CSUN Softball Travels to Long Beach State, Hosts Cal Poly


NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors Face 49ers, Mustangs in Busy Week

The Cal State Northridge softball team (15-23, 1-5 Big West Conference) has a busy week ahead as the Matadors travel for a single game against Long Beach State on Wednesday followed by a three-game series with Cal Poly at Matador Diamond over the weekend. The Matadors and 49ers will play a single game at 49ers Softball Complex at 3 p.m. this Wednesday followed by a doubleheader on April 17 in Long Beach that will air on ESPNU starting at 1 p.m. After the first game with the 49ers, the Matadors will host the Cal Poly Mustangs in a three-game series at Matador Diamond. The two teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13 with first pitch at noon. The following day, the teams will square off in a single game also at noon.

Last week, the Matadors took an 8-1 decision over UC Davis in the finale of a three-game series in Northern California. Freshman Maylynn Mitchell went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored to set new career highs in both categories.  In the circle, Brianna Elder picked up her first win of the season by tossing seven strong innings with just one unearned run allowed. 

This week, CSUN gets a chance to move up in the Big West Conference standings with games against Long Beach State and Cal Poly. The 49ers are 25-15 on the season and 7-2 in the Big West Conference entering Wednesday's contest.

As a team, LBSU features the league's best batting average at .288 in 263 innings of work. Five regulars enter Wednesday's contest batting over .300 for the season and the 49ers own the top three individual batting averages in the Big West.

Sophomore Shayna Kimbrough leads the club with a .371 batting average. She also has scored 25 runs and has 11 stolen bases on the season. Hannah DeGaetano (.369), Nalani St. Germain (.344) and Karli Sandoval (.313) have combined for 68 runs, 18 doubles, 15 home runs and 69 RBIs.

In the circle, Erin Jones-Wesley leads the squad with a 13-6 record in 117.2 innings of work and 21 starts. She has 149 strikeouts compared to 50 walks and has held opponents to a .221 batting average. Amanda Hansen (6-5) and Christian Carbajal (6-3) have combined to allow a .275 opponent batting average in over 143 innings of action.

The Mustangs from San Luis Obispo, Calif., enter their Wednesday doubleheader with rival UC Santa Barbara at 16-22-1 on the season and 5-4 in the Big West. Cal Poly swept a league series at Cal State Fullerton and are 4-2 away from home.

At the plate, Jillian Anderson leads the club and ranks eighth in the Big West with a .325 batting average. She has collected two doubles, 12 RBIs and 10 sac bunts on the season as well. Kim Westlund is batting .313 for the year with four doubles and a team-high 17 RBIs and 20 walks.

In the circle, Chloe Wurst is 9-10 with a 2.32 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 130 innings of work. She has walked only 21 batters on the year and has held opponents to a .270 batting average. Jordan Yates (4-9) and Nicole Innamorato (3-3) have combined for a .332 opponent batting average in over 133 innings of work.

Following the series with Cal Poly, the Matadors will return to the 49er Softball Complex for a doubleheader on April 17. The two games between the Matadors and 49ers will be broadcast live on ESPNU beginning at 1 p.m. After those two contests, CSUN will host Pacific in its final Big West Conference series against the Tigers. The two teams will play a doubleheader on April 20 and a single game on April 21 with both days starting at noon. 

Luck Be Thielges Tonight

Senior and Las Vegas native Mikayla Thielges has had a strong campaign in her final season at CSUN. She carries a .327 batting average, .473 on-base percentage and .624 slugging percentage through 38 games. She had a three-run double in the Matadors' victory over UC Davis and in the Matadors' just completed homestand, she batted .312 with seven RBIs and her team-leading sixth and seventh home runs of the season. She now has 25 home runs in her career, the sixth-most in school history. She also has 95 career RBIs, the eighth-most in program history. For the season, Thielges has 20 runs, 12 doubles, 22 RBIs, 63 total bases, three sac bunts and two stolen bases. Thielges leads the Big West in doubles and is second in hit by pitches and on-base percentage. She also ranks among the top 10 in batting average, slugging percentage, total bases, home runs, walks and is second among catchers with 11 runners caught stealing. At the tournament in Las Vegas, she batted .444 with four doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. At the Stanford Nike Invitational, Thielges batted .462 with two doubles, four RBIs and four walks.

Randazzo's Return

Senior Korinne Randazzo has returned to the diamond with vigor and success after a redshirt season in 2012. For the year, Randazzo is batting .326 with 24 runs, six doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, 12 walks, eight sac bunts and a .429 on-base percentage. Randazzo leads the Matadors and ranks fourth in the Big West with 14 stolen bases on the year. She also ranks among the Big West Top 10 in batting average, on-base percentage, runs and sac bunts. She batted a scorching .471 during the Matadors' recent homestand. She had a career-high four hits in the first win over Seattle and then tied a career high with three runs scored in the second victory over the Redhawks. In the win over Northern Illinois, she stole two bases for the second time this season. She also had a strong weekend at the plate for CSUN in Las Vegas. She batted .385 with two doubles, six walks and three stolen bases in the six games. She belted a grand slam, her first home run of the season, in the Matadors' 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield.

Brianna the Elder

Sophomore Brianna Elder posted a complete game victory over UC Davis in the series finale. She worked around seven hits, two walks and three Matador errors as the Aggies stranded 10 runners on base. The only run she surrendered was unearned and she matched a season high with three strikeouts in her second career victory. For the season, Elder is 1-2 with a 3.03 ERA and a .303 opponent batting average in 34.2 innings of work. She tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit softball against DePaul in Las Vegas. She also turned in 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.

Tait That Something

Senior Shelly Tait carries a 6-8 record, 3.12 ERA, 49 K's and .254 opponent batting average through 18 appearances into the week. She ranks among the league's top 10 in wins, opposing batting average and strikeouts. During the Matadors' 12-game homestand, Tait earned wins over Seattle and LMU, the Matadors' first victory against the Lions since the 2006 season. In Las Vegas, Tait tossed her second shutout of the season in a victory over Weber State, striking out a career-high nine batters in the victory. In the Santa Clara tournament, Tait set a new career high with 9.2 innings against Saint Mary's. She earned her third win of the season with a strong performance at Santa Clara. Tait tossed five innings of one-hit softball in CSUN's 8-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield and added a save in the Matadors' 2-1 earlier victory over the Roadrunners. Tait picked up 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. 

Mama Mia! 

Senior Mia Pagano enters the week at 7-8 with a 3.50 ERA, 54 K's and a team-high 100.0 innings of work. In the Matadors' recent homestand, she went 2-1 in the circle and picked up wins over Seattle and Northern Illinois. In early March, she was named Big West Pitcher of the Week after she picked up a pair of impressive victories for CSUN, including a complete-game performance in the Matadors' win over UCLA. She added 6.1 innings with one earned run and a season-high seven strikeouts against CSUB. In Las Vegas, Pagano earned complete game victories over New Mexico State and DePaul, allowing just five earned runs in 14 innings. She ranks among the league's top 10 pitchers in wins, opponent batting average, strikeouts, appearances and innings pitched. At the plate, she carries a .198 batting average with five doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs. She hit a three-run home run in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Western Michigan and had four doubles and a .304 batting average during the Matadors' recent homestand.

Burning Down the House

Sophomore Sydney House enters the week sporting a .270 batting average, seven doubles and 21 RBIs. She also owns a .416 slugging percentage, a .356 on-base percentage and has drawn 13 walks for the year. She picked up her seventh double of the season at UC Davis and belted a grand slam, her second home run of the season, in the Matadors' first game against Hawai'i. The seven doubles ranks second on the team and ninth in the Big West. At the tournament in Las Vegas, House cranked her first career home run and finished with a career-high four RBIs in the victory over Weber State.

Breakfast at Tiffini's

Senior Tiffini Lucero carries a .205 batting average with two doubles, three RBIs and nine walks on the season. She also sports a .375 on-base percentage due to three hit by pitches and she has only struck out seven times on the season. Lucero had two doubles in the series at UC Davis and is batting a team-high .429 against Big West Conference opponents. She has also sported a strong glove at third base defensively for the Matadors, owning a .952 fielding percentage for the year in 104 chances.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Sophomore Abby Linn is batting .202 with 13 runs, eight stolen bases and three doubles in the 2013 season. Linn tied a season high with two hits and two runs scored in CSUN's second win over CSU Bakersfield. She recorded her first career double in the game vs. San Jose State and scored two runs against the Spartans. Her eight steals have come in eight different games and she also has five sac bunts.

A Rolling Stone Gathers no Maas

Sophomore Crystal Maas enters the weekend batting .224 with 15 base hits in her second season with the club. A two-way threat, Maas also sports a 4.20 ERA and .214 opponent batting average in 15.0 innings of work. She tossed her first career shutout, striking out a career-high seven in a 5-0 victory over Santa Clara. At the plate, Mass collected a season-high two RBIs in CSUN's win over Weber State. She hit the first home run of her career in the Matadors' victory over Western Michigan and has tied a career high with two hits in three different games. Maas also recorded her first career stolen base this season and sports a .897 fielding percentage.

Newcomer Notes

The Matadors welcome four true freshmen to their roster for the 2013 season: Madalyne Handy, Samantha Jakeway, Maylynn Mitchell and Ariana Wassmer. While Jakeway is making her way back to the field after an offseason injury, Handy, Mitchell and Wassmer have made immediate impacts both in the field and at the plate. Mitchell is batting .299 with seven runs, four doubles and nine RBIs. In the Matadors' victory over UC Davis, Mitchell went a perfect 4-for-4 with two run scored to set new career highs in both categories. She tied a season high with two RBIs in the first win over Seattle and three hits and two RBIs in the Matadors' win over Weber State. She has also been hit by a pitch seven times, the third-most beanings in the Big West Conference. Handy had a nice week at the plate in the games against Northern Illinois, Seattle and LMU. She batted .308 in the six games and had a season-high two hits, two runs and two RBIs in the first victory over the Redhawks. For the season, Handy is batting .206 with seven runs, three RBIs and two sac bunts. Wassmer enters the week batting .206 for the season with four doubles and six RBIs. She has had a season-high two hits twice and also owns three sacrifice bunts.

Walk This Way

The Matadors have shown a good deal of patience at the plate in the 2013 season. As a team, Northridge has drawn 92 walks, the sixth-most free passes in the Big West. Mikayla Thielges leads the squad with 17 free passes, tying for seventh in the league. Sydney House has drawn 13 walks while Korinne Randazzo drew six walks in six games in Las Vegas and now has 12 on the year. Leann Lopez is right on their heels with 10 base on balls. CSUN has also been hit by a pitch 37 times, the most in the conference. Thielges has been plunked 11 times, the second-most in the conference, while Maylynn Mitchell has been hit seven times and Korinne Randazzo has five beanings. Six other CSUN players have been hit by a pitch and as a team Northridge spots a team on-base percentage of .325 through 38 games.

We're All Making Sacrifices Around Here

Through 35 games, the Matadors have recorded 40 sac bunts to check at third in the Big West Conference. Korinne Randazzo leads the team with eight sac bunts, tying for sixth in the Big West. Abby Linn has five and Leann Lopez, Tiffini Lucero and Tanna Bindi each have four. Three other Matadors have three and four other Matadors have at least one to their credit. Northridge has executed a sac bunt 22 more times than their opponents (40-18).

Double Your Pleasure

Through 38 games, the Matadors have smashed a league-leading 49 doubles. Setting the pace for Northridge is senior MIkayla Thielges, who leads the Big West Conference with 12 doubles. Sydney House is second on the team with seven on the season while Korinne Randazzo has six. Mia Pagano has five doubles and six other players have at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits have yet to lead to a triple for CSUN, the only team in the conference without a three-base hit.

Lights, Camera, Action

The Matadors' doubleheader with Long Beach State on April 17, 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 earlier with a single game at 3 p.m. also at the 49ers Softball Complex.