April 8, 2010

Matadors Close Out Homestand with Three-Game Series against 49ers

April 8, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge Looks to Rebound with League Series against Long Beach State

The Cal State Northridge softball team (17-18, 1-2 Big West) host Long Beach State in a three-game series over April 10 and 11 at Matador Diamond. In closing out an eight-game homestand, the Matadors and 49ers will meet in a crucial league series after both teams went 1-2 in the league's opening weekend.

The Matadors suffered a pair of tough losses to UC Davis last weekend, falling 2-1 in game two and losing 7-3 in extra innings in game three. Alexandria Alvarado led the squad by collecting four hits in eight at-bats, though as a team, CSUN batted just .205 and drew only three walks off Aggie pitching in the series. Jaci Carlsen added two extra-base hits in the series, recording her team-leading seventh double and third home run of the season.

Long Beach State enters the week with a 17-17 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big West play. The 49ers dropped two of three home games as well last weekend. LBSU boasts two of the top pitchers in the conference in Brooke Turner and Taylor Petty. The pair rank among the league's top hurlers in ERA (Petty - third, Turner - fourth), opposing batting average (Turner - fourth, Petty - sixth) and strikeouts (Turner - second, Petty - third).

At the plate, LBSU is batting .246 as a team with Casey Burba (.333) and Brandy Reyes (.310) checking in at over .300 for the season. Nalania St. Germain leads the 49ers with 31 runs scored, six doubles, eight home runs and 23 RBIs. No other Long Beach State player has scored more than nine runs on the season. However, their .355 on-base percentage leads the Big West Conference and is 10 points higher than CSUN's, who check in at second.

The two teams have met 87 times on the diamond in a series dating back to 1979. Long Beach State has won the last four meetings and own a 47-40 record against the Matadors. In fact, CSUN is 2-19 over the last seven seasons against Long Beach State. The Matadors last won a series against Long Beach State in the 2002 season, sweeping the three home games at Matador Diamond.

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 35 games in 2010, CSUN sports a .969 fielding percentage, which leads the conference, having committed only 33 errors in 1,069 chances. The fielding percentage ranks 40th in the nation and 16th in Division I at 0.46 double plays per game, having turned 16 double plays in 2010.

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 38 sac bunts through its first 35 games. Karla Chaparro leads the squad with six sac bunts, the third-most in the Big West. Amanda Pitzenberger, Krystal Raphael, Mikayla Thielges and Jaclyn Rymer all have four to their credit.

Basepaths Beware

In 2010, Northridge is 28-of-38 in stolen bases, the third-most steals in the league. Jennifer  Mosier leads the team with nine stolen bases and Jaci Carlsen has five steals. Karla Chaparro, 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. 

I have the Power

Northridge has certainly had an offensive punch in 2010. The Matadors lead the Big West in slugging percentage (.374), triples (5) and total bases (335). The team's .351 on-base percentage, 137 runs scored, 233 hits, 38 doubles, 18 home runs and 113 RBIs all rank second among the league teams. CSUN's 18 home runs is double what the team hit in all of 2009, and they still have 18 games left.

Learning Your Times Tables

The Matadors have had several players record multiple-hit and multiple-RBI games in 2010. Lauren Olivas leads the team with nine multi-hit games, including a career-high four against Santa Clara. Karla Chaparro is second with eight multi-hit games, including a career-high three against Utah. Jaci Carlsen leads the team with six multi-RBI games, including a career-high four against Mississippi State. Tracy Allen has four multi-RBI games, including a career-high tying three RBIs against Utah.

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 36 times through 35 games. Krystal Raphael has worn the biggest bulls-eye thus far, having been hit eight times.

Reno 911

Sophomore Jaci Carlsen has been a steady fixture in the clean-up spot for Northridge in 2010. She enters the week batting .279 with seven doubles, two triples and three home runs. Carlsen leads the team with 22 RBIs and she is second on the team with five stolen bases. For the year, Carlsen sports a .512 slugging, .385 on-base and a .958 fielding percentage in 120 chances at second base (63 POs, 52 A, 5 E). She ranks third in the Big West in doubles, fourth in RBIs and sixth in slugging.

Getting the Lo-Down

Senior Lauren Olivas enters the week with a career-high .312 batting average. She leads the team and has set a new career high with 34 hits and 23 runs scored. For the season, she also has five doubles, a league-leading three triples, six RBIs, three stolen bases and a team-high 48 total bases. Olivas also hit her first career home run in 2010, sports a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and is second on the team with a .385 on-base percentage.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Junior Tracy Allen cracked her third home run of the season against UC Davis. She now has a career-high 18 RBIs and six doubles. Allen adds to that 28 hits and three stolen bases and three sac bunts. Defensively, Allen has started at third base in every game for Northridge, posting a conference-high 85 assists and .970 fielding percentage.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana

Sophomore Hannah Fraijo enters the series against Long Beach State with a 9-6 record and a 3.30 ERA. She leads the team with a .253 opposing batting average and 71 strikeouts. She won both games in CSUN's sweep over Utah and has tossed seven complete games. Fraijo also recorded shutouts over Oklahoma and Cal State Bakersfield. She ranks among the Big West leaders in wins, strikeouts, ERA, opposing batting average and innings pitched. Fraijo earned her first career Big West Pitcher of the Week award for her performance against Utah.

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

Senior Alexandria Alvarado had four hits in the series against UC Davis to raise her batting average to .265. She 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 26 hits, driven in 10 RBIs and is the third on the team with 17 runs.

Run Forrest Run

Junior Jennifer Mosier continues to lead the Matadors in hitting, entering Friday's contest with a .326 average. She also leads the squad in on-base percentage (.420) and is second on the team in slugging (.488). She has scored 20 runs, hit four home runs and produced 11 RBIs. She also leads the team with nine stolen bases and 14 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.

Karla's Korner

Junior Karla Chaparro continues to provide the Matadors with productivity at shortstop. She had five hits in the two games against Utah to earn the Big West Player of the Week honors on Mar. 29. Chaparro is tied for the team lead and ranks second in the league with seven doubles. She also recorded a career-high 13 runs scored and seven walks and adds 10 RBIs, six sac bunts and three stolen bases. Defensively, Chaparro has been outstanding at shortstop, checking in with a .970 fielding percentage in 133 chances (59 POs, 70 A, 4 E).

Saenz of the Times

Senior Christina Saenz checks in with a .284 batting average through the Matadors' first 35 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 .481 slugging percentage, .376 on-base percentage and 23 hits and Saenz is closing out a very successful career.

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 .304 with 14 hits, nine 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 .413 slugging and .389 on-base percentage.