February 25, 2009

Matador Softball Set to Compete in Mayfair Invitational

Feb. 25, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge Returns to California for Five Games

After picking up three wins in El Paso, the Cal State Northridge softball team (4-6) returns to California this week to compete in the Mayfair Invitational host by Long Beach State at Mayfair Park. The Matadors will battle a pair of midwestern squads (Wisconsin, Iowa State) and also face a pair of regional rivals (BYU and No. 12 Fresno State) at the three-day event. Northridge has played the Bulldogs and Cyclones a combined 58 times, but faced BYU only twice and has never met the Badgers, a team they will see twice, including a 6 p.m. game on Feb. 27.

Scheduling Notes

Next week, from Mar. 6-8, Northridge hosts the WORTH Invitational at Matador Diamond. The Matadors welcome Portland State, Rutgers and Quinnipiac in the three-day event. CSUN will face both the Vikings and Scarlet Knights twice and the Bobcats once.

Sister-Sister

There is little doubt that sophomore Krystal Raphael's family will be attendance when Northridge faces Wisconsin. Sister Valyncia is a senior outfielder on the Badgers, hitting .200 for the season. The two teams were supposed to meet at the Cathedral City Kickoff, but the game was rained out. At the Mayfair Invitational, CSUN and Wisconsin meet twice, on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. and on Mar. 1 at 10:45 a.m.

A Saenz of the times

Junior Christina Saenz now leads the Big West Conference with a .455 batting average and a .600 on-base percentage. She hit .583 with seven RBIs and three runs at the UTEP Softball Invitational and now stands at 10 RBIs and six runs for the season. She also hit her first home run of the season against Samford, improving her slugging to .636.

Allen Wrenches Her way into offensive Fixture

Sophomore Tracy Allen stands right on the heels of teammate Christina Saenz for the league's best batting average, currently second with a .450 rate. She hit safely in all five games at the UTEP Softball Invitational and owns the third-best on-base percentage in the conference at .500. She also stands in a tie for second in the league with teammate Micah Putnam with four stolen bases.

Rymer and Reason

Junior Jaclyn Rymer raised her season batting average to .304 after hitting .417 at the UTEP Softball Invitational. She scored five runs, walked five times and had four RBIs in El Paso. Her three steals are tied with teammate Karla Chaparro for the fourth-most in the Big West and and leads the league in fielded double plays with five.

Debbie Duran-Duran

Junior Debbie Duran won all three Northridge victories at the UTEP Invitational, giving her four wins for the season. She has appeared in nine games in her debut year, tossing 34.1 innings and owns a 3.06 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .235 off her for the year and Duran has struck out 20 batters.

Double A Keeps Going and Going and Going

Junior Alexandria Alvarado remains a major part of the Matador line-up, owning a .345 batting average with four doubles and six runs and RBIs. She hit .333 with three doubles at the UTEP Softball Invitational and is tied for second in the conference with four doubles on the season. Her 10 hits are tied with Saenz for the team lead.

Putnam Provides Prolonged Productivity, Prompting Perennially Pleasing Performances

Senior Micah Putnam has been a terror on the basepaths this season, already owning four stolen bases. That ranks for a tie for second in the Big West Conference and gives her 18 for her career. She also has five runs and RBIs.

Getting the LO-Down

Junior Lauren Olivas has already gunned down two runners from her center field spot in 2009. Against Fresno State, Olivas showed off her strong arm, throwing out a potential Bulldog run at the plate in a scoreless game at the time. She now has five career outfield assists.

Torgeson Elected to NFCA Hall of Fame

Former Cal State Northridge softball coach Gary Torgeson was elected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the NFCA 25th Anniversary Convention in Marco Island, Fla. During his 13-year tenure, Torgeson won four Division II National Championships and helped CSUN successfully transition to Division I, culminating with an appearance in the College World Series Final against Arizona in 1994. He finished with a 636-216-8 record and never finished worse than a tie for first in the conference standings.

Basepaths beware

Northridge leads the Big West Conference with 16 stolen bases. Micah Putnam and Tracy Allen each have four stolen bases while Karla Chaparro and Jaclyn Rymer each have three. They have only been caught three times, a success rate of 84.2 percent. Conversely, CSUN catchers have nabbed six of 14 would-be-base stealers, catching 42.8 percent of potential stolen bases.

Defensive Dynamos

Northridge owns a .969 team fielding percentage, the fourth-best rate in the Big West Conference. Northridge has already turned a league-best six doubles plays and has committed a league-low nine errors. Jaclyn Rymer leads the team with 71 chances and 69 putouts and owns a 1.000 fielding percentage. Karla Chaparro ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with 27 assists.

Scouting Wisconsin

For the first time in school history, Northridge will face Wisconsin on the softball diamond. Wisconsin is 5-8 on the season, hitting .256 as a team with four home runs and 36 runs scored. Leah Vanevenhoven leads the team with a .394 batting average and has a team-best 3.25 ERA in 32.1 innings of work.

Another dual threat, Letty Olivarez, has two home runs and 10 RBIs and has a 3.29 ERA in 51 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .248 against Wisconsin pitching and 32 extra-base hits. Senior Valyncia Raphael is the sister of Northridge sophomore Krystal Raphael.

Scouting Iowa State

Hailing from the Big 12 Conference, Iowa State enters the weekend at 13-2 and receiving votes in some national polls. The Cyclones are hitting .289 as a team with Alex Johnson leading the team at .395. She also has two home runs, five doubles and 16 RBIs. Five other regulars are batting over .300 on the year and the team ahs 26 steals, nine courtesey of Carleigh Berry.

Rachel Zabriskie leads the ISU pitchers with a 7-1 record and a 0.48 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. Charissa Carlin is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 25 K's in 37.1 innings of work. CSUN owns a 5-1 all-time record against ISU, winning the last meeting 6-4 in San Diego on Feb. 20, 2004.

Scouting BYU

BYU and Northridge meet Saturday afternoon for the third time in the all-time series. The Cougars are 7-9 overall and are hiting .289 as a team with a .386 on-base percentage. Andrea Ramirez leads the team with a .420 average and she has two home runs and 13 RBIs. Jessica Purcell leads BYU with six home runs and 22 RBIs on the season.

Paige Aaffleck is 4-4 on the year with a 2.12 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 56 innings of work. Christie Zinanti is 3-5 with a 2.14 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 52.1 innings of work. Opponents are hitting just .221 off Cougar pitching this season. The two teams have split their two previous meetings.

Scouting No. 12 Fresno State

For the second time this season, Northridge meets Fresno State on the diamond. In the earlier meeting, the Bulldogs escaped with a 3-0, eight-inning victory. Now the Bulldogs are 6-3 and ranked No. 12 in the nation. Despite the fact that they are hitting .235 as a team and have scored only 23 runs on the season, but Haley Perkins is hitting .367 to lead the team. Michelle Moses has three home runs and seven RBIs on the season.

In the circle, Morgan Mellow is 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 37.2 innings of work. She is holding opponents to a .170 batting average and was the winner in the first CSUN-FSU game this season. Mackenzie Oakes is 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA and 11 strikeouts in two starts this season.

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