Matadors Host Five Home Games as Part of CSUN/UCLA Invitational



NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Northridge Hosts Three Games Friday-Sunday at Matador Diamond

The Cal State Northridge softball team (9-8) has a busy weekend ahead as it plays five games at Matador Diamond as part of the CSUN/UCLA Invitational. All three days of the event (Mar. 7-9) will feature three games per day at Matador Diamond, though CSUN may not be playing in all those contests. A complete weekend schedule for games at Matador Diamond can be found at The Matadors' schedule is as follows: Friday, Mar. 7 vs. Grand Canyon at noon, Saturday, Mar. 8 vs. Georgetown at 9 a.m. and Grand Canyon at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Mar. 9 vs. Oregon State at 11:30 a.m. and Charleston Southern at 3 p.m. Live stats will be available for all CSUN games and select contests will hopefully feature live, internet-only radio broadcast.

Last week, the Matadors endured all the rain that came to Southern California and finally got to play their home opener in victories over Portland State and Rutgers. In the win over the Vikings, Brianna Elder tossed her sixth complete game of the year and fanned a career-high 13 batters. Tanna Bindi had two RBIs and CSUN cranked out 11 base hits in the victory. Against Rutgers, Crystal Maas picked up her first win of the season, Elder recorded the save and the Matadors scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to post the comeback victory over the Scarlet Knights.

This week, CSUN squares off with four more foes in five home games. Grand Canyon and Northridge will meet for the first time on the softball diamond Friday and will play again Saturday afternoon. The Antelopes are 9-8 overall on the season and are batting .290 as team. Stephanie Pesqueira leads the team with a .438 average and is one of five players batting over .300 through 17 games. In the circle, Kailey Regester is 4-0 with a 3.02 ERA and 15 K's in 41.2 innings of work. Pesqueira is 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA and 22 K's in 38.2 innings of work.

Georgetown makes the voyage from our nation's capital to the San Fernando Valley to face CSUN Saturday morning. The Hoyas are 7-7 on the year and are batting .223 as a team in 14 games. Megan Hyson, a dual threat at the plate and in the circle, leads the team with a .350 batting average while also sporting a 5-3 record with a 1.70 ERA in 49.1 innings. Georgetown has totaled 22 extra-base hits offensively while surrendering 21 on defense. CSUN and Georgetown have met once in softball, with the Matadors taking a 4-3 victory in Fresno, Calif., during the 2010 season.

Oregon State enters the week with a 6-11 overall record and will face CSUN Sunday for the second this year. At the Kajikawa Classic, CSUN scored a 3-2 victory behind 11 strikeouts from Brianna Elder and a solo home run from Madison Fleming. The Beavers are hitting .272 in 17 games with Christie Langlois leading the club at .435. Offensively, Oregon State has totaled 36 extra-base hits while surrendering 39 to its opponents. In the circle, Amanda Najdek is 4-6 with a 3.73 ERA and 49 K's in 56.1 innings of work. CSUN is looking for its first home victory in the all-time series with Oregon State since sweeping a doubleheader in March of 2001.

Charleston Southern is CSUN's fourth opponent during the weekend and brings a 10-9-1 record across the country. As a team, CSU is hitting .259 with Jessica Brock leading the squad with a .350 average in 20 games. The Buccaneers have collected 42 extra-base hits, including 31 doubles, while surrendering 31 to their opponents. In the circle, Cheyenne Gandara and Jennifer Giles are both 4-3 and sport a 2.10 and 2.26 ERA, respectively. Opponents have batted just .242 off Charleston Southern pitching in 133 innings this year. CSUN and CSU have never met in softball.

Following the five games as part of the CSUN/UCLA Invitational, the Matadors will host Utah State in a doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 12. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. with the second game coming 30 minutes after end of the first contest. Following the two games with the Aggies, CSUN heads to LMU for a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 15 with first pitch slated for noon.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Junior Abby Linn sports a .362 batting average heading into the Matadors' five games this weekend. She batted .412 with a double, a triple and two runs scored in five games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Through 15 games, Linn leads the Matadors in multi-hit games with seven, including three three-hit performances. She scored a career-high four runs in a victory over Boise State and led the Matadors with nine base hits at the Kajikawa Classic, batting .526 with two runs and a stolen base. After posting zero triples in her first two seasons, Linn has already produced two three-baggers to rank tied for second in the Big West Conference. She also ranks tied for fifth in the league with 21 base hits. She has 13 steals in her Matador career and they have come in 13 different games.

Brianna the Elder

Junior Brianna Elder continues to be the Matadors' best weapon the circle through three weekends. In the Matadors' home-opening victory over Portland State, Elder struck out a career-high 13 batters and tossed her sixth complete game of the year. Elder then tossed a quick seventh inning in CSUN's victory over Rutgers to earn her second save of the season. She posted complete game victories over New Mexico and UNLV at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Earlier this season, she tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a win vs. Oregon State and picked up her first career save with two innings of work vs. Seattle. For the season, she is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 50 K's in 54.2 innings of work. She leads the Big West lead with seven wins and ranks fifth in ERA, fourth in opponent batting average and third in innings pitched.

The Mitchell Report

Sophomore Maylynn Mitchell enters the weekend with a .295 batting average. She smashed her team-leading third home run of the season in a win over Boise State while also tying a career high with two runs scored in the contest. She hit the first two home runs of her CSUN career at the Kajikawa Classic, going deep against Colorado State and Seattle. For the year, Mitchell checks in with nine runs, four RBIs and a stolen base. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2013 after a solid rookie year for the Matadors. Originally from Seattle, Wash., Mitchell batted .280 with 13 runs, four doubles, 14 RBIs, three sac bunts and two stolen bases.

Burning Down the House

Junior Sydney House raised her season batting average to .381 with a season-high two hits in the victory over Portland State. She batted .429 with a double, RBI and a run scored during the Matadors' time at the Kajikawa Classic. In 2013, House batted .228 and tied for second on the team with eight doubles and 21 RBIs. She also cranked two home runs, including a grand slam against Hawai'i. She also carried a .351 slugging percentage, a .308 on-base percentage and drew 14 walks for the year. She finished the year with five multi-hit and three multi-RBI games.

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Maas

Junior Crystal Maas is batting .241 heading into the weekend. She had two RBIs and a double in the games in Las Vegas and she picked up an RBI at the plate and tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless softball in the Matadors' time at the Kajikawa Classic. Last year, Maas tied for second on the team with eight doubles and added two home runs, 15 RBIs and 16 runs scored. Maas also recorded her first two career stolen bases in 2013 and sported a .929 fielding percentage. Another two-way threat for the Matadors, Maas picked up her first win of the season with a strong effort in relief against Rutgers. She is 1-0 with a 3.36 ERA and six K's in 8.1 innings of work in 2014.

Bindi Bulletin

Senior Tanna Bindi is batting .226 with four runs scored, a double, a triple and three RBI in 15 games this year. She had two RBIs in the Matadors win over Portland State and picked up her third career triple in the victory as well. Originally from Stockton, Calif., Bindi batted a career-high .225 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 14 RBIs in the 2013 season. She certainly showed a flair for the dramatic in 2013; her first career home run was a walk-off blast that lifted CSUN to a win over UCLA. She also executed a suicide squeeze in extra innings to down Pacific and dropped in a two-run single in the Matadors' victory over Long Beach State on ESPNU. Bindi also has excelled on defense at first base, owning a career fielding percentage of .980 through three-plus seasons.

Better Call a Handy-Woman

Sophomore Madalyne Handy tied a career high with two hits in the Matadors' win vs. Seattle at the Kajikawa Classic and in their win over Toledo at the Easton Desert Classic. Last year, Handy batted .209 with nine runs, three RBIs, two sac bunts and a stolen base. She scored a season-high two runs and had a season-high two RBIs in a win over Seattle and had a season-high two hits in two different games. Off the field, Handy received the inaugural Dr. Dianne F. Harrison Freshman Leadership Award, based on her contributions to the CSUN community as a whole through both her academic and athletic ventures.

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome nine true freshmen and two transfers to their roster for the 2014 season. The group has wasted little time acclimating to Division I softball. Junior Kaitlin Toerner, who spent the previous two years at Bakersfield College, leads the club with a .485 batting average in 16 games. She has scored eight runs, picked up three RBIs and collected three sacrifice hits. Freshman Taylor Glover has had a strong start to her CSUN career, batting .385 with 12 runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs through 17 games. She had four hits against Western Michigan and four RBIs in the win vs. Boise State. Fellow rookie Katie Hooper became the 28th player in program history to hit two home runs in a game, going deep twice against Boise State. She is batting .333 with a double and team-high 13 RBIs that is tied for fourth in the Big West Conference. Taylor Nate has hit two home runs this season and carries a .333 batting average, eight RBIs and a double in 15 games. Madison Fleming blasted her first career home run during the Kajikawa Classic. In the circle, Jordan Sauceda, who joined the squad after two years at San Jose State, tossed five innings and allowed one earned run to pick up the win vs. Seattle in Arizona. True freshmen Daphne Pofek, Rebecca Bell and Aliyah Ricks have also seen time in the circle for the Matadors. 

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

CSUN has recorded 13 sacrifice bunts through its first 17 games of 2014 with rookie Taylor Glover owning four to lead the team. Kaitlin Toerner and Tanna Bindi each have three to their credit and as a team, CSUN is tied for third in the Big West. In 2013, the Matadors finished second in the Big West Conference with 62 sacrifice bunts. Among the returning players, Abby Linn had seven last year and owns nine for career. Bindi had six last year and owns a team-high 15 for her career. Over the past five years, CSUN has averaged over 51 sacrifice bunts per season. During that span, CSUN has finished no worse than fourth among all Big West clubs in the category.

Double Your Pleasure

Eleven different Matadors have recorded a double in 2014 thus far, led by Taylor Glover's team-high three two-baggers. With 15 doubles in 17 games, CSUn is tied for sixth in the Big West Conference. In 2013, CSUN smashed 65 doubles, which tied for second in the Big West Conference and represented 30 more than they had in 2012. Among the returning players, Sydney House and Crystal Maas were second on the team with eight. Five other returning players had at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits last year produced just two triples, both coming off the bat of Tanna Bindi. This year, Abby Linn already has two triples, the first two of her CSUN career, and Bindi picked up the third of her career in CSUN's win over Portland State.

Taking One for the Team

CSUN batters have been hit by a pitch three times in 2014 through 17 games, by far the fewest in the Big West Conference. The Matadors were hit by a pitch a league-high 53 times in 2013. In fact, CSUN has led the Big West Conference in HBP in three of the last five seasons: 2010, 2012, 2013. Among the returning players, sophomore Maylynn Mitchell was hit 11 times in 2013, the third-most beanings in the Big West Conference. Leann Lopez was hit four times while fellow senior Tanna Bindi was plunked three times last year. Since the 2009 season, CSUN has averaged over 46 hit-by-pitches per season and led the Big West in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

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