May 14, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge softball team (30-22, 14-6 Big West) rallied to split its doubleheader with Cal State Fullerton Friday afternoon at Matador Diamond. Northridge lost 2-1 in game one before taking an 8-5 victory over the Titans to record 30 wins for the first time since the 2004 season.
With the split, CSUN cannot win the Big West title. UC Davis split its two games with UC Santa Barbara Friday and the Matadors can do no better than tying the Aggies with a 15-6 Big West record. UCD won two of three games at Northridge in the head-to-head meeting between the two squads and owns the tiebreaker.
Still, in reaching the 30-win plateau for the first time in six seasons, Northridge is now 29-13 over its last 42 games (.690). The Matadors' 14 conference wins are the most since the 2004 squad went 14-7.
In game one, Northridge found itself a run short in a tightly contested game. Fullerton scored twice in the top of the third off CSUN starter Hannah Fraijo on a pair of doubles.
The Matadors best chance to tie came in the fourth, when Jaci Carlsen led off the inning with her 11th double of the season. The next batter, Tracy Allen, then singled through the left side. Carlsen tried to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate. Allen would be stranded at second to end the inning.
Fraijo took the loss for Northridge, dropping her record to 17-8. Katey Laban picked up the win and Ari Cervantes earned the save for Cal State Fullerton.
Game two had some early fireworks. Fullerton got on the board with two runs in the top of the first off starter Debbie Duran. In the CSUN's half of the frame, Carlsen blasted a three-run, two-out home run off Cervantes to give Northridge a 3-2 lead.
The Titans tied things up in their half of the third and then took a two-run lead in the top of the fourth on a two-run home run by Torrie Anderson. That set up a wild finish that saw Northridge score five times in the next two innings.
In the fifth, Chaparro went all the way to third on a Titan error and then scored on another Titan error off the bat of Lauren Olivas. Kristen Mihm then delivered a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle to score Olivas and tie the game. Carlsen picked up her fourth RBI of the game in the inning, connecting on a two-out single to plate Mihm. At that point, CSUN led 6-5.
The sixth saw another Titan error and a hit-by-pitch load the bases with no outs. Alexandria Alvarado then singled up the middle to score two and give the Matadors an 8-5 lead.
Amanda Pitzenberger picked up her career-high ninth win in the circle for Northridge. The senior tossed five innings of six-hit, three-run softball with a strikeout to move to 9-5 on the season.
For Carlsen, the four RBIs give her 43 for the year. That is the ninth-highest amount for a single season in Northridge history. For the year, Carlsen is batting .317 with 11 doubles and seven home runs.
Rymer finished the day 3-for-6 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Alvarado's two RBIs gives her 20 for the season, a new career best.
The Matadors will hold their final regular season game of the year Saturday at Matador Diamond. CSUN and Fullerton will meet in the rubber match at 1 p.m.
Before the game, the Matadors will honor the team's six graduating seniors: Alvarado, Duran, Olivas, Pitzenberger, Christina Saenz and Rymer. The team will also honor its athletic trainer, Dunford Rodill, who is earning his Master's Degree in athletic training at the University.