Matadors Host Gauchos in Three-Game Big West Series at Matador Diamond

April 22, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge meets up with UC Santa Barbara in Crucial League Showdown

The Cal State Northridge softball team (21-20, 5-4 Big West) returns to Matador Diamond for its next Big West Conference series, a three-game match-up with UC Santa Barbara. CSUN enters the weekend fresh off a three-game sweep at Pacific where the Matadors batted .330 as a team and scored 12 runs in back-to-back games.

In all, four Matadors batted over .500 against Pacific pitching in Stockton. En route to winning her first career Big West Player of the Week award, junior Tracy Allen batted .545 with two home runs and eight RBIs. Alexandria Alvarado tied a school record with three doubles in game three against the Tigers, giving her 34 doubles for her career, the fourth-most in school history. In the circle, sophomore Hannah Fraijo won all three games against the Tigers, tossing two complete games and improving her season record to 13-6.

Saturday, UC Santa Barbara comes calling to Matador Diamond, bringing in a 10-30 overall record and 1-8 mark in Big West play. Despite the win-loss record, the Gauchos did win their last league game and boast two players (Jessica Ziegler, .340 and Brooke Putich, .310) batting over .300 for the season. In the circle, UCSB sports a team ERA of 5.38 and a .316 opposing batting average. MeLinda Matsumoto leads the team with a 4-10 record and a 4.79 ERA.

The Matadors own a 54-27-1 record in the all-time series with UC Santa Barbara. Last season was the first time UCSB won the season series with Northridge (2-1) since the 2005 season, when they swept the Matadors. CSUN's last series sweep came in the 2001 season and the Matadors are 25-11-1 at Matador Diamond in the all-time series.

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 41 games in 2010, CSUN sports a .970 fielding percentage, which leads the conference, having committed only 37 errors in 1,251 chances. The fielding percentage ranks 26th in the nation. CSUN ranks seventh in Division I at 0.46 double plays per game, having turned 19 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 41 sac bunts through its first 41 games. Karla Chaparro leads the squad with seven sac bunts, the third-most in the Big West. Mikayla Thielges is second on the team with five sac bunts to her credit while Amanda Pitzenberger, Krystal Raphael, Mikayla Thielges and Jaclyn Rymer all have four.

Basepaths Beware

In 2010, Northridge is 33-of-44 in stolen bases, the fourth-most steals in the league. Jennifer  Mosier leads the team with 13 stolen bases, the most by a CSUN player since 1996, and Jaci Carlsen has six 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 on-base percentage (.353), slugging percentage (.392), runs scored (177), hits (288), RBIs (148), triples (6) and total bases (422). The team's .267 batting average, 50 doubles and 24 home runs all rank second among league teams. CSUN's 24 home runs is more than double what the team hit (9) in 2009.

Learning Your Times Tables

The Matadors have had several players record multiple-hit and multiple-RBI games in 2010. Jennifer Mosier leads the team with 11 multi-hit games while Lauren Olivas is second with nine multi-hit games, including a career-high four against Santa Clara. Jaci Carlsen leads the team with eight multi-RBI games, including a career-high four against Mississippi State. Tracy Allen has seven multi-RBI games, including a career-high five RBIs at Pacific.

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 45 times through 41 games. Krystal Raphael has worn the biggest bulls-eye thus far, having been hit eight times. Jaci Carlsen and Alexandria Alvarado have both been hit seven times.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Junior Tracy Allen earned Big West Player of the Week honors on Apr. 19 after batting .545 with two home runs and eight RBIs in CSUN's sweep at Pacific. In game two of the series, Allen belted a grand slam and finished with a career-high five RBIs. The next day, she added her team-leading sixth home run of the season. For the year, Allen is batting .290 with six home runs, 28 RBIs, six doubles, 36 hits and 15 runs scored. She ranks eighth in the league with a .484 slugging percentage, second in RBIs, fifth in hits, fourth in home runs and fourth in total bases (60). Allen has also played exceptional defense for CSUN at third base, having started all 41 games at the hot corner and posting a league-high 106 assists and sterling .975 fielding percentage.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah montana

Sophomore Hannah Fraijo won all three games in the circle in the Matadors' series sweep at Pacific, improving her season record to 13-6 in the process. Additionally, Fraijo sports a team-best 3.11 ERA, 85 K's and .255 opposing batting average in 132.2 innings of work. She has totaled nine complete games and two shutouts in 2010, including a 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 Oklahoma. Among league pitchers, Fraijo checks in at fifth in ERA, second in wins, sixth in opposing batting average and second in innings pitched. She earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors on Mar. 29 after defeating Utah twice.

Run Forrest Run

Junior Jennifer Mosier was one of four Matadors to bat over .500 in the series sweep at Pacific, raising her season average to a league-best .383. For the season, Mosier leads CSUN in hits (41), runs scored (25), total bases (62), walks (17), stolen bases (13), slugging percentage (.577) and on-base percentage (.472). She adds to that five doubles, five home runs, 18 RBIs and a .968 fielding percentage in the outfield. Mosier has recorded 11 mult-hit games and has four multi-RBI games in 2010. Her 13 stolen bases are the most by an individual Matador since the 1996 season.

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

Senior Alexandria Alvarado cranked out four doubles and batted .556 in the Matadors' three-game sweep at Pacific. The four two-baggers give her six for the season and 34 for her career, the fourth-most in school history. In the third game against the Tigers, Alvarado tied a school record with three doubles. Since the start of Big West play, Alvarado is batting .417, helping to raise her season average to .281. She also has scored 20 runs, collected 32 hits and driven in 15 RBIs in 2010.

Reno 911

Sophomore Jaci Carlsen has been a steady fixture in the clean-up spot for Northridge in 2010. Carlsen enjoyed her time at the dish against Pacific, batting .545 with six hits, two doubles and two home runs. For the year, she is batting .299 with a team-high nine doubles and league-high 29 RBIs. She also ranks third in the conference in slugging percentage (.561), 10th in on-base percentage (.403) and third in triples (2). At second base, Carlsen sports a .951 fielding percentage in 142 chances.

Rymer and Reason

Senior Jaclyn Rymer has batted .350 since the start of Big West play, raising her season average to .240. Rymer had a season-high three runs and three hits in the third game at Pacific. For the year, she has 23 hits, 16 runs scored, two doubles and 10 RBIs. Rymer is seventh in school history with her 29 career steals, one shy of tying Michelle McAnany and Anna Getherall for fifth all time. She also tied two school records in 2009, collecting five hits against Cal State Bakersfield and recording three steals against UC Riverside.

Getting the Lo-Down

Senior Lauren Olivas enters the week with a .281 batting average. She is second on the team and has set a new career high with 36 hits and 26 runs scored. For the season, she also has five doubles, a league-leading three triples, six RBIs, three stolen bases and 50 total bases. Olivas also hit her first career home run in 2010, sports a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and is sixth on the team with a .366 on-base percentage. The three triples ties her for 10th in school history for a single season.

Saenz of the Times

Senior Christina Saenz checks in with a .286 batting average through the Matadors' first 41 games. She had a key double in the win against Long Beach State and hit her fourth home run of the season against Utah. For the season, Saenz now has 14 RBIs. For her career, Saenz now has 81 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 .459 slugging percentage, .369 on-base percentage, 28 hits and 12 runs and Saenz is closing out a very successful career.

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