SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge softball team (23-13, 1-2 Big West) lost 6-5 in nine innings to Cal Poly Sunday afternoon at Bob Janssen Field. The Matadors struck early and led 4-1, but the Mustangs fought back and eventually took the win and claimed the series. At the plate, Madison Fleming went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a double.
Squaring off for the third time this weekend, the Matadors and Mustangs played their third one-run game of the weekend. The last two contests went to extra innings and saw over 20 innings of softball played.
The Matadors struck early in Sunday's contest. With two outs in the first, Katie Hooper singled to left-center. The next batter, Madison Fleming, dropped in a double behind second base and Hooper wheeled all the way around to score.
Fleming continued her hot play with an RBI single in the third inning. Kaitlin Toerner walked to start the frame and stole second. Hooper drew a walk and that allowed Fleming to come up and drive in Toerner to give CSUN a 2-0 lead.
After Cal Poly struck for a run in the fourth, the Matadors responded with two in the top of the fifth. Toerner reached on an error and moved to second on a pinch-hit single from Madalyne Handy. Taylor Glover then picked up an RBI single to plate Toerner. Hooper then drove a sac fly to left to score Glover and give CSUN a 4-1 advantage.
Cal Poly answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but CSUN came back with a run in the top of the seventh. Glover led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Hooper. After Ariana Wassmer was hit by a pitch, Taylor Nate delivered a two-out single up the middle to plate Glover and extend the Matadors' lead to 5-3.
Unfortunately, the Mustangs got an inside-the-park home run with one out in the seventh to tie the game. The Mustangs then won the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out RBI single.
Despite the loss, CSUN is still 23-13 overall (.639) and have four Big West series at home compared to just two on the road. The Matadors are 16-3 in games decided by two runs or less this season.
CSUN softball returns to Matador Diamond for its next Big West series, a three-game set with UC Davis. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 5 and then a single game on Sunday, April 6. Both days will start at noon.