March 19, 2009

Matadors Head to Bakersfield for Saturday Doubleheader against Roadrunners

March 19, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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The Cal State Northridge softball team (18-9) heads to Cal State Bakersfield to renew a rivalry dating back to 1985 for a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m. The Matadors and Roadrunners have played 41 times on the softball diamond, with CSUN leading the all-time series 29-12. Live Stats will be available for the two games on CSUB's website.

The Matadors have been playing well as of late, posting a 15-3 record over its last three weeks. The mark includes a perfect 5-0 run and tournament title at the San Diego Classic II. At the event, CSUN recorded notable victories over Oklahoma State, Iowa State and host San Diego State.

Junior Debbie Duran earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance last week, going 6-0 with a 0.74 ERA while limiting opponents to a .160 batting average. She now leads the Big West Conference with 13 victories and 103.2 innings pitched on the season.

At the plate, juniors Christina Saenz and Jaclyn Rymer post the top two batting averages for CSUN. Saenz leads the league with a .406 average and .500 on-base percentage and has a team-high 28 hits and 35 total bases.

Rymer, who was named Northridge's Big West Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, hit .447 in San Diego to raise her season average to .311. She ranks sixth in the conference with a .433 on-base percentage and has already scored a career-high 21 runs.

Northridge leads the league in stolen bases with 30. Karla Chaparro and Tracy Allen each have a team-high six, which is second in the league, and Micah Putnam and Rymer each have five, which is tied for fifth in the league. Putnam also ranks fourth in the conference with 18 RBIs and second with seven sac bunts.

Northridge, led by Krystal Raphael, has caught 11 would-be-basestealers, the most in the Big West Conference. As a team, the Matadors are hitting .258 for the year and lead the league with a .969 fielding percentage.

Cal State Bakersfield hosts the Matadors Saturday for a doubleheader on Mar. 21. The Roadrunners enter the weekend with a 16-11 record, including a 9-6 mark at home. Although only the third and fourth match-ups of the squads at the Division I level, the two teams waged epic battles at the Division II level. Northridge held a 27-12 advantage in the all-time series in DII, including a 13-2 record at Cal State Bakersfield.

As a team, CSUB is hitting .302 as a team, with Kelli Bailey leading the squad at .398. She has 39 hits, seven doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs on the season. Jill McClelland is batting .386 with 25 runs scored and nine stolen bases. The Roadrunners have scored 130 runs on the season, an average of nearly five per game.

In the circle, Shawna Truan leads the team with a 6-1 record and 2.59 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 41 innings of work. Brittany Johnson is 7-6 in 14 starts with a 3.15 ERA, having tossed 91 innings and fanning 33 opponents. Opponents are hitting .277 off Bakersfield pitching.

Earlier this season, CSUB took three of four games from San Jose State and also owns wins over UC Santa Barbara, Utah State, Temple twice and Loyola Marymount. They have also played nationally ranked Arizona State, Nevada and Northwestern, though all three games were losses.

Northridge won the first two meetings of the schools at the Division I level, sweeping a doubleheader, 6-3 and 8-7, on Mar. 22, 2008. Kathy Welter is in her 24th season as the head coach at Cal State Bakersfield, having won over 1,000 games in her career and 949 with the Roadrunners.

The two games against the Roadrunners close out CSUN's non-conference schedule. The team has already finished the year with a 12-6 record in neutral site play, the league's top mark entering the weekend.

The Matadors open Big West Conference play with a three-game series against Pacific at Matador Diamond. The series starts with a doubleheader on Mar. 28 at noon and the teams then play a single game on Mar. 29, also starting at noon.