Matadors Rally for Doubleheader Split against Long Beach State

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge softball team (9-33, 4-7 Big West) split a Big West doubleheader with Long Beach State Saturday afternoon. In game one, CSUN lost a seesaw battle with the 49ers, 4-3, before rallying behind starter Shelly Tait to take a walk-off 2-1 victory in the second game. 

On a hot day at Matador Diamond, Tait (1-4) delivered her best performance of the season for Northridge. She went all seven innings and scattered five hits with two hit batters to hold the 49ers to one earned run. 

Tait got her first win of the season thanks to a Matador rally in the seventh. Jessica Fridwall singled with one out and then moved to second on a sac bunt by Jessica Fridwall.

With two outs, Tiffini Lucero hit a sharp ball to the shortstop, but the first baseman dropped the throw as she dove into first base. Fridwall wheeled all the way around from second to score the winning run and snap an 11-game losing streak at home for Northridge. 

Long Beach scored its only run of the second game on a sacrifice fly in the second inning. CSUN tied things up in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by Mikayla Thielges.

Madeline Sale, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning and extended her hitting streak to a team-best eight games, scored that run for the Matadors. 

Erin Jones-Wesley (14-12) had four strikeouts and allowed six hits in defeat. 

CSUN struck early in game one. After LBSU scored in the first, the Matadors answered with two of their own in the first. Sale extended her hitting streak with a leadoff single.

Although she was thrown out at second on the next play, Samantha Sloniker reached on the fielder's choice. Jaci Carlsen drew a four-pitch walk and Thielges reached when she was hit by a pitch. 

Alyssa Ray then dropped a single into right field that the 49er booted and allowed two runs to score. 

Mia Pagano made that lead stand up until the top of the sixth. LBSU got a single and a home run to start the inning and chase her from the circle. Brianna Elder came in and allowed one additional run in the inning before retiring the final out.

Northridge tried to rally in the seventh. With two down, Pagano singled up the middle. Tanna Bindi came into run for her and scored on a long single to right center by Sale. However, the next batter flew out to right to end the game. 

Pagano (7-14) allowed seven hits and three earned runs in five innings to take the loss. Elder allowed four hits and one earned run in her two innings of work. Taylor Petty had six strikeouts for LBSU to get a complete-game victory. 

The two teams will meet in the third and final game of the series on Sunday, April 22. First pitch is slated for noon. 

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