Feb. 1, 2011
Below is a Matador Minute with Cal State Northridge junior Jaci Carlsen, a member of the Matador Softball program. Last season, Carlsen was an All-Big West First Team selection for her play at second base after leading the league with 44 RBIs and 21 extra-base hits. She also sported a .965 fielding percentage and was one of five players in the Big West to rank among the league's Top 10 in batting average (.324, ninth), on-base percentage (.424, fifth) and slugging percentage (.599, fourth, team-high).
With the start of the 2011 season right around the corner, Carlsen sat down with the media relations staff to talk about what she's seen in practice thus far, how she and her teammates have reacted to the new coaching staff and her and the team's goals for the year.
How have practices gone thus far?
"They've been pretty good. We have a lot of new faces on the team this year and that allows us to do different things in practice. I'm certainly glad double-days are over, but overall, these practices have helped us get going for what should be a successful campaign."
What has it been like working with the new coaching staff?
"Well, I like working with them a lot. They know they're stuff and while it's amazing to work with some of the sport's all-time greats, they are more concerned about making us the best we can be. They have brought in some new strategies and philosophies, so I think it's been a great learning experience."
What are your and the team's goals for the 2011 season?
"Personally, I'd like to make the All-Big West First Team again. I'd also like to cut down on my strikeouts and continue to lead the team in producing runs. Basically, I want to do whatever it takes to make this team successful. As a team, we'd like to defend our Big West title and get to regionals. Ultimately, the goal is to get to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series."
What have been your impressions of the team's many newcomers?
"It's certainly the biggest pitching staff we've had since I've been here. But I think that will help because we will not have to be so reliant on one person. Having all these players means nobody can take a day off in practice or in a game because there is always someone ready for their opportunity."
How hard will it be to see this group of seniors leave?
"It will be very sad to see them go. They are a big part of this team because they are all returning players who have had very successful careers. They know what it takes to play at a high level, so their leadership will be missed. Still, they got an entire season ahead of them and I'm excited to see what they do."
What are your thoughts on the Matadors' 2011 schedule?
"I love it. I am very excited to play against some of the top teams in the nation. I want us to do well in those games so we can show people what Northridge softball is all about. The Nevada game will also be a big contest for me personally because I am from Reno and we play them in Las Vegas."
Where do you see yourself in five years?
"I'd like to try my hand at professional softball, either through the NPF or overseas in Europe. We've had a few girls go recently, so it's been interesting to here about their experiences. If that doesn't work out, I think I'd like to go into a branch of law enforcement. I am a criminal justice major."