April 30, 2009

Northridge Travels to Orange County for Pivotal Series with Cal State Fullerton

April 30, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors and Titans Renew Acquaintances for Three-Game Series

Having completed a sweep over UC Riverside in its home finale, the Cal State Northridge softball team (27-17, 7-8 BWC) heads to Orange County to face perennial rival Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series with playoff implications. Currently in second place in the conference, the Titans enter the weekend with a 23-19 record after dropping two games to Long Beach State. A team must finish with at least a .500 record to be considered for postseason play.

For Northridge, the series with Fullerton represents yet another opportunity to win games against a quality opponent. With an RPI hovering around the 60s, CSUN has a great opportunity to enhance its resume with some wins against the Titans. There is little doubt that both teams will be prepared for what is at stake starting Saturday at Anderson Family Field.

Fraijo Earns Pitcher of the Week Honors

Freshman Hannah Fraijo earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors, the league announced on Monday. The rookie went 2-0 and did not allow a run in 11 innings against UC Riverside in the Matadors' three-game sweep. She started game one and went 6.2 innings, scattering five hits and walking two while registering three strikeouts. In game three, she took over in relief and tossed 4.1 innings of one-hit softball as Northridge rallied for a 5-3 victory.

For the season, Fraijo is 7-2 with a 2.39 ERA and 49 K's in 82 innings of work. The seven wins are tied for 10th in the Big West Conference and she also checks in at eighth in earned run average and fourth with a .220 batting-average-against.

200 and Loving it

Matador Head Coach Barbara Jordan picked up her 200th career victory in the Matadors' 5-3 win against UC Riverside on April 26, becoming only the 10th coach in conference history to achieve the feat. Jordan now stands at 200-183-1 in her eight-plus seasons at the helm of the Matador program and is 79-79 in Big West play. She also served as an assistant coach for the Matadors during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In February, Jordan was named to the USA Softball Coaching Pool for 2009-2012. The appointment is the second time Jordan has been selected for the honor.

Putnam Provides Prolonged Productivity, Prompting Perennially Pleasing Performances

Senior Micah Putnam wrapped up her Northridge home career with a bang, hitting .500 in the three-game sweep against UC Riverside. The senior saved her best for last, blasting her third home run on the season during Sunday's senior day. For the season, Putnam has set new career bests with a .297 batting average, nine stolen bases and 30 RBIs. She is hitting a team-high .333 in Big West play and owns a .968 fielding percentage for the season at second base in 220 chances (115 PO, 98 A, 7 E).

Rymer and Reason

Junior Jaclyn Rymer tied her second school record of the season Sunday, stealing three bases in the Matadors' 5-3 win over UC Riverside. For the season, Rymer has nine steals in 13 chances and now has 28 in her career, tied for the seventh-most in school history. She also had a career-high five hits at Cal State Bakersfield on Mar. 21, matching a 27-year-old school record. On the season, she is batting a team-high .336 and also leads the team with 41 hits, 29 runs scored and 21 walks. She also owns a .992 fielding percentage at first base for the year.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Sophomore Tracy Allen picked a great time for her first career triple, blasting a two-run shot down the right-field line to give CSUN the lead in its 5-3 victory over UC Riverside. The sophomore is hitting .282 for the season, nearly 80 points higher than her batting average during her freshman season. She has 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases on the season to go along with 20 runs scored and 29 hits with five sac bunts.

Getting the Lo-Down

Junior Lauren Olivas hit .429 in the three games against UC Riverside, picking up key RBIs in both game two and game three. In game two, Olivas drove home the tying run and then added an insurance run with an RBI single in game three. Since the start of league play, Olivas is batting .273 with seven of her nine RBIs and nine of her 15 hits coming against league opponents.

Karla's Korner

Sophomore Karla Chaparro has been a mainstay in the line-up throughout the season, starting all 44 games at shortstop. She has responded by batting .235 overall and .279 in league play, where she has 12 hits and three RBIs, five runs scored and four stolen bases. Chaparro has already set new career highs with her 27 hits, 10 runs scored, seven sac bunts, five walks and nine RBIs. She is tied for second in the conference with her team-high 10 stolen bases.

Basepaths Beware

Northridge has been a terror on the basepaths all season, leading the Big West Conference with 52 stolen bases and 69 attempts. Among basestealers, Karla Chaparro is tied for second in the league with her 10 stolen bases, a new career high. Against UC Riverside, Jaclyn Rymer stole three bases in game three, tying a school record. She now has nine on the season which is tied with Micah Putnam for the fourth-most in the league. Tracy Allen is the other Matador among the conference's top 10 in steals, checking in at eighth with seven thefts.

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

The Matadors also lead the Big West with 50 sac bunts this season, tied with Pacific. Micah Putnam leads the squad with nine sacrifice bunts, tied for the fourth-most in the conference. She has led Northridge in this statistic in all three of her seasons at CSUN and now has 42 for her career. Several Matadors have also set new career highs in the categories: Karla Chaparro (7), Christina Saenz (6), Krystal Raphael (6), Tracy Allen (5), Alexandria Alvarado (4) and Kristen Mihm (3).

Taking One for the Team

Cal State Northridge batters have been plunked 37 times this season, the most in the Big West Conference. Karla Chaparro has had the biggest bulls-eye and been hit eight times, the fifth-most in the league. Christina Saenz has been hit seven times this year, the sixth-most in the league. Finally, Jaclyn Rymer has been hit six times, tied for the ninth-most in the league.

Defensive Dynamos

Northridge now ranks second in the Big West Conference with a .967 fielding percentage. The Matadors have committed only 46 errors on the season compared to 62 by their opponents. Jaclyn Rymer ranks second in the conference with 357 putouts and 378 chances. Karla Chaparro checks in at third in the league with 120 assists, Tracy Allen is seventh with 100 and Micah Putnam is eighth with 98.

It's In the Numbers

Northridge checks in at 70 in the RPI with its 27-17 record, the fourth-best figure in the conference. The Matadors have played the 88th 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. With its three wins against UCR, Northridge is guaranteed of finishing above .500 for the 2009 season because 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 Cal State Fullerton

The Cal State Fullerton Titans are the Matadors' opponent this weekend. bringing in a 23-19 overall record and an 11-4 mark in the Big West Conference. The Titans are in second place in the Big West Conference, though they dropped two out of three games last weekend at Long Beach State.

As a team, Fullerton enters the weekend with a .235 batting average, a figure that has jumped to .279 since the start of Big West play. Francesca Gonzalez leads the team with a .315 batting average and 10 home runs on the season. Against Big West opponents, she has hit .348 with six of those deep flies.

K.C. Craddick and Lauren Lupinetti have also seen a stark improvement in their averages since the start of league play. Craddick leads the team with a .378 average and Lupinetti is second with a .366 clip in Fullerton's 15 league games.

In the circle, Ari Cervantes has been the Titans' top pitcher, posting a 16-10 record and 2.13 ERA in 24 starts this season. In fact, she has thrown a complete game in all 24 of her starts and is 8-2 with a 1.50 ERA in 10 league starts. Krystal Heinle has been the other main pitcher for CSUF, sporting a 7-7 mark with a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts this season.

Michelle Gromacki is in her 10th season as the head coach of the Titans. She is 360-206 since taking over the program. The Titans owns a 54-30-1 all-time record in the series, winning two out of three games in Northridge last season. The Titans check in at 50th in the RPI with the 26th-toughest strength of schedule in the nation.

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