CSUN Hosts No. 2 UCLA, Travels for Contests with UNLV, UC Riverside and Boise State

Feb. 22, 2011

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

CSUN's Weekly Slate of Games

2.23.11 / 2 p.m. Northridge vs. No. 2 UCLA

2.25.11 / 11:30 a.m. Northridge vs. UNLV

2.26.11 / 11:30 a.m. Northridge vs. UC Riverside

2.26.11 / 2 p.m. Northridge vs. Boise State

2.27.11 / 10:15 a.m. Northridge vs. UNLV

CSUN Hosts Defending Nationals Champs in 2011 Home Opener

The Cal State Northridge softball team (4-6) holds it 2011 home opener Wednesday, Feb. 23 when it hosts defending National Champion and No. 2 UCLA in a single game at Matador Diamond with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. Following the meeting with Bruins, the Matadors will head to Riverside, Calif., for four games as part of the Amy S. Harrison Classic on the campus of UC Riverside. At the event, CSUN will face UNLV twice (Feb. 25, 11:30 a.m.; 27, 12:30 p.m.), the host Highlanders once in a non-conference contest (Feb. 26, 11:30 a.m.) and take their first crack ever against Boise State (Feb. 26, 2 p.m.).

In Las Vegas last weekend, the Matadors stumbled to a 1-4 record. Their only victory in Sin City was a 9-8 decision over Nevada on Feb. 11. In that victory, Mikayla Thielges hit her second home run of the season and Carly Wade earned the first victory of her career. Otherwise, it was a weekend to forget for Northridge and head coach Tairia Flowers.

Fortunately, this week's slate of games offers a quick turnaround for redemption for the Matadors. The week opens with a mid-week showdown with No. 2 UCLA, the defending NCAA National Champions. The game, which will be held at Matador Diamond with first pitch slated for 2 p.m., will be a reunion of sorts for the Northridge coaching staff. Flowers, assistant coach Caitlin Benyi and volunteer assistant coach Natasha Watley all spent their college careers with the Bruins.

In Riverside, the Matadors will face a four-game event that features more regional rivals. Including this week's games, CSUN will have only played one team truly outside its region (Western Michigan) in its 15 contests in the 2011 season. UNLV is 4-5 on the season, but has already hit 16 home runs as a team this season. UC Riverside is 3-6 overall, but is batting .283 as a team through those nine games. Finally, Boise State is 2-7 overall, but picked up a 7-5 victory over Cal Poly in Las Vegas last weekend.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Senior Tracy Allen had a productive weekend in Las Vegas for the Matadors, batting .385 in the five games. She hit her first two home runs of the season during the weekend, cranking them out against Portland State and Hawai'i. Those deep flies increased her career total 13, two shy of tying for 10th in school history. She leads the Matadors and the Big West Conference with four doubles, ranks fourth in the league with a team-best .679 slugging percentage and is fifth in the league with 19 total bases. From third base, Allen also sports a .943 fielding percentage and leads the Big West with 28 assists.

Sloniker's Story

Junior Samantha Sloniker batted a team-high .429 in the Matadors' five games in Las Vegas last weekend. In all, Sloniker collected six hits and scored a team-high five runs, including two against both Nevada and Hawai'i. She had two hits twice against Portland State and No. 9 Hawai'i and added her first two career RBIs over the weekend. Sloniker leads the Big West Conference with nine runs scored and ranks seventh with a .484 on-base percentage.

Thielges to Do Us Part

Sophomore Mikayla Thielges cranked out her second home run, a three-run blast, in the Matadors' win over Nevada last weekend. She now leads the Big West Conference with nine RBIs and is tied for fourth in the league with two home runs.  Thielges has started every game for the Matadors at catcher and owns a .962 fielding percentage in 26 chances this season.

Time for Madeline

Freshman Madeline Sale also batted a team-high .429 in the Matadors' five games in Las Vegas. Through the Matadors' first 10 games, the rookie leads CSUN with a .375 batting average and is tied with two teammates for the team lead with nine hits. She had a season-high three hits in the Matadors' win over Nevada and also drove in her first two career RBIs over the weekend. For the year, Sale also sports a .464 on-base percentage.

Reno 911

Junior Jaci Carlsen cranked her first home run of the season in the Matadors' loss to Utah State, giving her 11 for her career. She also stole her second base of the season in the Matadors' loss to No. 23 BYU. For the season, Carlsen is batting .222 with two doubles, four runs scored and three RBIs. She has started every game at second base and owns a .977 fielding percentage in 43 chances.

Run Forrest Run

Senior Jennifer Mosier leads the Big West Conference with four stolen bases on the season. She tied a school record with three steals in the Matadors' win over Portland State on Feb. 13. For her career, Mosier owns 25 stolen bases, two shy of tying for 10th in school history. In 2010, Mosier set a school Division-I record with 18 stolen bases. She also has a home run, three RBIs and three runs in the 2011 season.

1200 and Loving It

The Matadors' 4-3 victory over Portland State on Feb. 13 was the 1,200th in school history. Northridge softball has been around since 1978 and owns an all-time record of 1,201-649-12 (.648). In that time, the Matadors have won four NCAA Division-II National Championships and since moving to Division-I, have appeared in the two Women's College World Series (1993, 1994), the National Championship game (1994) and qualified for the postseason 13 times.

I Have the Power

Northridge continues to pack a powerful punch at the plate in 2011. The Matadors currently rank second in the league in runs (39), RBIs (34) and sac bunts (7). CSUN also checks in at third in the conference with seven home runs, fourth with 10 doubles and leads the leagues with 33 walks drawn. Mikayla Thielges leads the league with nine RBIs and is tied for fourth with two home runs. Tracy Allen leads the conference with four doubles and is also tied for fourth with two home runs. In 2010, CSUN led the league in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, RBIs and total bases.

We're All Making Sacrifices Around Here

Through their first 10 games in the 2011 season, Northridge checks in at second in the Big West Conference with eight sacrifice bunts. Karla Chaparro leads the team with two sacrifices, raising her career total to 23. Five other Matadors have successfully laid down the sac bunt and two CSUN players also have sacrifice flies on the year: Jennifer Mosier and Mikayla Thielges. Over the past two seasons, CSUN has finished second (2009, 55) and first (2010, 56) in the Big West Conference in sacrifice bunts. Over the past three seasons, Northridge has averaged over 50 sac bunts.

Basepaths Beware

With seven stolen bases through 10 games, Northridge currently ranks tied for third in the Big West Conference. Jennifer Mosier leads the team and the league with four stolen bases and has yet to be caught. Jaci Carlsen is second on the team with two steals and Samantha Sloniker owns the other stolen base for the Matadors.