bakersfield (2 p.m.). There will be three games Friday-Sunday and all contests will be played at Matador Diamond. A full schedule, as well as links for live stats for all CSUN contests, can be found at GoMatadors.com.
Last week, CSUN continued its stretch of hot play by sweeping doubleheaders with Utah State and LMU. Subsequently, the Matadors swept the Big West Conference Softball weekly awards with Brianna Elder earning Pitcher of the Week while Taylor Glover earned Big West Player of the Year. Elder finished the week 2-0 with a save and a 0.55 ERA. She is now second in the conference in wins, second in ERA, third in opponent batting average and third in strikeouts. Glover batted over .550 for the week and had three runs scored, five RBIs and two stolen bases. With the four victories, CSUN has now won 11 of its last 12 games and is 8-1 at Matador Diamond this season.
This week, CSUN tussles with two familiar foes from the state of the California and one squad from clear across the country. The Harvard Crimson have been in California for some time now and are playing on March 19 against Bethune Cookman and LMU. The Crimson recorded a 6-0 victory over Texas Tech before falling 3-0 to San Diego State on Mar. 17. Through 16 games, the Crimson were batting .262 as a team with 18 doubles, two triples and two home runs. Kasey Lange leads the club with five doubles and 12 RBIs while batting .309 in 16 contests this season. In the circle, Lauren Ricciardone is 4-2 in eight games and six starts. She has a 1.80 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 46.2 innings of work. Harvard has won the only previous two meetings between the schools, winning twice at Matador Diamond during the 2012 season.
Bakersfield is 7-21 on the season entering Friday. As a team, CSUB is batting .251 with 33 doubles, four triples and five home runs in 28 games this season. Karissa Veiga leads the team with a .392 batting average, 22 runs, six doubles, four triples and eight stolen bases. Jessica Castaneda (.325) is second on the team in batting and has five doubles and two home runs on the year. In the circle, Kelsie Monroe has started 17 of the Roadrunners' games and owns a 6-10 record with a 3.44 ERA, a .260 opponent batting average and 67 K's in 110 innings of work. Lyndsay Klimenko owns the other win in the circle for CSUB and opponents are batting .291 vs. Roadrunner pitching in 193.2 innings this year. Since both teams moved to Division I, CSUN leads the all-time series 8-4.
Pacific makes the trip to the San Fernando Valley for the first time as a member of the West Coast Conference this weekend. The Tigers left the Big West Conference after the 2012-13 academic year and are part of the WCC's first season as a sponsor of Division I softball. The Tigers enter the weekend 8-14 but play a doubleheader with Princeton at home on Wednesday, Mar. 19. In 22 games, the Tigers are batting .279 as a team with 15 doubles, six triples and six home runs. Taylor Petty leads the squad with a .403 batting average in 22 games and is one of six Tigers with at least 10 RBIs on the season. Megan Foglesong, batting .328 in 18 games this year, leads the club with six extra-base hits. In the circle, Tori Shepherd (3-5, 4.49 ERA) and Dani Bonnet (4-5, 4.81 ERA) have combined to start 18 of the Tigers' 22 games thus far. As a staff, Pacific has held opponents to a .313 batting average in 148.1 innings of work. CSUN leads the all-time series with their former league rival 33-25.
Next week, CSUN plays on the road for two games in San Diego. CSUN faces San Diego and San Diego State on Tuesday, Mar. 18 starting at 5 p.m. with both games on the campus of San Diego State.
Brianna the Elder --- Big West Pitcher of The Week
Junior Brianna Elder earned the first Big West Pitcher of the Week award of her career after going 2-0 with a save and a 0.55 ERA last week. In the Matadors' home-opening victory over Portland State, Elder struck out a career-high 13 batters and tossed her sixth complete game of the year. Elder then tossed a quick seventh inning in CSUN's victory over Rutgers to earn her second save of the season. She posted complete game victories over New Mexico and UNLV at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Earlier this season, she tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a win vs. Oregon State and picked up her first career save with two innings of work vs. Seattle. For the season, she is 12-3 with a 2.04 ERA and 82 K's in 89 innings of work. She is second in the Big West lead with 12 wins and ranks second in ERA, third in opponent batting average, third in strikeouts and third in innings pitched.
CSUN's Lethal Weapon --- Big West Player of the Week
Freshman Taylor Glover earned Big West Player of the Week honors after she batted .533 with three runs scored, five RBIs and two stolen bases as CSUN went 4-0 last week. The rookie had two three-hit games at LMU last week to give her a team-best 10 multi-hit games this season. She is tied for the team lead with 19 RBIs, a total that is tied for fourth in the conference. For the season, Glover is batting .422 and leads the Matadors with 20 runs, 35 hits and 48 total bases. With three triples, she is tied for the conference lead and she ranks second in the league in batting average and is tied for third with 30 hits. On the basepaths, Glover ranks third in the Big West with 11 stolen bases.
Hooper Drives the Boat Chief
Freshman Katie Hooper has had a strong start to her college career thus far in 2014. The rookie from Sun Valley, Calif., is batting .338 with a team-high five doubles on the season. She is tied with Taylor Glover for the team lead in RBIs at 19, a total that is tied for fourth in the Big West Conference. In a win over Boise State, she became the 28th Matador in program history to hit two home runs in a game. She also has three stolen bases, eight runs scored and a triple on the year. She scored a career-high three runs in a win over Grand Canyon and has had eight two-hit games.
Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN
Junior Abby Linn sports a .345 batting average heading into the Matadors' five games this weekend. She batted .412 with a double, a triple and two runs scored in five games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Through 26 games, Linn is second on the Matadors in multi-hit games with eight, including three three-hit performances. She scored a career-high four runs in a victory over Boise State and led the Matadors with nine base hits at the Kajikawa Classic, batting .526 with two runs and a stolen base. After posting zero triples in her first two seasons, Linn has already produced two three-baggers to rank tied for fifth in the Big West Conference. She also ranks tied for 10th in the league with 30 base hits. She has 15 steals in her Matador career and they have come in 15 different games.
Bachman Toerner Overdrive
Junior Kaitlin Toerner has made the transition from junior college softball to Division I rather seamlessly in her first season at CSUN. After spending her first two seasons at Bakersfield College, Toerner is batting .383 in 24 games this season. She adds to that 12 runs scored, a double, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Toerner is one of three Matadors to have four sacrifice bunts, tying for the eighth-most in the Big West. She has had two three-hit games, scored two runs twice and had a season-high two RBIs in the win over UNLV.
The Mitchell Report
Sophomore Maylynn Mitchell enters the weekend with a .266 batting average. She smashed her team-leading third home run of the season in a win over Boise State while also tying a career high with two runs scored in the contest. She hit the first two home runs of her CSUN career at the Kajikawa Classic, going deep against Colorado State and Seattle. For the year, Mitchell checks in with nine runs, four RBIs and a stolen base. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2013 after a solid rookie year for the Matadors. Originally from Seattle, Wash., Mitchell batted .280 with 13 runs, four doubles, 14 RBIs, three sac bunts and two stolen bases.
Senior Tanna Bindi is batting .245 with six runs scored, two doubles, a triple and six RBIs in 24 games this year. She had two RBIs in Matador wins over Portland State and Oregon State. She also recorded her third career triple in the victory over the Vikings as well. Bindi has had a fine defensive season thus far as well, sporting a .992 fielding percentage with one error in 127 chances. Originally from Stockton, Calif., Bindi batted a career-high .225 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 14 RBIs in the 2013 season. She certainly showed a flair for the dramatic in 2013; her first career home run was a walk-off blast that lifted CSUN to a win over UCLA. She also executed a suicide squeeze in extra innings to down Pacific and dropped in a two-run single in the Matadors' victory over Long Beach State on ESPNU.
It's Not Just Great, It's Pofek
Freshman Daphne Pofek has come on strong lately for the Matadors in the pitching circle. A freshman from Riverside, Calif., Pofek is 3-3 on the season and picked up victories over Utah State and LMU last week. Against the Aggies, she tossed a career-high eight innings and totaled a career-high six strikeouts. She picked up first career win with 4.2 innings of one-hit relief work in a victory over Georgetown. For the season, she owns a 4.26 ERA, 15 K's and a .286 opponent batting average in 44.1 innings of work. Pofek is also batting .267 at the plate and had a career-high two hits and two RBIs in the victory over Toledo.
Taylor the Nate
Freshman Taylor Nate collected five hits in the Matadors' doubleheader sweep at LMU, raising her batting average to .352 for the season. She has three home runs on the year, including a grand slam in a victory over Grand Canyon, and is second on the squad with 15 RBIs on the season. She has six multi-hits games on the year, including a career-high three hits in the second victory over the Lions. She also has three multi-RBI games on the year and two stolen bases. Nate has scored eight runs and sports a .963 fielding percentage in 80 defensive chances.
We're All Making Sacrifices around Here
CSUN has recorded 16 sacrifice bunts through its first 26 games of 2014 with rookie Taylor Glover, Kaitlin Toerner and Tanna Bindi all owning four to lead the team and rank eighth in the Big West Conference. As a team, CSUN is sixth in the league. In 2013, the Matadors finished second in the Big West Conference with 62 sacrifice bunts. Among the returning players, Abby Linn had seven last year and owns nine for career. Bindi had six last year and owns a team-high 15 for her career. Over the past five years, CSUN has averaged over 51 sacrifice bunts per season. During that span, CSUN has finished no worse than fourth among all Big West clubs in the category.
Double Your Pleasure
Twelve different Matadors have recorded a double in 2014 thus far, led by Katie Hooper's five on the year. That total ranks tied for seventh in the Big West Conference. Taylor Glover is second on the team with four doubles and with 22 doubles in 26 games, CSUN is eighth in the Big West Conference. In 2013, CSUN smashed 65 doubles, which tied for second in the Big West Conference and represented 30 more than they had in 2012. Among the returning players, Sydney House and Crystal Maas were second on the team with eight. Five other returning players had at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits last year produced just two triples, both coming off the bat of Tanna Bindi. This year, Abby Linn already has two triples, the first two of her CSUN career, and Bindi picked up the third of her career in CSUN's win over Portland State.
Taking One for the Team
CSUN batters have been hit by a pitch just six times in 2014 through 17 games, by far the fewest in the Big West Conference. The Matadors were hit by a pitch a league-high 53 times in 2013. In fact, CSUN has led the Big West Conference in HBP in three of the last five seasons: 2010, 2012, 2013. Among the returning players, sophomore Maylynn Mitchell was hit 11 times in 2013, the third-most beanings in the Big West Conference. Leann Lopez was hit four times while fellow senior Tanna Bindi was plunked three times last year. Since the 2009 season, CSUN has averaged over 46 hit-by-pitches per season and led the Big West in 2010, 2012 and 2013.