CSUN Softball Hosts Northern Illinois, LMU, Seattle at Matador Diamond


NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors Face Huskies, Lions and Redhawks in Six-Game Slate

The Cal State Northridge softball team (10-16) hosts Northern Illinois in a doubleheader at Matador Diamond on Tuesday, Mar. 12 with the first game starting at 1 p.m. Then on Saturday, Mar. 16 and Sunday, Mar. 17, CSUN welcomes Seattle and LMU to the San Fernando Valley for three games each day starting at 9:30 a.m. The Matadors will face both the Redhawks and Lions Saturday and Sunday. All CSUN games will feature live stats available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN Softball program's official Twitter account (@CSUNSoftball) for in-game updates for all six contests.

Last week, CSUN pulled off a historic 3-2 victory over UCLA, its first win over the Bruins since the 1998 season and its first win over a nationally ranked opponent since 2007. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, junior Tanna Bindi blasted a two-run shot, her first career home run, over the right field fence to lift the Matadors to the dramatic victory. In the circle, Mia Pagano worked around nine Bruin hits and had three strikeouts in a complete game victory.

Northridge then split a weekend doubleheader with CSU Bakersfield. After dropping a tough 3-2 decision in the first game, Pagano tossed 6+ innings with seven strikeouts and Korinne Randazzo had a career-high three hits and two stolen bases as the Matadors posted a 4-2 victory.

This week, the Matadors face three talented teams in the Northern Illinois, Seattle and LMU. The Huskies of Northern Illinois are 6-12 on the season and just competed in a tournament at Cal Poly. Jennifer Barnett leads the club with a .357 average and 12 RBIs while Nicole Gremillion checks in at .339 with 12 runs scored. As a team, Northern Illinois has batted .232 in 122 innings of play.

In the circle, Emily Norton and Jessica Sturm have pitched the vast majority of innings. Norton is 2-7 with a 4.03 ERA and 27 K's in 48.2 innings of work. Sturm is 3-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 23 K's in 58 innings. CSUN and Northern Illinois have never faced each other on the diamond.

On Saturday and Sunday, LMU and Seattle come to Matador Diamond for three games each day. The Redhawks of Seattle are 9-14 on the season and are batting .246 as a team in 148.1 innings of play. Allegra Wilde leads the club in hitting at .327 and has five doubles, eight RBIs and five stolen bases. Isabella Geronimo is hitting .317 with  five doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs.

In the circle, Richelle Ashburn owns a 6-5 record with a 3.04 ERA and 54 K's in 71.1 innings of work. Opponent are hitting .263 off Ashburn for the season, but as a staff, opponents are hitting .305 off Seattle pitching. This will be the first time the two teams have met in their Division I histories.

LMU enters the week with an even 11-11 record and all their games have been neutral-site contests. Meghan Harman leads the Lions with a .424 batting average, 13 runs, five home runs and 16 RBIs on the season. As a team, LMU is batting .258 in 153 innings of play and have 34 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs.

In the circle, Dana Waldusky is 3-8 with a 2.81 ERA and 24 strikeouts in a team-high 62.1 innings of work. Sydney Gouveia is 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA and a .220 opponent batting average in 46.2 innings of work. Molly Medeiros is 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 39.2 innings of work for LMU as well. 

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Senior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges has had a strong start to her final season at CSUN. She carries a .359 batting average, .529 on-base percentage and .750 slugging percentage through 26 games. She blasted her team-leading fifth home run and 24th of her career in the Matadors' loss to CSUB. At the tournament in Las Vegas, she batted .444 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. At the Stanford Nike Invitational, Thielges batted .462 with two doubles, four RBIs and four walks. The 24 home runs ties her for sixth in school history and she also has 86 career RBIs, moving into a tie for 10th in program history. For the season, Thielges has 14 runs, 10 doubles, 13 RBIs, 48 total bases and two stolen bases. Thielges leads the Big West in doubles and on-base percentage and is second in slugging, total bases and hit by pitches. She also ranks among the top 10 in batting average, home runs, walks and leads all catchers with 10 runners caught stealing.

Mama Mia! -- Big West Pitcher of the Week 

Senior Mia Pagano picked up a pair of impressive victories for CSUN last week, including a complete-game performance in the Matadors' win over UCLA and was named Big West Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her career. She added 6.1 innings with one earned run and a season-high seven strikeouts against CSUB. For the season, Pagano is 5-5 with a 3.15 ERA, 36 K's and a team-high 66.2 innings of work. In Las Vegas, Pagano earned complete game victories over New Mexico State and DePaul, allowing just five earned runs in 14 innings. She also has held opponents to a .258 batting average on the year. She ranks among the league's top 10 pitchers in opponent batting average, wins, strikeouts, appearances and innings pitched. At the plate, she carries a .167 batting average and 10 base hits on the season. She has a double, five RBIs, four runs and hit a three-run home run in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Western Michigan.

Tait That Something

Senior Shelly Tait carries a 4-6 record, 2.89 ERA, 37 K's and .249 opponent batting average through 13 appearances into the week. In Las Vegas, Tait tossed her second shutout of the season in a victory over Weber State, striking out a career-high nine batters in the victory. In the Santa Clara tournament, Tait set a new career high with 9.2 innings against Saint Mary's. She earned her third win of the season with a strong performance at Santa Clara. Tait tossed five innings of one-hit softball in CSUN's 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield and added a save in the Matadors' 2-1 earlier victory over the Roadrunners. Tait picked up her first win of the season in the circle with a commanding performance vs. Western Michigan. She tossed 6+ innings and allowed only four hits and one unearned run in the victory over the Broncos. Tait ranks among the league's top 10 in ERA, wins, innings pitched, ERA, opposing batting average, wins and strikeouts.

Burning Down the House

Sophomore Sydney House has come out of the gates swinging in her second season with the Matadors. For the season, House owns a .296 batting average, having collected five doubles while leading the team with 15 RBIs, which ranks eighth in the Big West. At the tournament in Las Vegas, House cranked her first career home run and finished with a career-high four RBIs in the victory over Weber State. She had a career-high two hits at Fresno State and two RBIs vs. San Jose State. She also sports a .444 slugging percentage, a .403 on-base percentage and has drawn 11 walks for the year.

Randazzo's Return

Senior Korinne Randazzo collected a career-high three hits, including two doubles, and a career-high two stolen bases in the Matadors' 4-2 win over CSUB. She also had a strong weekend at the plate for CSUN in Las Vegas. She batted .385 with two doubles, six walks and three stolen bases in the six games. Randazzo now leads the Matadors and ranks tied for fifth in the Big West with eight stolen bases on the year. She belted a grand slam, her first home run of the season, in the Matadors' 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield. She drove in  two runs in the game with California and had a season-high two hits vs. Arizona State. For the year, Randazzo is batting .281 with 12 runs, four doubles, a home run, eight RBIs and a .414 on-base percentage.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Maas

Sophomore Crystal Maas enters the weekend batting .250 with 15 base hits in her second season with the club. A two-way threat, Maas also sports a 3.34 ERA and .204 opponent batting average in 8.2 innings of work. She tossed her first career shutout, striking out a career-high seven in a 5-0 victory over Santa Clara. At the plate, Mass collected a season-high two RBIs in CSUN's win over Weber State. She hit the first home run of her career in the Matadors' victory over Western Michigan and has tied a career high with two hits in three different games. Maas also recorded her first career stolen base this season and sports a .906 fielding percentage.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Sophomore Abby Linn is batting .194 with 11 runs, six stolen bases and three doubles through the first 26 games of the 2013 season. Linn tied a season high with two hits and two runs scored in CSUN's second win over CSU Bakersfield. She recorded her first career double in the game vs. San Jose State and scored two runs against the Spartans. Her five steals have come in five different games and also has three sacrifice hits.

Brianna the Elder

Sophomore Brianna Elder tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit softball against DePaul in Las Vegas. She also turned in an impressive performance in relief at Fresno State. Entering the first game in the first inning, Elder did not surrender a hit to the Bulldogs for the rest of the contest. In all, she went 5.2 innings with no runs, no hits and just two walks. For the season, Elder is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA and a .298 opponent batting average in 21 innings of work.

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome four true freshmen to their roster for the 2012 season: Madalyne Handy, Samantha Jakeway, Maylynn Mitchell and Ariana Wassmer. Through four weekends of play, both Mitchell and Wassmer have made immediate impacts in the field and at the plate. Mitchell is batting .250 after posting a .667 clip in four games in Las Vegas. She had a season-high three hits and two RBIs in the Matadors' win over Weber State and sports two doubles, seven RBIs and four runs scored for the season. Wassmer enters the week batting .176 for the season with three doubles and six RBIs. She has had a season-high two hits twice, has more walks (7) than strikeouts (6) and has three sacrifice bunts. Handy has appeared in 18 games thus far and is batting .167 with three runs and her first career stolen base.

Walk This Way

The Matadors have shown a good deal of patience at the plate through 23 games in the 2013 season. As a team, Northridge has drawn 73 walks, the third-most free passes in the Big West. Mikayla Thielges leads the squad with 13 free passes, ranking third in the league. Korinne Randazzo drew six walks in six games in Las Vegas and now has 11 on the year, which is tied for second on the team with Sydney House. Leann Lopez is right on their heels with nine base on balls. CSUN has also been hit by a pitch 23 times, the second-most in the conference. Thielges has been plunked 10 times already this season. As a team, Northridge spots a team on-base percentage of .323 through 26 games.

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

Through 26 games, the Matadors have recorded 27 sac bunts to lead the Big West Conference. Korinne Randazzo leads the team with five sac bunts while Leann Lopez has four and Abby Linn, Tanna Bindi and Ariana Wassmer have three to their credit. Seven other Matadors have at least one to their credit and Northridge has executed a sac bunt 15 more times than their opponents (27-12).

Double Your Pleasure

Through 23 games, the Matadors have smashed a league-leading 33 doubles. Setting the pace for Northridge is senior MIkayla Thielges, who leads the Big West Conference with 10 doubles. Sydney House is second on the team and tied for fifth in the league with five on the season and five other players have at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits have yet to lead to a triple for CSUN, the only team in the conference without a three-base hit.

Lights, Camera, Action

The Matadors' doubleheader with Long Beach State on April 10, 2013 at 49ers Softball Complex will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. and the two teams will complete the season series a week later with a single game at 3 p.m. also at the 49ers Softball Complex.