May 6, 2010

Northridge Continues Roadtrip with Big West Series at UC Riverside

May 6, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Face Highlanders in Crucial Three-Game Series

The Cal State Northridge softball team (26-21, 10-5) take its final roadtrip of the 2010 regular season when it heads to the Inland Empire to face UC Riverside in a three-game Big West Conference series. At 10-5 in the Big West Conference, the Matadors enter Saturday's doubleheader in a tie with Cal Poly for second place, one game behind UC Davis. With the Aggies and Mustangs squaring off in San Luis Obispo, the Matadors know the contests against the Highlanders are critical in the pennant race.

Last weekend, Northridge took two of three games at Cal Poly to record their first series victory over the Mustangs since the 2004 season. Behind Hannah Fraijo, the Matadors blanked the Mustangs, 5-0, in the first game of the doubleheader. CSUN then completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-3 victory in game two, riding a splendid relief performance by Debbie Duran.

At the plate, Karla Chaparro led the Matadors, batting .500 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Jaci Carlsen added a .400 batting average and three RBIs to raise her season total to a team and league-high 34 on the season. Jennifer Mosier also stole her 16th base of the season in the series, moving into ninth in school history for a single season.

Northridge must now turn its attention to a UCR team that enters the weekend with a 22-26 overall record and a 7-8 mark in Big West play. Marissa Alvidrez leads the Highlanders both in the circle and at the plate. She is batting .325 for the season with eight doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs. In the circle, she owns a 15-12 record with a 3.47 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 163.1 innings of work. In terms of offense, UCR leads the league with 66 doubles and has three players in double figures in two-baggers.

In another series that dates back 30 years, CSUN owns a 72-7 record against UC Riverside in the all-time series. The Matadors have won the last 13 games in the series and are 23-1 against the Highlanders since the 2002 season. UCR's lone Division I victory against CSUN came on May 7, 2005 at Matador Diamond, a 7-1 victory. The Matadors own a 27-4 all-time record at UC Riverside.

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 47 games in 2010, CSUN sports a .970 fielding percentage, which leads the conference, having committed only 44 errors in 1,447 chances. The fielding percentage ranks 29th in the nation. CSUN ranks 13th in Division I at 0.43 double plays per game, having turned 20 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 51 sac bunts through its first 47 games. Jaclyn Rymer had two bunts at Cal Poly to raise her season total to a team and career-high eight. Karla Chaparro checks in with seven and Mikayla Thielges is third on the team with six sac bunts to her credit. Additionally, Amanda Pitzenberger, Krystal Raphael and Alexandria Alvarado all have four.

Basepaths Beware

In 2010, Northridge is 37-of-48 in stolen bases, the third-most steals in the league. Jennifer  Mosier leads the team with 16 stolen bases, the most by a CSUN player since 1990, and Jaci Carlsen has six steals. Tracy Allen is third with four swipes while Karla Chaparro and Lauren Olivas are fourth on the team having stolen three bags. 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 (.385), runs scored (199), hits (331), RBIs (169) and total bases (475). The team's .268 batting average, 57 doubles, six triples and 25 home runs all rank second among league teams. CSUN's 25 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 Karla Chaparro and Tracy Allen are second with 10 multi-hit games. Jaci Carlsen and Allen share the team lead with eight multi-RBI games. In all, CSUN players have recorded 71 multi-hit and 32 multi-RBI games in 2010.

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 51 times through 47 games. Krystal Raphael has worn the biggest bulls-eye thus far, having been hit 10 times. Jaci Carlsen has been hit nine times and Alexandria Alvarado has been hit seven times.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Junior Tracy Allen continues her solid performance offensively and defensively with three hits, one run and 14 assists last weekend against Cal Poly. She is now batting .362 in conference play with 15 RBIs, four home runs, a .434 on-base percentage and .638 slugging percentage. 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. For the year, Allen is batting .299 with six home runs, 32 RBIs, seven doubles, 43 hits and 16 runs scored. She ranks ninth in the league with a .472 slugging percentage, third in RBIs, seventh in hits, fifth in home runs and third in total bases (68). Allen has also played exceptional defense for CSUN at third base, having started all 47 games at the hot corner and posting a league-high 130 assists and sterling .959 fielding percentage.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana

Sophomore Hannah Fraijo picked up a win and recorded her first save of the year last Saturday against Cal Poly. Fraijo completed the series throwing 13.1 innings, posting an impressive 1.05 ERA. Fraijo leads all Big West pitchers with 16 wins and has pitched the second-most innings (160.0) in the conference. From Mar. 20 through May 2, Fraijo tossed an 11-1 record in the circle for the Matadors. Additionally, Fraijo sports a team-best 2.84 ERA, 91 K's and a .249 opposing batting average. She has totaled 13 complete games and two shutouts in 2010, including a 1-0 victory over then-No. 7 Oklahoma. Among league pitchers, Fraijo checks in at fourth in ERA, fifth 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 is one of only two players in the Big West to be ranked among the top ten leaders in batting average (.369), slugging percentage (.549) and on base percentage (.469). For the season, Mosier leads CSUN in hits (45), runs scored (30), total bases (67), walks (23), stolen bases (16), slugging percentage (.549) and on-base percentage (.469). She adds to that seven doubles, five home runs, 18 RBIs and a .971 fielding percentage in the outfield. Mosier has recorded 11 mult-hit games and has four multi-RBI games in 2010. Her 16 stolen bases are the most by an individual Matador since the 1990 season and rank eighth in school history for a single season.

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

Senior Alexandria Alvarado cracked her seventh double of the season and fifth in Big West play in the series at Cal Poly. The two-bagger gives her 35 for her career, only one shy of tying Scia Mamausolo and Emilee Moore's for second in school history. Since the start of league play she is batting .350 against conference opponents with seven RBIs, a triple and one home run. For the year Alvarado is batting .277 with 22 runs, 36 hits, two home runs and 17 RBIs. In the third game against Pacific, Alvarado tied a school record with three doubles.

Reno 911

Sophomore Jaci Carlsen has been a steady fixture in the clean-up spot for Northridge in 2010. She batted .400 with one double and three RBIs in the series at Cal Poly to raise her season total to a league-leading 34. For the year, she has a team-high 10 doubles, is batting .294 and has two triples, five home runs and 20 runs. She also ranks fifth in the conference in slugging percentage (.524) sixth in total bases (66), seventh in home runs, fifth in doubles, fourth in triples and fourth in hit by pitches (9). At second base, Carlsen sports a .960 fielding percentage in 174 chances.

Duran Duran

Senior Debbie Duran picked up her first win of the season in the series at Cal Poly, tossing 6.1 innings of relief softball in the Matadors' 5-3 victory on Saturday. Since the start of league play, Duran has reestablished herself as a force in the circle. In four games against league opponents, she is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and one complete game in 18.1 innings of work. Last year, Duran posted an 18-12 record, two saves and a 2.43 ERA to earn All-Big West Honorable Mention honors.

Karla's Korner

Junior Karla Chaparro continues to provide the Matadors with productivity at shortstop. She batted a team-best .500 in the series at Cal Poly, driving in two runs in both of CSUN's victories. For the year, Chaparro is batting .246 with a career-high 20 runs, 32 hits, seven doubles and 16 RBIs. She is also second on the team with seven sac bunts and has three stolen bases. Chaparro had five hits in the two games against Utah to earn the Big West Player of the Week honors on Mar. 29. Defensively, Chaparro has been outstanding at shortstop, checking in with a .967 fielding percentage in 184 chances (82 POs, 96 A, 6 E).