CSUN Opens 2012 Home Season with Northridge Classic at Matador Diamond


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Matadors to Play Harvard and Maine Twice over Weekend 

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge softball team (4-16) hosts its 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. 

Last weekend, the Matadors went 3-2 in their five games at the San Diego Classic I in Santee, Calif. At the tournament, Northridge defeated Fresno State, Utah State and Nevada. Against the Bulldogs, the Matadors scored five runs in the first inning and Mikayla Thielges blasted a home run as CSUN posted an 8-5 victory.

Against Utah State, Brianna Elder made her first career appearance for the Matadors and promptly delivered 4.1 innings of one-run softball as CSUN won 4-2. Thielges homered again, her third of the year against the Aggies, and Mia Pagano closed the door in the seventh for her first save of the season. 

In the win over Nevada, Pagano tied a career-high for the second time over the weekend when she recorded eight strikeouts. At the plate, Alyssa Ray hit her first career home run, a two-run shot, and CSUN held on for a 4-3 win.

This weekend, CSUN hosts the Northridge Classic and welcomes the Beavers, Roadrunners, Black Bears and Crimson to Matador Diamond. Harvard went 2-3 with wins over Toledo and Loyola Marymount in Florida last weekend. Rachel Brown was named the Ivy League's Pitcher of the Week after posting an 0.78 ERA in 18 innings while Kelsey Lange earned the League's Player of the Week honors after batting .471 with a home run. 

Maine enters the weekend with a 4-10 record and the Black Bears picked up a pair of wins over Long Beach State and a win over Cal State Fullerton already. Jean Stevens leads the team with a .444 batting average and two home runs. In the circle, Ashley Kelley is 2-4 with a 3.12 ERA and 18 K's in 49.1 innings of work.

The Northridge Classic kicks off a stretch were CSUN will play nine of 11 games at their home diamond. Next weekend, CSUN will play a three-game series with New Mexico starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Junior Mikayla Thielges hit two home runs during the Matadors' time in San Diego, giving her a conference-leading six on the season and 18 for her career. At the San Diego Classic I, she homered against Fresno State and Utah State, her third deep fly against the Aggies this year. In her meeting with Utah State, she mashed a career-high two home runs, the first multi-homer game of her career. Among league players, Thielges ranks third in slugging (.653), fifth in on-base percentage (.426), seventh in runs (10), third in RBIs (13) and second in total bases (32). She has also been hit by a pitch a conference-leading five times this season. 

La Reina De CSUN 

Senior Alyssa Ray hit her first career home run, a two-run shot against Nevada, and finished with five RBIs during CSUN's time in San Diego. She added a two-hit, two-RBI performance in Northridge's win over Fresno State and had an RBI in the Matadors' win over Utah State. 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. 

Mama Mia!

Junior Mia Pagano continued to carry the load in the pitching circle for Northridge and went 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 22 innings during CSUN's time in San Diego. Pagano finished with a career-high eight strikeouts twice (BYU, Nevada) during her five appearances at the San Diego Classic I. She tossed her first career shutout and tied a career-high with six strikeouts in the extra-inning victory over the Hawkeyes. For the season, Pagano is 3-9 with a 4.64 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 86 innings of work. She ranks fourth in the Big West Conference in strikeouts, second in innings pitched and first in appearances (19). 

Sloniker's Story

Senior Samantha Sloniker enters the weekend batting .375 over her past 10 games. She tied a career-high with two hits against Nevada and scored her first two runs of the season in San Diego. Sloniker had her best offensive weekend 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 second in the league with six. 

Reno 911 

Senior Jaci Carlsen batted over .300 and had two more stolen bases during the Matadors' stay in San Diego. In Northridge's victory over Fresno State, Carlsen had two hits, two runs and two steals. She now has 34 stolen bases in her career, tying her for fifth in school history. Carlsen is tied for seventh in the Big West Conference with her five steals on the season. Tied for the team lead with three doubles on the year, Carlsen has 29 career doubles, the ninth-most in school history.

Time for Madeline

Sophomore Madeline Sale batted over .300 during CSUN's time in San Diego. She tied a career-high with three hits in the Matadors' victory over Utah State and scored a career-high two runs in the win over Fresno State. In fact, the four runs Sale scored in the five games in San Diego represents one more run than she scored in all of her freshman season. For the year, Sale has scored seven runs and a .339 on-base percentage.

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 year, she is tied for the team lead with seven walks and has a .300 on-base percentage.

Brianna the Elder

Redshirt freshman Brianna Elder made quite an impression in her first career appearance as a Matador, leading the club from the pitching circle in a win over Utah State. Against the Aggies, Elder started and went 4.1 innings allowing four hits, one unearned run and one walk to go along with two strikeouts. Elder has overcome numerous hip and leg injuries to now have finally returned to the diamond. 

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