April 27, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Matadors Begin Homestand with Series against Mustangs
The Cal State Northridge softball team (16-28, 4-8 Big West) opens its final homestand of the season with a three-game series against Cal Poly at Matador Diamond. The Matadors and Mustangs will play a doubleheader on April 30 starting at noon and then usher in the month of May with a single game on May 1, also at noon.
Northridge enters the final six home games of the season still looking for their first Big West series victory. However, the Matadors have not been swept in a series this year having already faced three of the top four teams in the league's standings.
Last week, CSUN dropped a pair of close decisions to UC Santa Barbara in addition to a 9-2 victory over the Gauchos on April 22. Freshman Madeline Sale led the Matadors at the plate after finishing with five RBIs, including a career-high three in the first game of the series, during the weekend. Kristen Mihm also had a productive weekend at the plate, finishing 4-for-5 with four RBIs and her career-high third home run of the season in the April 22 doubleheader.
This week, Northridge hosts Cal Poly, the league coaches' preseason favorite to win the Big West Conference. Facing one of the tougher schedules in all of Division-I softball, the Mustangs enter Saturday's doubleheader with a 7-31 overall record and a 3-9 mark in Big West play.
At the plate, Anna Cahn is one of the most feared hitters in the conference and owns a .318 batting average, 11 home runs and a team-high 17 runs scored and 22 RBIs. Nora Sobczak is the other Mustang regular hitting over .300 for the season, checking in at .344 with 31 hits and four stolen bases. In Big West play, Cahn is batting .478 with 16 walks and zero strikeouts to give her a .700 on-base percentage through 12 games.
In the circle, Rebecca Patton is 5-16 with a 4.64 ERA and a .315 opponent batting average for the season. A dual threat, Cahn is 1-11 on the season with a 4.67 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Since the start of Big West play, Patton is 3-4 with a 3.02 ERA and a .308 opponent batting average.
The Matadors and Mustangs have faced each other 106 times on the diamond in the all-time series with CSUN holding a 66-39-1 record. Last season, Northridge took two out of three from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, though the Mustangs won the series finale.
Time for Madeline
Freshman Madeline Sale has been one of the Matador's most consistent threats at the plate throughout the 2011 season. She is second on the team with a .311 batting average for the season and leads the club with a .361 clip in Big West play. In the Matadors' series at UC Santa Barbara, Sale recorded a career-high three RBIs and produced her third three-hit performance of the season in the first game and finished with an RBI in all three contests. A rookie from Yorba Linda, Calif., Sale has 37 hits, six doubles and 17 RBIs on the season. She has produced three three-hit performances (Nevada, Southern Miss, UCSB) while drawing 13 walks to raise her on-base percentage to .376 for the season. After starting the year as the team's Designated Player, Sale has now played the majority of games at first base for CSUN and owns a .977 fielding percentage in 221 chances. She also ranks seventh in the Big West with 204 defensive put-outs on the year.
Mihm's the Word
Senior Kristen Mihm has really knocked the cover off the ball since the start of Big West play. In the Matadors' 12 league games, Mihm is batting .333 with three doubles, five RBIs and a .429 on-base percentage. She hit her third home run of the season in Northridge's victory over UC Santa Barbara on April 22. For the year, Mihm has three home runs, six doubles and 12 RBIs. In addition to her prowess at the plate, Mihm patrols center field for Northridge where she has a .966 fielding percentage and seven defensive assists. She hit her first career grand slam in CSUN's win over Western Michigan.
Run Forrest Run
Senior Jennifer Mosier has enjoyed a surge in production at the plate since the start of Big West play. She is batting .344 with 11 hits, three doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 10 conference games. Mosier is also second on the Matadors and fourth in the Big West Conference with 11 stolen bases on the season, giving her 32 for her career, the fifth-most in school history and a new program Division-I record. In her three seasons at Northridge, Mosier has been successful on 86 percent (32-of-37) of stolen base attempts. Mosier tied a school record with three steals in the Matadors' win over Portland State on Feb. 13 and set a school Division-I record with 18 stolen bases in 2010. She tied a career high with four hits and set a new season high with three RBIs in the Matadors' win over Pacific and has recorded 16 runs, two triples and 13 RBIs on the year.
Thielges Do Us Part
Sophomore Mikayla Thielges hit her league-leading 11th home run of the season in the Matadors' loss to Pacific on April 17, moving her into a tie with two other Northridge players for sixth in school history. The team's everyday catcher, Thielges ranks among the league's top 10 in eight different categories: home runs (1st), slugging percentage (2nd, .663), on-base percentage (5th, .453), RBIs (3rd, 35), total bases (7th, 67), walks (3rd, 24), hit by pitch (5th, 9), and sac flies (1st, 3). Since the start of Big West play, Thielges is batting .333 with nine walks and a team-high .524 on-base percentage. She has a three-hit game (Nevada) and has driven in a career-high four RBIs on two separate occasions (San Jose State, North Dakota).
Sophomore Mia Pagano has been a steady presence for the Matadors in the circle since the start of league play. She tossed the first complete game of her career in helping lead the Matadors to a 5-3 victory over Pacific on April 16. She allowed only two hits and one unearned run in the victory, the second win of her career. In six appearances against Big West foes, she is 1-1 with a .237 opponent batting average and a 3.04 ERA in 23.0 innings of work. For the season, she is 1-2 with a 5.02 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 30.2 innings in the circle.
Junior Jaci Carlsen moved into ninth in school history with 17 career home runs when she blasted her seventh of the season in the Matadors' 3-2 victory over Long Beach State on Apr. 9. For the season, Carlsen leads CSUN with a .331 batting average, nine doubles, 74 total bases and 42 hits. In fact, she ranks among the league's top 10 in six different categories: total bases (2nd), slugging percentage (6th, .583), hits (7th), doubles (4th), home runs (4th) and stolen bases (2nd, 12). The 12 steals represent a new career high while she adds 20 RBIs and a .390 on-base percentage for the year. Carlsen was named Big West Player of the Week on Mar. 28.
Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture
Senior Tracy Allen is second on the team and 10th in the Big West Conference with 23 RBIs. That figure raises her career RBI total to 81, tying her with Jan Mosier for 10th in school history. Allen also has five home runs on the season, third on the team and ninth in the Big West Conference, to raise her career total to 16 and which is tied for ninth in school history. A mainstay at third base for the Matadors over the last three seasons, Allen is batting .287 for the season with 19 runs, seven doubles and a .457 slugging percentage. She leads the conference with 121 defensive assists and owns a .951 fielding percentage in 162 chances.
Carly's Wade With Words
Freshman Carly Wade has been a reliable force for the Matadors in her rookie season, especially since the start of Big West play. In seven appearances during the Big West season, she owns a 3.21 ERA and a .289 opponent batting average. She picked up her third win of the season by tossing a complete game against Long Beach State on Apr. 9 and is now 4-14 on the season. Wade is also third in the league with her two saves.
It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana
Junior Hannah Fraijo picked up her 10th win of the season in Matadors' victory over UCSB, tossing a complete game in the win. She now stands at 10-11 on the year, giving her a career record of 35-23 in two-plus seasons at Northridge. The 10 wins are the eighth-most by a pitcher in the Big West and she also owns a 5.07 ERA. She has tossed eight complete games on the year and has 42 K's and a .333 batting-average-against in a team-high 125.2 innings (ninth-most in the Big West Conference). Fraijo also has a save on the season, giving her three for her career.
Flowers Named Team USA Assistant Coach
Cal State Northridge softball head coach Tairia Flowers was named an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Softball season on Mar. 3. A member of the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic teams, Flowers will be a part of Team USA head coach Ken Eriksen's staff at the World Cup of Softball July 21-25 in Oklahoma City. In addition to that experience, Flowers will work at the team's selection camp in Chula Vista, Calif., from June 13-17. She will then be part of tour stops in Salem, Virginia (June 29) and Bowie, Maryland (July 1). Flowers is one of two newcomers to the Team USA Coaching Staff for 2011. Joining her as a rookie assistant coach is former UCLA teammate Stacey Nuveman.