May 12, 2010

Northridge Hosts Cal State Fullerton With Big West Title At Stake

May 12, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Host Titans with League Title, Playoff Berth on the Line

The Cal State Northridge softball team (29-21, 13-5) closes out the 2010 regular season with a three-game series against Cal State Fullerton at Matador Diamond. The Matadors currently stand in second in the Big West at 13-5, one game behind UC Davis. Northridge must finish with a better record than the Aggies to win the Big West Conference Championship because UCD won the season series. The Aggies host UC Santa Barbara in Davis this weekend.

Still, CSUN is confident entering the series against Fullerton. The Matadors swept UC Riverside and have won 12 of their last 13 games. In fact, Northridge is 28-12 since starting the season 1-9 against a very challenging slate of opponents. That equates to a .700 winning percentage with notable victories over San Diego State, Oklahoma, Iowa, Mississippi State outside of the league schedule. In league action, Northridge has swept three opponents and also won a series against Cal Poly for the first time since 2004.

A look into some of the offensive numbers reveals some outstanding performances this season. Jennifer Mosier has exploded on the scene, leading the Matadors and ranking among the league's best in multiple offensive categories. She has also stolen 18 bases, the most by a Matador since the 1990 season, setting a new program DIvision I record in the process. In the infield, Jaci Carlsen and Tracy Allen have combined to drive in 75 runs, hit 13 home runs and bat over .300 for the season.

With the series agianst the Titans being the final home games of the year, the Matadors must say goodbye to a group of six seniors that have led the program to numerous victories and multiple Big West Conference awards. Alexandria Alvarado, Debbie Duran, Lauren Olivas, Amanda Pitzenberger, Jaclyn Rymer and Christina Saenz have all left an indelible mark on Matador Softball.

Fullerton arrives into the weekend carrying a 13-37 overall record and 8-10 mark in the Big West. At the plate, Nicole Johnson leads the team with a .283 batting average. Torrie Anderson has 10 home runs and Trina Harrison adds nine bombs for a Titan squad that leads the Big West with 35 home runs. In the circle, Krystal Heinle is 4-7 with a 4.46 ERA and Ari Cervantes is 6-18 with a 4.70 ERA.

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 50 games in 2010, CSUN sports a .969 fielding percentage, which leads the conference, having committed only 47 errors in 1,531 chances. The fielding percentage ranks 34th in the nation. CSUN also ranks 21st in Division I at 0.40 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 52 sac bunts through its first 50 games. Jaclyn Rymer raised her season total to a team and career-high nine at UC Riverside. Karla Chaparro checks in with seven and catchers Krystal Raphael and Mikayla Thielges are third with six sac bunts to her credit. Additionally, Amanda Pitzenberger, Krystal Raphael and Alexandria Alvarado all have four.

I Have the Power

Northridge has certainly packed an offensive punch in 2010. As a team, the Matadors lead the Big West in batting average (.274), on-base percentage (.360), slugging percentage (.397), runs scored (225), hits (361), RBIs (192) and total bases (523). The team's 60 doubles, six triples and 30 home runs all rank second among league teams. In Big West play, the Matadors are second in batting average (.290), but first in slugging (.434), on-base percentage (.374), hits (143), runs (96), RBIs (85) and total bases (214).

Pitz The Truth

Senior Amanda Pitzenberger owns an 8-5 record with a 3.40 ERA and 29 K's heading into the weekend. She ranks ninth in the league in ERA and the eight wins match a career high. For her career, Pitzenberger has tossed two no-hitters and ranks seventh in school history with five career saves. For her career, Pitzenberger is 23-20 with 16 complete games and three shutouts in 46 career starts.

Duran Duran

Senior Debbie Duran won twice for the Matadors in their series at UC Riverside, including a two-hit shutout in game two. Since the start of league play, Duran has re-established herself as a force in the circle. In seven games against league opponents, she is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA and two complete games in 27.1 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.

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

Senior Alexandria Alvarado cracked her eighth double of the season and sixth in Big West play in the series at UC Riverside. The two-bagger gives her 36 for her career, tying Scia Mamausolo and Emilee Moores for second in school history. Since the start of league play she is batting .320 against conference opponents with eight RBIs, a triple and one home run. For the year Alvarado is batting .271 with 23 runs, 38 hits, two home runs and 18 RBIs. In the third game at Pacific, Alvarado tied a school record with three doubles. For her career, Alvarado has scored 80 runs, recorded 145 hits and driven in 66 runs. Alvarado earned All-Big West Honorable Mention following her sophomore season in 2008.

Getting the Lo-Down

Senior Lauren Olivas enters the week batting a career-high .271 and has also set new career marks in runs (34), hits (43), doubles (5), triples (2), home runs (2), walks (18) and total bases (60). In fact, the 34 runs in 2010 matches what she had for her career coming into the year. The three triples ties her for 10th in school history for a single season and she hit her first two career home runs in 2010 as well. For her career, Olivas has scored 68 runs, recorded 103 hits and driven in 29 runs.

Rymer and Reason

Senior Jaclyn Rymer enters the weekend with .231 batting average, having scored 20 runs with 27 hits and 11 RBIs in her final season at Northridge. Rymer leads the team with a career-high nine sac bunts and also has three doubles. At first base, She sports a ,993 fielding percentage with only two errors in 280 chances. Rymer is seventh in school history with her 29 career steals, one shy of 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. For her career, Rymer has scored 90 runs, recorded 141 hits and driven in 58 runs. She was named to the All-Big West First Team in 2008 and Second Team in 2007.

Saenz of the Times

Senior Christina Saenz drove in eight RBIs in the series at UC Riverside to raise her season total to 22. For her career, Saenz now has 87 RBIs, the eighth-most in school history. For the year, she is batting .298 with 15 runs, seven doubles and five home runs. 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. For her career, Saenz has scored 53 runs, recorded 131 hits and cracked 12 home runs. She was named Big West Freshman Co-Player of the Year and earned All-Big West and All-West Region Second Team honors in 2007.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Junior Tracy Allen continues her solid play for the Matadors in the series at UC Riverside, mashing her team-high seventh home run and eighth double of the season. For the year, Allen is batting .312 with 48 hits and 21 runs scored. She ranks second in the Big West with 36 RBIs and checks in at sixth in slugging percentage (.500). Allen also leads the Big West with 142 defensive assists and sports a sterling .962 fielding percentage having started all 50 games at third base.

It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana

Sophomore Hannah Fraijo racked up her team and league-leading 17th win of the season at UC Riverside. She is now 17-7 with a 2.82 ERA and 95 K's in 169 innings of work. Against Big West opposition, Fraijo is 9-2 with a 2.35 ERA and seven complete games. Fraijo earned her first career Big West Player of the Week honor earlier in the year when she defeated Utah in both ends of a doubleheader. She is now 24-11 with five shutouts and 15 complete games in 34 career starts.

Run Forrest Run

Junior Jennifer Mosier is one of four players in the Big West to be ranked among the top ten leaders in batting average (.379, second), slugging percentage (.545, third) and on base percentage (.478, second). For the season, Mosier leads CSUN in hits (50), runs scored (35), walks (25) and stolen bases (18). She adds to that seven doubles, five home runs and 20 RBIs. Her 18 stolen bases are the most by an individual Matador since the 1990 season, setting a new program Division I record, and rank eighth in school history for a single season.

Reno 911

Sophomore Jaci Carlsen has been a steady fixture in the clean-up spot for Northridge in 2010. She enters the week with a .308 batting average, six home runs, six stolen bases and two triples. She leads the Big West with 39 RBIs, one shy of 10th in school history for a single year, and ranks second in slugging (.549) and sixth in on-base percentage (.417). Carlsen owns a .962 fielding percentage at second base (103 PO, 76 A, 7 E).

Karla's Korner

Junior Karla Chaparro continues to provide the Matadors with productivity at shortstop. For the year, Chaparro is batting .248 with a career-high 21 runs, 34 hits, seven doubles and 17 RBIs. 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 .965 fielding percentage in 198 chances (87 POs, 104 A, 7 E).

Mihm's the Word

Junior Kristen Mihm smashed her second home run of the season to lift CSUN to a sweep at UC RIverside. It was the second time this year that a Mihm deep fly spurred the Matadors to victory, as her first career home run lifted Northridge to a 1-0 victory over then-No. 8 Oklahoma. For the season, Mihm is batting an even .300 with 18 hits, 13 runs, three doubles and eight RBIs. All of those figures represent new career highs.