April 23, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Northridge, Highlanders Meet at Matador Diamond for Three Games
With nine games left in the 2009 schedule, the Cal State Northridge softball team (24-17, 4-8 BWC) faces the homestretch in its quest for an appearance in the NCAA Regionals. Currently, the Matadors have dropped eight of their last nine games, all of which comes on the heels of an 11-game winning streak. Northridge knows it is capable of producing at a high level, but must overcome some adversity and quality opponents to realize its goals.
First on the docket is a meeting with UC Riverside, a surprising 6-6 in Big West play that has already set a new school record. The Highlanders took two of three from UC Davis last weekend and are playing with confidence. Both teams enter Saturday batting under .220 with opponents hitting over .290 in conference play, so something has to give. With these being the final games of the 2009 season at Matador Diamond, Northridge will look to utilize the home field advantage one final time.
Putnam Provides Prolonged Productivity, Prompting Perennially Pleasing Performances
Senior Micah Putnam feasted on Cal Poly pitching last weekend, hitting a robust .545 in three-game series with two doubles, two stolen bases, two RBIs, two runs scored, and a triple. In the first game against the Mustangs, she set a new career high with four hits and missed hitting for the cycle by a home run. For the season, Putnam is hitting .282 and has set new career highs with her two triples, eight stolen bases and 28 RBIs. She also sports a .969 fielding percentage in 195 chances at second base and has tied her career mark with seven doubles.
Double A Keeps Going and Going and Going
Junior Alexandria Alvarado is currently leading the team with a .306 batting average in 12 Big West Conference games, raising her season average to .291. Last weekend, Alvarado batted .545 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two doubles. Currently on a five-game hitting streak, Alvarado has registered a hit for Northridge in 20 of her last 24 games. She currently leads the team with nine doubles on the season and has 17 runs scored and 15 RBIs with four stolen bases and three sac bunts.
Sophomore Karla Chaparro has been a mainstay in Head Coach Barbara Jordan's line-up throughout the season, starting all 41 games at shortstop. She has responded by batting .234 overall and .286 in league play, where she has 10 hits and three RBIs and three stolen bases. Chaparro has already set new career highs with her 25 hits, 10 runs scored, seven sac bunts, nine stolen bases five walks and nine RBIs.
The Northridge Ninja Turtle
Sophomore Krystal Raphael set a new career high Sunday against Cal Poly, picking up two base hits. She also recorded her fourth RBI of the season in the contest. Raphael's greatest impact on the Matadors has been her steadying presence behind the plate. She sports a .982 fielding percentage and has thrown out 12 would-be-basestealers on the season.
Rymer and Reason
Junior Jaclyn Rymer has positioned herself to receive consideration for a third-straight appearance on the All-Big West squad. In 2009, she is batting a team-high .336 for the season and leads the team with 27 runs scored, 39 hits and a .447 on-base percentage. She also has 16 RBIs, 20 walks and five stolen bases while sporting a .991 fielding percentage at first base in 352 chances.
A Saenz of the Times
Junior Christina Saenz remains a dangerous threat in the middle of the Matadors' line-up. She is second on the team with a .324 batting average and 36 hits. Saenz has already set new career highs with six sac bunts and four stolen bases on the season. In game one against Cal Poly, she swiped a career-high two bases and drove in her 24th RBI of the season. Saenz also owns a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on the season.
Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture
Sophomore Tracy Allen is now batting .277 on the season, up nearly 75 points from her freshman year. She has already set a new career mark with her 26 hits and her 18 runs scored is three shy of setting a new mark. Allen also has seven stolen bases on the season and five sac bunts and has three doubles and seven RBIs.
Northridge has been a terror on the basepaths all season, leading the Big West Conference with 45 stolen bags and 61 attempts. Karla Chaparro leads the team and ranks third in the league with nine steals and Micah Putnam and Tracy Allen rank fifth and sixth with eight and seven stolen bases, respectively, on the season. The Matadors also rank second in the league in sac bunts with 47 on the season. Putnam leads the squad with nine, which is tied for fourth in the conference. Chapparro checks in tied for seventh in the league with her seven sac bunts and Christina Saenz is third on the team with six.
Northridge now ranks second in the Big West Conference with a .968 fielding percentage. The Matadors have committed only 42 errors on the season compared to 60 by their opponents. Jaclyn Rymer ranks second in the conference with 332 putouts and 352 chances. Karla Chaparro checks in at third in the league with 109 assists while Tracy Allen's 93 defensive assists are tied for sixth in the conference.
It's In the Numbers
Northridge checks in at 73 in the RPI with its 24-17 record, the fourth-best figure in the conference. The Matadors have played the 79th toughest schedule in the nation in 2009 and own a 12-6 record in neutral site contests. As a conference, the Big West ranks seventh in the nation, up a few spots from 2008. A team must finish at or above .500 overall to receive consideration for a berth in the NCAA Regionals.
Torgeson Elected to NFCA Hall of Fame
Former Cal State Northridge softball coach Gary Torgeson was elected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the NFCA 25th Anniversary Convention in Marco Island, Fla. During his 13-year tenure, Torgeson won four Division II National Championships and helped CSUN successfully transition to Division I, culminating with an appearance in the College World Series Final against Arizona in 1994. He finished with a 636-216-8 record and never finished worse than a tie for first in the conference standings.
Scouting UC Riverside
At 17-24 overall and 6-6 in Big West Conference games, the Highlanders of UC Riverside arrive at Matador Diamond for a three-game series in fourth place in the league. The two teams will play a doubleheader on April 25th and a single game on April 26th, with both days starting at noon.
The Highlanders recently took two of three games from UC Davis and their six conference wins are a new program best at the Division I level. As a team, UCR is hitting .227 and owns a .312 on-base percentage for the season. Patricia Adgar is the team's top individual batter, hitting .291 with six stolen bases. Taylor Thomas leads the Highanders with 17 RBIs and also has six doubles to her credit. Since the start of conference play, the team is hitting .220 with Kameryn Hebenton leading the charge with a .333 average.
In the circle, the Highlanders' staff is sporting a 3.58 team ERA and a 1.65 team WHIP. Stephanie Marshall has made 17 starts for the Highlanders and owns a 6-10 record with a 3.27 ERA and 50 K's in 105 innings of work. Marissa Alvidrez is 6-11 on the year with a 3.48 ERA and 53 K's in 102.2 innings of work. Finally, Amy Lwin is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Opponents have managed to hit at a .301 rate against UCR pitching on the season, a figure that drops to .290 in its 12 league games.
Connie Miner is the head coach of UC Riverside, having compiled a 102-218 record in her five-plus seasons at the helm. Northridge owns a 69-7 all-time record against UCR, having swept the Highlanders in Riverside in 2008, and currently own a 10-game winning streak in the series.