Matadors Open Big West Season with Three-Game Series against Aggies

March 31, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge Host UC Davis for League-Opener at Matador Diamond

The Cal State Northridge softball team (16-16) opens its 2010 Big West Conference season with a three-game series against UC Davis. The Matadors and Aggies will meet for a doubleheader starting at noon on Friday, Apr. 2, then play a single game also starting at noon on Saturday, Apr. 3.

With a doubleheader sweep over Utah last week, Northridge reached .500 for the first time this season. After starting the year 1-9, CSUN is 15-7 (.682) over its last 22 games. Having concluded the preseason with quality wins over Oklahoma, San Diego State, Mississippi State, Iowa, Colorado State and Purdue, the Matadors are eager to cast their fortunes for the final 21 games of the season. Beginning with UCD, Northridge will play 12 of its final 21 games at Matador Diamond.

Last week, Northridge not only swept the Utah Utes in a doubleheader, they also swept the Big West Conference weekly softball awards. Karla Chaparro earned Player of the Week honors after collecting five hits, including a career-high three in game one, and two doubles in the two games. Hannah Fraijo took home the Pitcher of the Week honors after winning both games by tossing 13.1 innings of six-hit, two-run softball.

UC Davis arrives to Matador Diamond with an 11-20 overall record. Jessica Gonzalez leads the team in hitting .307 for the season. She has a team-high 13 RBIs and a .464 on-base percentage. The Aggies also feature six players batting over .250 on the season and 25 stolen bases. In the circle, Alex Holmes and Dana Waldusky have each thrown over 90 innings on the season. Holmes is 7-8 with a 3.59 ERA and 90 K's. Waldusky brings in a 4-8 record with a 4.11 ERA and 77 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .306 off UC Davis pitching on the season.

CSUN Sweeps Big West Weekly Honors

Karla Chaparro and Hannah Fraijo were named the Big West Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the league office announced Monday. Chaparro batted .714 (5-of-7) with two doubles and three RBIs while Fraijo won both games as the Matadors swept a doubleheader against Utah.

Chaparro has been especially hot at the plate over the stretch. In her last 10 games, she is batting .357 to raise her season mark to a career-high .270. She is second on the team and in the Big West Conference with her career-high seven doubles.

Equaling Chaparro's recent performance at the plate has been Fraijo's pitching in the circle. She picked up both wins against the Utes, tossing 13.1 innings and allowing only two earned runs and six hits. The week before, she recorded complete game shutouts of Oklahoma, then ranked eighth in the nation, and Cal State Bakersfield.

Defensive Dynamos

A staple of the Matadors in Coach Sparrey's tenure has been defensive acumen. The Matadors finished the 2009 season ranked 46th in the nation and third in the Big West Conference with a .967 fielding percentage. The team also finished 23rd in the nation in double plays per contest (0.42) finishing with 21 double plays in 50 games. Through 32 games in 2010, CSUN sports a .967 fielding percentage, which ranks second in the conference, having committed only 32 errors in 963 chances.

Basepaths Beware

Northridge finished the 2009 season with a league-high 62 stolen bases in 80 chances. At an average of 1.24 per game, the Matadors ranked 65th in Division I. In 2010, Northridge is 25-of-35 in stolen bases, the second-most steals in the league. Jennifer  Mosier leads the team with eight stolen bases and Jaci Carlsen has five steals. Tracy Allen and Lauren Olivas are third on the team having stolen three bags thus far. Jaclyn Rymer ranks seventh in school history with 29 steals. 

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

The Matadors finished second in the Big West with 55 sac bunts in 2009. Northridge has picked right where they left off in 2010, posting a league-high 32 sac bunts through its first 32 games. Amanda Pitzenberger, Jaclyn Rymer and Karla Chaparro lead the squad with four sac bunts.

Taking one for the Team

Cal State Northridge batters finished the 2009 season having been plunked 43 times, the second-most in the Big West Conference. This year, CSUN has been plunked a league-high 31 times through 30 games. Krystal Raphael has worn the biggest bulls-eye thus far, having been hit seven times.

I Have the Power

Northridge has certainly had an offensive punch in 2010. The Matadors lead the Big West in hits (218), runs scored (129), slugging percentage (.375) and total bases (309). The team's .265 batting average, 14 home runs, 107 RBIs, four triples, 81 walks, and .351 on-base percentage all rank second among the league teams.

Run Forrest Run

Junior Jennifer Mosier continues to lead the Matadors in hitting, entering Friday's contest with a .386 average. She also leads the squad in slugging (.545) and on-base percentage (.456). She has scored 20 runs, hit four home runs and produced 10 RBIs. She also leads the team with eight stolen bases and 13 walks. Earlier this season against Mississippi State, she hit two home runs and had a career-high four hits, four runs scored and three RBIs.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana

Sophomore Hannah Fraijo won both games in CSUN's sweep over Utah, moving her record to 8-5 with a 3.21 ERA. She has tossed six complete games and also recorded shutouts over Oklahoma and Cal State Bakersfield. Fraijo leads the team with 63 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .253 batting average. She ranks among the Big West leaders in wins, strikeouts, ERA, opposing batting average and innings pitched. She earned her first career Big West Pitcher of the Week award this week.

Karla's Korner

Junior Karla Chaparro had five hits in the two games against Utah, raising her batting average to a career-high .270, to earn the Big West Player of the Week. Chaparro has batted .357 (10-of-28) over the last 10 games and leads the team and ranks second in the league with seven doubles. She also recorded a career-high 13 runs scored and seven walks and adds nine RBIs, four sac bunts and two stolen bases. Defensively, Chaparro has been outstanding at shortstop, checking in with a .967 fielding percentage in 110 chances (54 POs, 62 A, 4 E).

Reno 911

Sophomore Jaci Carlsen has been a steady fixture in the clean-up spot for Northridge in 2010. She enters the week batting .289 with six doubles, two triples and two home runs. Carlsen leads the team with 21 RBIs and she is second on the team with 10 walks and five stolen bases. For the year, Carlsen sports a .500 slugging, .404 on-base and a .953 fielding percentage in 106 chances at second base (58 POs, 43 A, 5 E).

Getting the Lo-Down

Senior Lauren Olivas enters the week with a career-high .320 batting average. She leads the team with 32 hits and 21 runs scored. For the season, she also has four doubles, two triples, six RBIs, three stolen bases and a team-high 43 total bases. Olivas also hit her first career home run in 2010, sports a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and is fourth on the team with a .393 on-base percentage.

Double A Keeps Going and Going and Going and Going and Going

Senior Alexandria Alvarado collected her second double of the season against Utah, giving her 30 for her career. That total is tied for seventh in school history with Tamara Ivie and Alvarado is one double shy of tying three other players (Beth Calcante, Chelo Lopez, Christen Bedwell) for fourth in the school annals. Additionally, Alvarado has 22 hits, driven in 10 RBIs and is the third on the team with 17 runs.

Saenz of the Times

Senior Christina Saenz checks in with a .307 batting average through the Matadors' first 32 games. She hit her fourth home run of the season against Utah and now has 12 RBIs on the season. For her career, Saenz now has 77 RBIs, the 10th-most in school history. She took home her third career Big West Player of the Week honors Mar. 1 after batting .571 in the Matadors' games against Michigan State and San Diego State. Add to that a .520 slugging percentage, .395 on-base percentage and 23 hits and Saenz is closing out a very successful career.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Junior Tracy Allen knocked her second home run of the season, a three-run blast, in game one against Utah. She now has a career-high 17 RBIs and six doubles. Allen adds to that 26 hits and three stolen bases and three sac bunts. Defensively, Allen has stated at third base in every game for Northridge, posting a conference-high 71 assists and .965 fielding percentage.

Mihm's the Word

Junior Kristen Mihm picked a great time for her first career home run, blasting a solo shot to help lead Northridge to a 1-0 upset over No. 8 Oklahoma. For the season, Mihm is batting a career-high .325 with 13 hits, eight runs and a career-high six RBIs. Mihm had two hits in each game against Utah, including her second double of the year, and now owns a .450 slugging and .417 on-base percentage.