February 14, 2013

Matadors Travel to Stanford Nike Invitational

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

Northridge Squares off with Stanford, CSU Bakersfield & Santa Clara 

The Cal State Northridge softball team (1-6) heads to Northern California to compete in the Stanford Nike Invitational from Feb. 15-17 in Palo Alto, Calif., on the Stanford Campus. The Matadors will face the host No. 20 Cardinal twice, CSU Bakersfield twice and Santa Clara once. All five games will be played at Smith Family Field and all five games will feature live stats available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN Softball Twitter account (@CSUNSoftball) and the CSUN Athletic Department Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates. 

Last week, CSUN showed promise in its time at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Facing three nationally ranked teams and two participants in the 2012 Women's College World Series, the Matadors posted a team .344 on-base percentage after drawing 21 walks. And although CSUN lost both ends of a doubleheader at Fresno State, they managed nine hits in game one and scored the game's final tally in the second contest. 

At the plate, Mikayla Thielges and Sydney House have had especially strong starts. A senior in her final season, Thielges leads the team in runs, doubles, total bases, walks and on-base percentage. House has posted a batting average over .500, two doubles and team-high five RBIs. 

This week, the Matadors lock horns with three talented teams. No. 20 Stanford enters the weekend with a 5-2 record and are coming off an 8-0, five-inning victory over Santa Clara on Feb. 13. Tegan Schmidt leads the Cardinal in batting average at .455 while Erin Ashby has already totaled two home runs and six RBIs. As a team, opponents are batting .250 off Cardinal pitching in over 48 innings. The Cardinal lead the all-time series with the Matadors 9-6 and have won the past six meetings. CSUN has not defeated Stanford since 2001 and has not toppled a member of the Pac-12 Conference since 2007. 

CSU Bakersfield enters the weekend with an 0--3 record and will face the Matadors twice at Smith Family Field. Laura Kings leads the team in batting average and the Roadrunners have already stolen four bases. In the circle, Kelsie Monroe has started two of the three games and has a 5.12 ERA and .293 opponent batting average. Having been long time rivals a the Division II level, Northridge leads the Division I series with CSUB 5-3, although the Roadrunners swept a doubleheader at CSUN in 2010 at Matador Diamond. 

Santa Clara is also 0-3 on the season and dropped a doubleheader at Pacific in its opening two games. As team, the Broncos are hitting .182 and have posted a .957 fielding percentage. CSUN leads the all-time series with Santa Clara 17-2, but the Broncos took the last meeting 5-2 at Matador Diamond in March of 2010. 

Following their weekend at Stanford, the Matadors will return back to the San Fernando Valley for classes and then head right back up to Northern California to compete in a tournament at Santa Clara. At the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, the Matadors will play five opponents from Feb. 22-24 with all games played on the campus of Santa Clara. In addition to the host Broncos, the Matadors will take on San Jose State, Fresno State, Idaho State and Saint Mary's.

Mama Mia!

Senior Mia Pagano continues to be a two-way threat for the Matadors in her final season with the club. She carries a .292 batting average and a team-high seven base hits through the first seven contests of the season. She also has a double, three runs and hit a three-run home run in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Western Michigan. In the circle, Pagano is 0-2 with a 6.84 ERA and a team-high 14.1 innings of work. Last season, she finished the season 8-19 overall, but posted a 3.45 ERA, 111 K's and .289 opponent batting average. As if her pitching performance was not enough, Pagano flexed some offensive muscle. Against New Mexico, Pagano set new career highs with three hits and four RBIs. For the season, she hit .195 with four runs and 10 RBIs.

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Senior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges has had a strong start to her final season at CSUN. She carries a .353 batting average, .577 on-base percentage and .706 slugging percentage through seven games. She hit her first home run of the year in the Matadors' season opener vs. San Jose State. She scored two runs in games against Western Michigan and Fresno State. She leads the team with three doubles and six runs scored. She now has 20 career home runs, the seventh-most in school history, and 75 career RBIs, 11 shy of moving into a tie for 10th in program history. She also earned All-Big West First Team honors in 2011 for her work behind the plate.

Burning Down the House

Sophomore Sydney House has come out of the gates swinging in her second season with the Matadors. House carries a team-high .556 batting average into the weekend, having collected five hits in nine at-bats. She has her first two career doubles and leads the club with five RBIs. She had a career-high two hits at Fresno State and a career-high two RBIs vs. San Jose State. She also sports a .778 slugging percentage, a .643 on-base percentage and has drawn four walks for the year.

Tait That Something

Senior Shelly Tait earned her first win of the season in the circle with a commanding performance vs. Western Michigan. She tossed 6+ innings and allowed only four hits and one unearned run in the victory over the Broncos. She is 1-2 on the season with a 4.90 ERA and a .326 opponent batting average. Last season, she went 1-7 with a 4.97 ERA and a .308 opponent batting average in 43.2 innings of work. Against Big West opposition, she finished 1-5 with a 4.29 ERA and .309 opponent batting average in 32.2 innings.

Brianna the Elder

Sophomore Brianna Elder had an impressive performance in relief at Fresno State. Entering the first game in the first inning, Elder did not surrender a hit to the Bulldogs for the rest of the contest. In all, she went 5.2 innings with no runs, no hits and just two walks. For the season, Elder is 0-0 with a 3.82 ERA and a .318 opponent batting average. Last year, she held a 3.73 ERA in 45 innings in her first full season with the Matadors. Against league opposition, she had a 4.70 ERA in 25.1 innings.

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Maas

Sophomore Crystal Maas hit the first home run of her career in the Matadors' victory over Western Michigan. She had two hits against the Broncos and is batting .231 for the season with two RBIs. Maas also stole her first career stolen base this season and has a perfect fielding percentage. In her freshman season, she batted .212 for the season and .259 against the Big West Conference. She collected two doubles and four RBIs for the season.

Randazzo's Return

Senior Korinne Randazzo has made an immediate impact for CSUN since returning to the line-up after missing nearly all of the 2012 season. She has started all seven games and carries a .235 batting average with three RBIs into the weekend. She drove in a career-high two runs in the game with California and had a season-high two hits vs. Arizona State. Randazzo also has two stolen bases this season. In 2011 during her first season with the club, she batted .197 in 45 games with three doubles, 13 runs scored, three stolen bases and four RBIs.

Tyler Transfers Talent to CSUN

Sophomore Jennifer Tyler carries a 5.25 ERA and an 0-2 record into the weekend. She has tossed eight innings thus far for the Matadors and picked up her first hit in Northridge uniform at Fresno State. Tyler starts her first season with the Matadors in 2013 after spending two years at Northwestern University. Injuries robbed her from playing in the 2010 season, but in 2011 she posted a 2.55 ERA in six appearances in the circle.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Sophomore Abby Linn is batting .174 with four runs and a double through the first seven games of the 2013 season. She recorded her first career double in the game vs. San Jose State and scored two runs against the Spartans. She stole her first base of the season in the doubleheader at Fresno State. In her freshman season, she finished with a .194 batting average, 13 hits, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Against league opposition, she hit .375 with nine hits and two runs.

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome four true freshman to their roster for the 2012 season: Madalyne Handy, Samantha Jakeway, Maylynn Mitchell and Ariana Wassmer. Through seven games, Mitchell and Wassmer have had an impact at the plate for CSUN. Mitchell is batting .278 with five hits and an RBI while making six starts. She also sports a perfect fielding percentage in 23 defensive chances. Wassmer  is batting .167 through seven games and has a double and an RBI. She has also walked twice and carries a .978 fielding percentage in 46 chances.

Walk This Way

The Matadors have shown a good deal of patience at the plate through seven games in the 2013 season. As a team, Northridge has drawn 24 walks with Mikayla Thielges leading the squad with six free passes. Sydney House and Leann Lopez have four and Ariana Wassmer and Jennifer Tyler both have three to their credit. Through seven games, the Matadors sport a team .327 on-base percentage.

Lights, Camera, Action

The Matadors' doubleheader with Long Beach State on April 10, 2013 at 49ers Softball Complex will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. and the two teams will complete the season series a week later with a single game at 3 p.m. also at the 49ers Softball Complex.