April 30, 2014

Matadors Depart for Three-game Big West Series at Hawai’i

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge softball team (29-22, 6-9 Big West) embarks on a voyage to Honolulu for a Big West Conference series at Hawai'i. The Matadors and Rainbow Wahine will play a single game on Friday, May 2 at 6 p.m. (HT) / 9 p.m. (PT) and a doubleheader on Saturday, May 3 starting at 2 p.m. (HT) / 5 p.m. (PT). Links for live stats and Big West TV for the series will be available at GoMatadors.com.

Last week, CSUN lost three games to Long Beach State at Matador Diamond. The Matadors struck early in the series but could not fend off a potent 49er offense. Taylor Glover did record her 18th stolen base of the season during the series and now needs two more to set a new program Division I record. She also picked up her league-leading 45th RBI of the season, tying her for the sixth-most in program history for a single season.

This week, the Matadors make the trip to the tropics for three games at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Hawai'i is 20-24 overall and 5-10 in Big West play on the season. This will be the first trip for the CSUN softball program to Hawai'i and the Matadors will be looking to pick up their first win in the series since the 2001 season.

At the plate, junior Leisha Li`ili`i leads the squad with a .400 batting average and a .513 on-base percentage. She also leads the team with 14 home runs, 37 RBIs and 27 walks. In Big West action, she is batting .444 with six home runs and 17 RBIs. Sophomore Keiki Carlos leads the Rainbow Wahine with nine doubles and adds to that seven home runs, 33 runs scored and 22 RBIs. As a team, Hawai'i has slugged 52 home runs, 17 of which have come against Big West opposition, and owns a .461 slugging percentage.

In the circle, sophomore Loie Kesterson and freshman Heather Morales have combined to start 41 of the Rainbow Wahine's 44 games this season. Kesterson is 10-12 with a 4.25 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 146.2 innings of work. Morales is 10-9 with a 5.40 ERA and 44 K's in 118 innings of work. Opponents have batted .323 off Hawai'i pitching this season and Big West opponents have upped that average to .355 in 15 games.

Upon returning from the Hawaiian Islands, the team will host Cal State Fullerton in the final Big West series of the season. On Friday, May 9 the teams will play a doubleheader at noon and a single game on Saturday, May 10 also at noon.

The series with the Titans will be the final home games for the Matadors' three seniors: Tanna Bindi, Leann Lopez and Jennifer Tyler. The three will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the start of Sunday's series finale. Lopez and Bindi are four-year letterwinners who have helped the team to over 50 wins during the past two seasons. Tyler is a two-year letterwinner who has seen time both as a field player and a pitcher for the Matadors.

Brianna the Elder

Junior Brianna Elder earned her third Big West Pitcher of the Week award this season after going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA as CSUN swept its season series with UC Riverside. The two wins also lifted Elder's season total to 20, the first 20-game winner at CSUN since the 2001 season. She received her second Pitcher of the Week award of the season after posting a pair of complete game victories over UC Davis. Against the Aggies, Elder did not allow a run over her final 13 innings of work and picked up her second shutout of the season in Sunday's finale. For the season, she is 20-10 with a 2.17 ERA and 122 K's in 171 innings of work. She is second in the Big West in wins, ERA and opponent batting average (.227) while checking in at third in strikeouts and innings pitched. She earned the first Big West Pitcher of the Week award of her career after going 2-0 with a save and a 0.55 ERA in CSUN victories over Utah State and LMU. In the Matadors' home-opening victory over Portland State, Elder struck out a career-high 13 batters and tossed her sixth complete game of the year. She posted complete game victories over New Mexico and UNLV at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Earlier this season, she tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a win vs. Oregon State and picked up her first career save with two innings of work vs. Seattle.

CSUN's Lethal Weapon

Freshman Taylor Glover was named one of 25 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Freshman of the Year award. In her rookie season with CSUN, Glover ranks in among the Big West Conference's top five in multiple offensive categories. Originally from Los Angeles, Glover is fifth in batting average (.387), third in slugging (.613) and seventh in on-base percentage (.435). She leads the Big West with 45 RBIs and six triples, the most by a Matador in the program's Division I era. Glover is also second in the league with 103 total bases, 62 hits and 37 runs scored. Glover earned Big West Player of the Week honors after she batted .533 with three runs scored, five RBIs and two stolen bases as CSUN went 4-0 in games vs. Utah State and LMU. The rookie owns a team-best 19 multi-hit games this season and also has 11 multi-RBI games, including three four-RBI performances. Glover owned a 17-game hitting streak at one point during the season and batted .421 with two home runs, two doubles and eight RBIs in the Matadors' 4-1 weekend against Harvard, Pacific and Bakersfield. On the basepaths, Glover ranks third in the Big West with 18 stolen bases, two short of establishing a new program Division I record. In the series at UC Riverside, she became the 29th Matador in program history to hit two home runs in a game.

Hooper Drives the Boat Chief

Freshman Katie Hooper has had a strong start to her college career in 2014. The rookie from Sun Valley, Calif., is batting .300 with a team-high 10 doubles, which ranks tied for fifth in the Big West, on the season. She is second on the team in RBIs with 33, which is sixth in the league, and is tied for the team lead with 14 walks. In a win over Boise State, she became the 28th Matador in program history to hit two home runs in a game. She also has three stolen bases, 11 runs scored and a triple on the year. She scored a career-high three runs in a win over Grand Canyon and has had 13 two-hit games. Hooper is second on the Matadors with nine multi-RBI games, including a career-high four RBIs in the win over Boise State.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Junior Abby Linn sports a .321 batting average heading into the Matadors' games this week. For the season, Linn has scored 28 runs, collected 53 hits and has two doubles. She is tied for seventh in the conference in hits. After posting zero triples in her first two seasons, Linn has produced three three-baggers to rank tied for sixth in the Big West Conference. Linn is second on the Matadors in multi-hit games with 15, including four three-hit performances. She scored a career-high four runs in a victory over Boise State and led the Matadors with nine base hits at the Kajikawa Classic, batting .526 with two runs and a stolen base. She batted .412 with a double, a triple and two runs scored in five games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. She has 19 steals in her Matador career and they have come in 19 different games.

Bachman Toerner Overdrive

Junior Kaitlin Toerner has made the transition from junior college softball to Division I seamlessly in her first season at CSUN. After spending her first two seasons at Bakersfield College, Toerner is batting .336 in 47 games this season. She adds to that 22 runs scored, a double, seven RBIs and 11 stolen bases, which is tied for the fourth-most in the Big West. Toerner leads the team with eight sacrifice bunts, a total that ranks tied for fifth in the Big West Conference. She has had two three-hit games, scored two runs twice and had a season-high two RBIs twice. She is tied for fourth on the team with 10 multi-hit games this year and Toerner has a season-high two steals in three games as well.

The Mitchell Report

Sophomore Maylynn Mitchell enters the weekend with a .254 batting average. Mitchell had a season-high two RBIs and a stolen base in CSUN's win at Bakersfield on April 9. She smashed her third home run of the season in a win over Boise State while also tying a career high with two runs scored in the contest. She hit the first two home runs of her CSUN career at the Kajikawa Classic, going deep against Colorado State and Seattle. For the year, Mitchell checks in with 19 runs, 10 RBIs and three stolen bases. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2013 after a solid rookie year for the Matadors. Originally from Seattle, Wash., Mitchell batted .280 with 13 runs, four doubles, 14 RBIs, three sac bunts and two stolen bases.

It's Not Just Great, It's Pofek

Freshman Daphne Pofek has come on strong lately for the Matadors in the pitching circle. A freshman from Riverside, Calif., Pofek is 5-5 on the season with two saves and a 3.45  ERA. She picked up the first two saves of her career and a win over Pacific and against Utah State, she tossed a career-high eight innings and totaled a career-high six strikeouts. She picked up first career win with 4.2 innings of one-hit relief work in a victory over Georgetown. She ranks eighth in the Big West in ERA and seventh in opponent batting average (.276). Pofek is also batting .174 at the plate and had a career-high two hits and two RBIs in the victory over Toledo.

Taylor the Nate

Freshman Taylor Nate is batting .297 on the year in 44 games this season. She has three home runs on the year, including a grand slam in a victory over Grand Canyon, and is third on the squad with 23 RBIs on the season. She has 10 multi-hit games on the year, including a career-high three hits in the second victory over the LMU Lions. She also has four multi-RBI games on the year, four doubles and seven stolen bases. She recorded a career-high two stolen bases in the game one victory at UC Riverside. Nate has scored 17 runs and sports a .932 fielding percentage in 147 defensive chances.

Learn Your Times Tables

CSUN batters have totaled 93 multi-hit and 34 multi-RBI games in 2014. Freshman Taylor Glover leads the team with 19 multi-hit games this year, including a career-high four hits against Western Michigan. Junior Abby Linn is second on the team with 15 multi-hit games and has four three-hit performances to her credit in 2014. Three new players to the Matador roster in 2014 (Taylor Nate, Katie Hooper and Kaitlin Toerner) are right behind Linn with Hooper checking in with 13 multi-hit games all of the two-hit variety. Toerner has 10 multi-hit games, including three three-hit performances, while Nate also has 10 to her credit including a three-hit game. Glover also leads the team in multi-RBI games with 11, including three four-RBI performances. Hooper is second on the squad with nine multi-RBI games and she and Nate have registered a four-RBI game this year.

Basepaths Beware

CSUN has stolen 65 bases in 51 games this season, the second-most thefts in the Big West Conference. Individually, Taylor Glover leads the team and ranks third in the league with 18 stolen bases. She needs two more steals to set a new program single-season Division I record. Junior Kaitlin Toerner is second on the team with 11 stolen bases, tied for the fourth-most in the conference. She has had a season-high two steals in three different games this season. Carissa Sherman is third on the team with 10 to rank tied for sixth in the league. She and Glover also have a two-steal game to their credit in 2014. Abby Linn checks in with eight steals, Taylor Nate adds seven and three other Matadors have at least two.

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

CSUN has recorded 40 sacrifice bunts through its first 51 games of 2014 with Kaitlin Toerner leading the squad with eight. That total is tied for fifth in the Big West Conference and as a team, CSUN is tied for fifth in the league. In 2013, the Matadors finished second in the Big West Conference with 62 sacrifice bunts. Among the returning players, Abby Linn had seven last year and owns 10 for career. Bindi had six last year and owns a team-high 15 for her career. Over the past five years, CSUN has averaged over 51 sacrifice bunts per season. During that span, CSUN has finished no worse than fourth among all Big West clubs in the category.

Double or Triple Your Pleasure

Fourteen different Matadors have recorded a double in 2014 thus far, led by Katie Hooper's 10 on the year. Taylor Glover is second on the team with eight and with 43 doubles in 51 games, CSUN is seventh in the Big West Conference. In 2013, CSUN smashed 65 doubles, which tied for second in the Big West Conference and represented 30 more than they had in 2012. Among the returning players, Sydney House and Crystal Maas were second on the team with eight. Five other returning players had at least two on the season.

Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits last year produced just two triples, both coming off the bat of Tanna Bindi. This year, the Matadors are tied for second in the conference with 11 triples. Taylor Glover owns more than half that total (6), the most in the Big West and the most by a Matador in the program's Division I era. Abby Linn has the first three of her CSUN career and Bindi picked up the third of her career in CSUN's win over Portland State.

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