RIVERSIDE, Calif. ---
The Cal State Northridge softball team (29-19, 6-6 Big West) defeated UC Riverside 9-3 Sunday afternoon in the third and final game of a Big West Conference series at Amy S. Harrison Field. Brianna Elder tossed 6.1 innings to become the first Matador to win 20 games since 2001 and Taylor Glover added her sixth triple, which set a new program Division I single-season record.
In a three-hour marathon in which the teams combined to strand 23 runners, CSUN came ahead thanks to some late-inning heroics. The Matadors scored seven runs over the final three innings to sweep UC Riverside for the second-straight season.
Elder won her second game of the weekend by allowing just one earned run over six-plus innings. She fanned five and became CSUN's first 20-game winner since the 2001 season when Sarah Farnworth went 25-16. Elder is now 20-8 with a 1.88 ERA with 117 K's on the year, the most strikeouts by a Matador pitcher since the 2008 season.
Glover continued her assault on the CSUN record books. A day after hitting two home runs in the game one victory, she finished with three runs scored and two RBIs in Sunday's finale. She belted her sixth triple in the top of the sixth, breaking a record that had stood since 1994. Glover is batting .388 with 37 runs scored and a team-high 44 RBIs and six home runs.
The Matadors jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning when Katie Hooper laced a two-run, two-out single to score Glover and Madalyne Handy. UC Riverside responded with runs in the first and second and the game remained 2-2 until the top of the fifth.
With one out, Taylor Nate reached on an error and Hooper and Ariana Wassmer were hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a foul out to the catcher, Kaitlin Toerner blasted a ball that was misplayed by the shortstop and allowed CSUN to break the tie. Abby Linn then blasted an RBI single off the third baseman to extend the CSUN lead to 4-2.
Glover's in the sixth scored Carissa Sherman, who was inserted as a pinch runner for Handy. She then came around to score on RBI single by Wassmer and give the Matadors a 6-2 lead.
In the seventh, CSUN piled on three insurance runs. Linn walked, Sherman singled and the two executed a double steal. Glover posted an RBI fielder's choice to score Linn, Madison Fleming executed a squeeze play and Hooper added another RBI single.
Hooper finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Linn also finished 2-for-3 and had a run and an RBI.
CSUN returns to action next weekend with a three-game series against Long Beach State at Matador Diamond. The Matadors and 49ers will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 26 and a single game on Sunday, April 27. Both days will start at noon.