March 1, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
CSUN Faces runners before Tournament in Fullerton
The Cal State Northridge softball team (5-8) is scheduled to play a total of six games this week as it continues its preseason. The Matadors will host Cal State Bakersfield for a doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 2 starting at noon at Matador Diamond. Following the games with the Roadrunners, Northridge will travel to the campus of Cal State Fullerton to participate in the DeMarini Invitational. At the tournament, CSUN will face Murray State, Northwestern, Southern Miss and No. 14 Stanford.
Last week, the elements limited the Matadors to just three games. CSUN dropped a five-inning, 8-0 decision to defending National Champion UCLA in its home opener. Then, at the Amy S. Harrison Classic, weather forced the team to play only two games, a 4-3 victory over UNLV and an 8-4 loss to Boise State.
While their recent stretch of play has been frustrating, the Matadors must regroup quickly and seize the opportunities ahead. Despite a .214 team batting average, Northridge sports a .328 on-base percentage and a league-high 42 walks. The Matadors also own a .355 team slugging percentage, are tied for the league lead with 10 home runs and have scored 47 runs despite being shutout in four games. Most importantly, CSUN is 4-0 in one-run games, showing it has the knack to win tight ball games.
Cal State Bakersfield is 2-10 on the season, though the Roadrunners have won their past two games. Karissa Veiga leads CSUB with a .313 batting average and 10 hits. In the circle, Alyssa Walker is 1-2 with a 5.39 ERA. The Matadors and Roadrunners are no strangers, having met numerous times in their past when both were NCAA Division-II powers.
In Fullerton, Calif., the Matadors will face a quartet of foes on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. First up is a meeting on Mar. 4 with Murray State, the first time the two schools will meet on the diamond. On Mar. 5, CSUN takes on Northwestern, a perennially powerful program from the Big Ten Conference. Finally, on Mar. 6, CSUN plays twice, facing Southern Miss for the first time in school history and then taking on No. 14 Stanford for the second time this season. The Cardinal took a 9-0, five-inning decision over CSUN on opening weekend at ASU's Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 11.
Junior Samantha Sloniker hit her first home run of the season in the Matadors' loss to Boise State, lifting a two-run shot over the left field fence. She enters the week with a team-high .324 batting average and ranks first in the Big West Conference with 11 runs scored. She also checks in at seventh in the conference with a .439 on-base percentage courtesy of six walks and a hit-by-pitch. Sloniker has started every game for the Matadors in right field and owns a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (21 put-outs, two assists) on the year. Sloniker batted a team-high .429 in the Matadors' five games in Las Vegas. She also has six RBIs and a stolen base in her first season at Northridge following a two-year stint at Mt. SAC.
Thielges to Do Us Part
Sophomore Mikayla Thielges has had a powerful start to the season for Northridge, blasting her team-leading third home run of the season in CSUN's victory over UNLV. The three deep flies is tied for second in the conference and her team-leading 10 RBIs ranks fifth in the league. For the season, she is batting .200, but ranks 10th in the Big West with a .500 slugging percentage. She also has drawn six walks to raise her on-base percentage to .359. Thielges has started every game for the Matadors at catcher and owns a .946 fielding percentage in 37 chances this season.
Junior Jaci Carlsen hit her second home run of the season and 12th of her career in the Matadors' 4-3 victory over UNLV on Feb. 25. For the season, Carlsen is batting .235 with five runs scored, two doubles and four RBIs. She has stolen two bases, drawn three walks and owns a .953 fielding percentage at second base (41 put-outs, 20 assists, three errors), where she has started every game for Northridge.
Time for Madeline
Freshman Madeline Sale remains one of the Matadors' more consistent hitters through 13 games. The rookie from Yorba Linda, Calif., Sale has 10 hits and a double on the season while batting .323. She also owns a .405 on-base percentage thanks to having drawn five walks on the season. Sale also has three RBIs and sports a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 22 chances. She had a season-high three hits in the Matadors' win over Nevada.
Run Forrest Run
Senior Jennifer Mosier continues to lead the Big West Conference with five stolen bases on the season. With 26 for her career, she stands just one steals short of tying two former Matadors for 10th in school history. Mosier tied a school record with three steals in the Matadors' win over Portland State on Feb. 13 and set a school Division-I record with 18 stolen bases in 2010. For the year, Mosier is batting .200, but has scored five runs, collected seven hits, including a home run, and drawn four walks.
Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture
Senior Tracy Allen has been a steady part of the Matadors' line-up through the team's first 13 games. She is batting .257, but has drawn five walks to raise her on-base percentage to .347 for the season. She leads the team and checks in at fourth in the conference with four doubles. Allen also has cranked two home runs on the year, giving her 13 for her career, and collected seven RBIs. Her .543 slugging percentage ranks eighth in the Big West Conference and she is third in the league with 36 defensive assists.
It Certainly Ain't Hannah Montana
Junior Hannah Fraijo turned in a nice performance in the Matadors' 4-3 victory over UNLV, tossing a complete game for her third win of the season. She limited the Rebels to seven hits while fanning a season-high three batters. Still recovering from offseason arm surgery, Fraijo is 3-1 with a 6.81 ERA and five K's. She also has a save on the season, giving her three for her career.
1200 and Loving It
The Matadors' 4-3 victory over Portland State on Feb. 13 was the 1,200th in school history. Northridge softball has been around since 1978 and owns an all-time record of 1,201-649-12 (.648). In that time, the Matadors have won four NCAA Division-II National Championships and since moving to Division-I, have appeared in the two Women's College World Series (1993, 1994), the National Championship game (1994) and qualified for the postseason 13 times.