May 5, 2011

Northridge Closes Out 2011 Home Schedule with Series against UC Riverside

May 5, 2011

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors face Highlanders in Home Finale

The Cal State Northridge softball team (18-29, 6-9) closes out its final home series of the 2011 season when UC Riverside comes to Matador Diamond for a three-game Big West Conference series. The Matadors and Highlanders will play a doubleheader on Saturday, May 7, and then a single game on Sunday, May 8. Both days are scheduled to start at noon and the Mother's Day contest also represents senior day for CSUN's four graduating student-athletes: Tracy Allen, Karla Chaparro, Kristen Mihm and Jennifer Mosier. The quartet will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on May 8.

Last weekend, CSUN employed the dramatics in defeating Cal Poly twice for its first Big West Conference series win of the season. After the two teams split the doubleheader on April 30, the Matadors found themselves down 5-0 after four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Northridge scored a pair of runs to set the stage for an exhilarating sixth. In that frame, Kristen Mihm had a key two-run double and Mikayla Thielges connected on a bases-loaded, game-winning double that gave Northridge a 7-5 victory.

Next up for Northridge are the final home games of the 2011 season, a three-game series with UC Riverside. The Highlanders enter the week at 11-29 overall and 4-11 in the Big West Conference. The Highlanders won one of three games with UC Davis last weekend and carry a .276 team batting average into the weekend.

At the forefront of the UCR attack is the trio of Kameryn Hebenton, Kayla White and Brittany Keeney. Collectively, the three players have accounted for a .348 batting average, 75 runs scored, 26 doubles, 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. Hebenton is also one the of the league's top basestealers, having recorded 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts.

In the circle, the Highlanders sport a team ERA of 5.79 with opponents batting .362 for the season. Jordyn McDonald is 7-13 on the season with a 4.16 ERA and 83 K's. Since the start of league play, McDonald has thrown eight complete games to go along with a 2-6 record and 4.18 ERA. Casey Suda (2-10, 7.29 ERA) and Amy Lwin (2-6, 8.66 ERA) are the Highlanders' other two pitchers and both are expected to see action this weekend.

CSUN leads the all-time series with UC Riverside, 75-7, and carries a 16-game winning streak into Saturday's doubleheader. The Highlanders' last victory in the series came in a 7-1 win at Matador Diamond on May 7, 2005. Cal State Northridge head coach Tairia Flowers spent a season as an assistant coach at UC Riverside for Highlander head coach Connie Miner.

Mihm's the Word --- Big West Player of the Week

Senior Kristen Mihm earned Big West Player of the Week honors on May 2 after batting a perfect 1.000 in the Matadors' series victory over Cal Poly. In the three games, Mihm finished 8-for-8 at the plate, setting a new career high with three hits in games two and three of the series. She added a double, three runs scored, a sac bunt and a key two-run double in the Matadors' comeback victory in game three. That performance has raised her batting average to .246 for the season and a team and league-leading .474 during Big West Conference play. In CSUN's 15 league games, Mihm has 19 hits, four doubles, seven RBIs, three sac bunts and a .535 on-base percentage. She hit her third home run of the season in Northridge's victory over UC Santa Barbara on April 22. For the year, Mihm has three home runs, seven doubles and 14 RBIs. In addition to her prowess at the plate, Mihm patrols center field for Northridge where she has a .970 fielding percentage and seven defensive assists. She hit her first career grand slam in CSUN's win over Western Michigan.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana

Junior Hannah Fraijo picked up her 11th and 12th wins of the season in Matadors' series victory over Cal Poly. In game two of the series, she tossed a complete game in the Matadors' 4-1 victory. The next day, she tossed 5.1 innings of relief work to allow CSUN to rally for a 7-5 comeback victory. She now stands at 12-11 on the year, giving her a career record of 37-23 in two-plus seasons at Northridge. The 12 wins are tied for the fifth-most by a pitcher in the Big West and she also owns a 4.77 ERA in a team-high 138 innings of work. In league play, Fraijo is 4-5 with a 3.42 ERA.

Time for Madeline

Freshman Madeline Sale has been one of the Matador's most consistent threats at the plate throughout the 2011 season. She is second on the team with a .297 batting average for the season, a figure that stands at .311 in Northridge's 15 league games. In the Matadors' series at UC Santa Barbara, Sale recorded a career-high three RBIs and produced her third three-hit performance of the season in the first game. A rookie from Yorba Linda, Calif., Sale has 38 hits, six doubles and 18 RBIs on the season. After starting the year as the team's Designated Player, Sale has now played the majority of games at first base for CSUN and owns a .976 fielding percentage in 248 chances. She ranks fifth in the Big West with 229 defensive put-outs on the year.

Run Forrest Run

Senior Jennifer Mosier has enjoyed a surge in production at the plate since the start of Big West play. She is batting .368 with 14 hits, three doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 13 conference games. Mosier is also tied for both the team and Big West Conference lead with 13 stolen bases on the season, giving her 34 for her career, which ties her for the fourth-most in school history and sets a new program Division-I record. In her three seasons at Northridge, Mosier has been successful on 87 percent (34-of-39) of stolen base attempts. Mosier tied a school record with three steals in the Matadors' win over Portland State on Feb. 13 and set a school Division-I record with 18 stolen bases in 2010. She tied a career high with four hits and set a new season high with three RBIs in the Matadors' win over Pacific and has recorded 19 runs, two triples and 13 RBIs on the year.

Thielges Do Us Part

Sophomore Mikayla Thielges blasted a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the sixth inning to help lead CSUN to a 7-5 comeback victory over Cal Poly on May 1. The two-bagger was the fifth of her season and four of those have come since the start of league play. She hit her league-leading 11th home run of the season in the Matadors' loss to Pacific on April 17, moving her into a tie with two other Northridge players for sixth in school history. The team's everyday catcher, Thielges ranks among the league's top 10 in eight different categories: home runs (2nd), slugging percentage (2nd, .667), on-base percentage (3rd, .463), RBIs (T-2nd, 39), total bases (T-5th, 72), walks (T-2nd, 26), hit by pitch (5th, 10), and sac flies (T-2nd, 3). Since the start of Big West play, Thielges is batting .351 with 11 walks and a team-high .538 on-base percentage. She has a three-hit game (Nevada) and has driven in a career-high four RBIs on two separate occasions (San Jose State, North Dakota).

Reno 911

Junior Jaci Carlsen moved into a tie with Tamara Ivie for eighth in school history with 18 career home runs when she blasted her eighth of the season in the Matadors' 4-1 victory over Cal Poly on April 30. For the season, Carlsen leads CSUN with a .341 batting average, 10 doubles, 82 total bases and 46 hits. In fact, she ranks among the league's top 10 in eight different categories: total bases (T-1st), slugging percentage (4th, .607), hits (T-6th), doubles (T-3rd), home runs (4th) and stolen bases (T-1st, 13). The 13 steals represent a new career high while she adds 24 RBIs and a .412 on-base percentage for the year. Carlsen was named Big West Player of the Week on Mar. 28.

Mama Mia!

Sophomore Mia Pagano picked up her first save of the season and third of her career in the Matadors' comeback victory over Cal Poly on May 1. Since the start of league play, Pagano has been a steady presence for the Matadors in the circle. She tossed the first complete game of her career in helping lead the Matadors to a 5-3 victory over Pacific on April 16. She allowed only two hits and one earned run in the victory, the second win of her career. In six appearances against Big West foes, she is 1-2 with a .242 opponent batting average and a 3.20 ERA in 30.2 innings of work. For the season, she is 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 38.1 innings in the circle.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Senior Tracy Allen is third on the team with 23 RBIs on the season. That figure raises her career RBI total to 81, tying her with Jan Mosier for 10th in school history. Allen also has five home runs on the season, third on the team and tied for eighth in the Big West Conference, to raise her career total to 16 and which is tied for ninth in school history. A mainstay at third base for the Matadors over the last three seasons, Allen is batting .270 for the season with 19 runs, seven doubles and a .431 slugging percentage. She is second in the conference with 128 defensive assists and owns a .955 fielding percentage in 176 chances.

Flowers Named Team USA Assistant Coach

Cal State Northridge softball head coach Tairia Flowers was named an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Softball season on Mar. 3. A member of the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic teams, Flowers will be a part of Team USA head coach Ken Eriksen's staff at the World Cup of Softball July 21-25 in Oklahoma City. In addition to that experience, Flowers will work at the team's selection camp in Chula Vista, Calif., from June 13-17. She will then be part of tour stops in Salem, Virginia (June 29) and Bowie, Maryland (July 1). Flowers is one of two newcomers to the Team USA Coaching Staff for 2011. Joining her as a rookie assistant coach is former UCLA teammate Stacey Nuveman.

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