March 1, 2012

Matadors Venture South for San Diego Classic I in Santee, Calif.

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Matadors To Play Five Games at Santee Sportsplex 

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (1-14) travels to Santee, Calif., to participate in the San Diego Classic I hosted by San Diego State.  At the tournament, CSUN's five games will feature contests with BYU, Fresno State, Utah State, Nevada and San Diego. All contests will take place at the Santee Sportsplex, located off the 52 Highway in San Diego. Live stats will be available for select contests. 

The Matadors played some of their best softball of the young season last weekend in Cathedral City. That resulted in Northridge's first victory of the year, a 1-0 extra-inning triumph over the University of Iowa. Sophomore Mia Pagano tossed a shutout in the circle against the Hawkeyes, tying a career high with six strikeouts. Madeline Sale drove in the game's only run with a sac fly. 

Pagano was especially effective at the 2012 Cathedral City Classic. She posted a 2.97 ERA and 1.67 WHIP while pitching 33 of the team's 34 innings over the five contests. At the plate, Samantha Sloniker led CSUN's offensive efforts with a .455 batting average, her first double of the season and four sacrifice hits. Mikayla Thielges blasted her league-leading fourth home run of the season and now has a team-high eight RBIs on the year. 

This week, Northridge opens the month of March with five games at the Santee Sportsplex. The first day offers a challenge as the Matadors will face the Fresno State Bulldogs and the BYU Cougars, two teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The next day, CSUN squares off against Utah State and Nevada and concludes its time at the event Sunday against the San Diego Toreros. 

Following their stay in San Diego , the Matadors will host their 2012 home opener as part of the Northridge Classic. At the event, CSUN will take on the likes of Harvard and Maine, while also hosting squads from Oregon State and CSU Bakersfield. All contests will take place at Matador Diamond. A complete tournament schedule can be found at GoMatadors.com. The Northridge Classic kicks off a stretch were CSUN will play nine of 11 games at the friendly confines of their home diamond before the start of Big West Conference play against Pacific. 

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Junior Mikayla Thielges mashed her team and league-leading fourth home run of the season in the Matadors' game against Boise State in Cathedral City. The previous weekend, she hit a career-high two home runs in the Matadors' game against Utah State in Las Vegas, the first multi-homer game of her career. She now has 16 for her career. Thielges had a huge offensive season for the Matadors during her sophomore campaign, earning All-Big West First Team honors as a catcher. She finished the year with a .317 batting average and set new career highs with 22 runs, 40 hits, five doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 45 RBIs, 83 total bases and 29 walks. Thielges added 10 multi-hit and 11 multi-RBI games during the season. 

Sloniker's Story

Junior Samantha Sloniker had her best offensive weekend of the season for the Matadors during their stay at the 2012 Cathedral City Classic. She tied a career-high with two hits against Boise State and also picked up her first RBI of the season against the Broncos as well. She also had four sacrifice hits during the weekend and now is tied for the league lead with six on the season. In 2011, her first year at Northridge, Sloniker had 25 hits, three doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs and scored 26 runs. She also had six sacrifice hits, the second-most on the team, and added two sac flies. Additionally, Sloniker added four two-hit games and six two-run games during the year. A dependable arm in the outfield, Sloniker finished the season with a .955 fielding percentage.

Mama Mia!

Junior Mia Pagano tossed all but one inning of work for the Matadors during their five games at the 2012 Cathedral City Classic. Although the final results may have not been what she and the team had been hoping for, she turned in impressive performances against California, Texas and Iowa. She tossed her first career shutout and tied a career-high with six strikeouts in the extra-inning victory over the Hawkeyes. Last season, she went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 51.2 innings of work. Both wins last season came against Big West opponents, including her first career complete game in a win over Pacific. Pagano also recorded her first save of the season and third of her career in the Matadors' comeback victory over Cal Poly on May 1.

Reno 911 

Senior Jaci Carlsen had two hits and three stolen bases during the Matadors' stay in Las Vegas. She now has 29 career doubles, the ninth-most in school history, and 31 career stolen bases, the sixth-most in CSUN history. Carlsen is coming off two-straight All-Big West First Team seasons for her work at second base. Last year, Carlsen hit .327 for the season with a career-high 50 hits, 31 runs, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 91 total bases, 23 walks and 19 stolen bases. Those 19 steals established a new program single-season Division-I record 

The Leann Lopez Show

Sophomore Leann Lopez had a strong week at the plate in Las Vegas at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. She hit her first career home run in the Matadors' game against BYU, then picked up her first career two-hit game against Hawai'i. She also had an RBI against Utah State and scored a run against Utah at the tournament. For the season, she is batting .179 with a .303 on-base and a .957 fielding percentage. 

La Reina De CSUN 

Senior Alyssa Ray had a strong week at the plate to start her 2012 season. At the Kajikawa Classic, Ray started all five games at third base and finished the weekend with a .571 batting average. She had her first career hit, an RBI ground rule double, against Nebraska and then had two hits, including another ground rule double, against Western Michigan. She ended the weekend with a double against Arizona and leads the team  with the three doubles. 

Time for Madeline

Sophomore Madeline Sale had a strong rookie season for the Matadors in 2011. Playing primarily at first base, Sale batted .311 with 46 hits, nine doubles, one home run and 25 RBIs while starting 52 of the team's 53 games. She was especially potent against Big West opposition, finishing at .348 with 22 hits, six doubles, one home run and 16 RBIs in 21 conference games. Her only home run of the season came in a dramatic spot, a three-run shot that lifted CSUN to a 3-0 win at Cal State Fullerton. She also had four three-hit games on the year and had a .980 fielding percentage in 303 chances. 

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