NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Matadors Travel Up The Coast to Meet the Gauchos
The Cal State Northridge softball team (20-27, 6-9 Big West) return to action this weekend with a three-game Big West Conference series against UC Santa Barbara at Campus Diamond. On Saturday, April 27, the Matadors and Gauchos will play a doubleheader starting at noon followed by a single game on Sunday, April 28 also at noon. All three games will feature live stats available at GoMatadors.com and fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN Athletic Department's official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates throughout the weekend.
Last week, CSUN went 3-2 in a five-game stretch against Long Beach State and Pacific. In a nationally televised doubleheader against the 49ers on ESPNU, CSUN posted a 4-2 extra-inning victory over the 49ers. Junior Tanna Bindi dropped a two-out, two-run single into right field in the top of the eighth to give the Matadors the decisive edge. Senior Shelly Tait earned her first win of the week with a compete game in the circle.
In the series against the Tigers, Northridge won both games of a Saturday doubleheader to post their second Big West series win of the season. Bindi once again provided the heroics, collecting a two-run triple for the Matadors in a 3-1 victory. Tait picked up her second win of the week with another complete game in that win.
The second game of the doubleheader saw CSUN rally from down 3-0 to win 5-4 in eight innings. Bindi executed a perfect suicide squeeze in the bottom of the eighth to give the Matadors the 5-4 victory.
At 20-27 overall, CSUN has already doubled its win total from all of the 2012 season. The Matadors' six Big West victories is one more than it had in all of 2012 and their two series wins are more than they had last year as well. Northridge wound up winning seven of its last eight Big West series against Pacific.
This weekend Northridge sets its sights on UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos are 26-20 overall and 7-8 in the Big West Conference. UCSB has Big West Conference series wins over Cal Poly and UC Davis and will travel to Hawai'i after facing the Matadors.
Sophomore Shelby Wisdom leads UC Santa Barbara both in the circle and at the plate. She enters the weekend batting .329 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBIs on the season. In the circle, she is 14-13 with a 3.02 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 153 innings of work.
Offensively, Arianna Palomares (.312) and Jessica Soria (.310) have also had strong seasons. Palomares has nine doubles, 10 RBIs and two triples in 46 games. Soria is second in the Big West Conference with 20 stolen bases and she adds to that figure 32 runs, two doubles and seven RBIs.
Aside from Wisdom, the Gauchos feature two other pitches who have seen significant action this season. Alex Pingree is 6-4 on the year with a 2.03 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 86 innings of work. Against Big West opposition, Pingree is 3-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 35.1 innings. Adrianna Collins is 5-3 on the season, having made 24 appearances and tossing 70 innings on the year. She is 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA against conference foes.
Following the series with the Gauchos, the Matadors will return to Matador Diamond for their final home games of the 2013 season. On Saturday, May 4, CSUN will host UC Riverside in a doubleheader starting at noon. The following day, the Matadors and Highlanders will meet in a single game also at noon. Before Sunday's contest, the Cal State Northridge softball program will honor its six seniors participating in the final home games of their collegiate careers: Korinne Randazzo, Mia Pagano, Mikayla Thielges, Alexa Limon, Shelly Tait and Tiffini Lucero.