April 19, 2014

Matadors Bust Out of Funk with Doubleheader Sweep at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge softball team (28-19, 5-6 Big West) defeated UC Riverside 8-0 and 3-2 in a Big West Conference doubleheader at Amy S. Harrison Field. In game one, Taylor Glover blasted two home runs and had four RBIs and Brianna Elder picked up her 19th win of the season in the shutout victory. In game two, CSUN rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 3-2 decision and clinch the series with the Highlanders.

Game One Recap

The Matadors got 11 base hits and snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-0 victory over UCR in the first game Friday. Glover tied a program record with her two home runs in the victory.

After threatening in the second, CSUN struck for three runs in the top of the third. Madalyne Handy singled to start the inning and moved to second on a base hit by Madison Fleming. Both moved up a base on a passed ball and Handy scored on an RBI single by Taylor Nate. Both she and Fleming would then to come around on Katie Hooper's team-leading 10th double of the season.

In the fourth, the Matadors added two more runs to their total. Abby Linn singled up the middle with one out in the frame. After another out, Taylor Glover blasted her team-leading fifth home run of the season over the right field fence to give CSUN a 5-0 lead.

Glover, who was named a finalist for the inaugural NFCA National Freshman of the Year award, picked up her team-leading 39th and 40thRBI of the season with the deep fly.

Glover was not done producing runs in the game one victory. In the seventh, she blasted her second home run of the game to give CSUN a 7-0 lead. Handy scored on the play and Glover became the 29th Matador in program history to record two home runs in a game.

The Matadors added another run in the eighth on an RBI single by Hooper to score Nate from second. Nate set a career high with two stolen bases and she, Handy, Glover and Hooper all had two hits in the victory.

All the offense was more than enough for CSUN starter Brianna Elder (19-8). The junior tossed her 17thcomplete game and fourth shutout of the season by scattering five hits with five strikeouts. Her 19 wins are the most by a CSUN pitcher since Mercedes Lovato had 19 in the 2008 season.

Game Two Recap

CSUN mounted a furious rally in the top of the seventh to score twice and take a 3-2 decision in the second game of the doubleheader with UC Riverside.

Scoreless through four and a half innings, UC Riverside scored twice in the bottom of the fifth off CSUN starter Daphne Pofek. The Highlanders produced a suicide squeeze and an RBI double, their first hit of the game, in the frame to take the 2-0 advantage.

CSUN could not solve UCR starter Sophie Slagle until the sixth inning. Taylor Glover led off the inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on a sac bunt and then scored on a sac fly from Taylor Nate. Glover now needs three more stolen bases to set a new program Division I single-season record.

The seventh proved to be a wild frame. Ariana Wassmer, who had two hits in the game, led off the frame with a single and was lifted for a pinch runner in the form of Carissa Sherman. Maylynn Mitchell then moved Sherman to second with a sac bunt.

With the one out, Kaitlin Toerner beat out an infield single to second base and Sherman moved to third. Toerner then stole second to nullify a potential double play.

The next batter, Abby Linn, hit a groundball to the pitcher and UCR seemed to have Sherman caught in a pickle. However, a throw from the Highlander third baseman sailed over the head of the catcher and Sherman came home to tie the game.

The next at-bat saw Madalyne Handy execute a squeeze play that scored Toerner to give CSUN the 3-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the seventh, Crystal Maas came into relieve Jordan Sauceda and picked up her second save of the year. Sauceda tossed a quiet sixth inning to improve to 3-4 on the year. Pofek went five innings and allowed two hits with six walks.

Just as in game one, Handy finished with two hits in the win. Toerner is up to 11 stolen bases on the year.

The Matadors will look to close out the series on a successful note Saturday with a single game. First pitch is slated for noon from Amy S. Harrison Field.

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