Northridge Loses Final Two Games at Cathedral City Kickoff

Feb. 8, 2009

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The Cal State Northridge softball team (1-4) lost its last two games at the Cathedral City Kickoff Sunday, dropping a 2-0 decision to Southern Illinois and a 3-0, eight-inning loss to No. 12 Fresno State. Claire Rietmann-Grout suffered a tough-luck loss against the Bulldogs, striking out 11 batters while tossing over seven innings of shutout softball.

Against the nationally ranked Fresno State line-up, Rietmann-Grout pitched effectively and dueled all game with FSU All-American Morgan Melloh. She allowed six hits and walked only three. She consistently forced Fresno State to leave runners on base, including in the first inning when the first two batters reached.

In the sixth inning, junior Lauren Olivas made an outstanding throw from centerfield to nail a Bulldog at the plate and preserve the score at 0-0. 

In order for FSU to score, it had to take advantage of the international tie-breaker rule used in preseason tournaments. Starting in the top of the eighth, both teams placed a runner on second to start their half of the inning.

In the top half of the frame, Rietmann-Grout got the first two batters out, but then gave up a two-run home run on a 3-2 pitch to Michelle Moses. The next batter, Caitlin Stiglich, also fouled off several tough pitches before narrowly bending a home run inside the left field corner.

Northridge had one hit off Melloh, courtesy of Christina Saenz, who hit .300 for the weekend. The Matadors went down in order in the bottom of the eighth inning.

In the opening game of the day, DEBORAH DURAN started against the Salukis and had seven strikeouts for Northridge. She scattered five hits and an earned run over seven innings and walked three batters.

However, SIU scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Chelsea Held led off the inning with a double to right-center and then stole third. Alicia Junker walked and Courtney Kennedy drover home Held with an RBI single to left field. A pinch runner replaced Junker and came around to score on a throwing error by Duran.

Northridge had three hits in the game with Duran, Saenz and Karla Chaparro each chipping in a single. Following a walk in the first inning, Micah Putnam stole second base.

The Matadors return action on Feb. 19 with a roadtrip to El Paso, Texas, to compete in a tournament at UTEP. CSUN will face Northern Colorado, New Mexico State on Feb. 19, San Jose State and the host Miners on Feb. 20 and Samford on Feb. 21.

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