Northridge Opens Big West Play with Three-Game Series against Pacific at Matador Diamond

March 26, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Host Tigers to Begin League Play

The Cal State Northridge softball team (20-9) opens its Big West Conference slate this weekend with a three-game series against Pacific at Matador Diamond. Currently on an eight-game winning streak, the program's longest since 2004, hopes to continue its hot play against a dangerous Tiger squad that leads the conference in team batting average at .304.

Looking back on the non-conference season, head coach Barbara Jordan has to be pleased with the 20-9 record, a mark that includes a 12-6 performance on neutral sites and 5-0 performance at the San Diego Classic II. The Matadors registered impressive non-league wins against Oklahoma State, Texas, Iowa State (2), Fresno State and San Diego State, all of which gives the team ample confidence entering Big West play.

Canned Food Donation Earns Free Admission Sunday

The Cal State Northridge baseball and softball programs will be granting free admission to Sunday's games with a canned food donation to the Children's Hunger Fund. Fans are encouraged to bring three canned food or non-perishable items per person for admission, but any donation is gladly accepted.

Jaclyn Rymer Named Big West Player of the Week

Junior Jaclyn Rymer went a perfect 8-for-8 at the plate Saturday in CSUN's sweep at Cal State Bakersfield to earn Big West Conference Player of the Week honors Monday. A Bakersfield native, Rymer finished the day with four RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored against the Roadrunners. She raised her season batting average to .378 following the two games, the fourth-best mark in the Big West Conference. She also ranks among the Big West Individual Top 10 in on-base percentage (.485, 2nd), runs scored (23, 3rd), hits (31, T-7th), walks (13, T-4th), stolen bases (5, T-5th), defensive chances (262, 1st) and putouts (248, 1st).

Double A Keeps Going and Going and Going

Junior Alexandria Alvarado enters the weekend with on an eight-game hitting streak, matching the Matadors' current winning streak. She is now hitting .286 on the season with with six doubles, which ranks eighth in the conference, 13 runs scored, 11 RBIs and 26 hits. She also sports a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, having played both right and center field this season.

Debbie Duran and Duran All the Way to Weekly Award

Junior Debbie Duran has been a key component to the Matadors' success, having posted a 14-5 record on the season to lead the Big West Conference in victories. She ranks among the Big West Individual Top 10 in ERA (1.63, 6th), opposing batting average (.230, 9th), innings pitched (111.2, 3rd), strikeouts (55, 8th) and appearances (24, 1st). She won all five games for CSUN at the San Diego Classic II to earn Big West Pitcher of the Week honors on Mar. 16. The 14 wins ranks tied for 11th in all of Division I softball.

A Saenz of the Times

Junior Christina Saenz continues to lead the Big West Conference with a .408 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage. She also ranks among the Big West Individual Top 10 in hits (31, T-7th) and RBIs (18, T-7th). She has already drawn a career-high 10 walks this season, laid down four sac bunts and stolen a career-high two stolen bases this season. She also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Putnam Provides Prolonged Productivity, Prompting Perennially Pleasing Performances

Senior Micah Putnam has already driven in a career-high 22 RBIs, the fifth-most in the Big West Conference. She registered her third four-RBI game of the season in CSUN's 10-5 win over Bakersfield. She also ranks third in the league with seven sac bunts and is hitting .278 with 12 runs, six extra-base hits and five stolen bases. She also sports a .966 fielding percentage and ranks third in the league with 70 defensive assists.

Karla's Korner

Sophomore Karla Chaparro ranks among the Big West Individual Top 10 in stolen bases (6, 2nd), sac bunts (5, T-7th), and defensive assists (77, 2nd). She already has a career-high six RBIs, 15 hits and five runs scored this season as the Matadors enter conference play.

Basepaths Beware

Northridge leads the Big West Conference with 33 stolen bases and 35 sac bunts. Karla Chaparro and Tracy Allen rank second in the league with six stolen bases each and Jaclyn Rymer and Micah Putnam have five steals on the season to rank fifth in the BWC. Conversely, CSUN catcher Krystal Raphael has dissuaded opponents, throwing out 10 of 24 would-be-basestealers, a 42 percent success rate.

Defensive Dynamos

Northridge owns a .967 team fielding percentage, the fourth-best rate in the Big West Conference. Northridge has already turned a league-high 15 doubles plays and has committed only 31 errors in 927 chances. Jaclyn Rymer leads the Big West with 262 putouts and 10 fielding double plays. Karla Chaparro ranks second in the Big West Conference with 77 assists, Micah Putnam checks in at third with 70 and Tracy Allen is sixth with 66 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.

Scouting Pacific

The Pacific Tigers are the Matadors' first Big West Conference opponent in the 2009 season. The Tigers enter the weekend 15-15 overall. They have won five of their past nine games and have picked up victories over Saint Mary's (CA), Colorado State and Illinois. Pacific lost 11-6 Wednesday to No. 12 California.

As a team, the Tigers are hitting .301 for the season, the best batting average in the Big West Conference. Nicole Matson paces the team with a .398 average and has 10 doubles, four home runs and 27 RBIs on the season. Casey Goldsand issa batting .396 for the year and the team has four other regulars hitting over .300 for the season. Goldsand had two hits and two runs while Alexa Rivera added two hits and three RBIs against the Golden Bears Wednesday.

In the circle, Pacific sports a team ERA of 3.99 with Heidi Helberg posting a 5-4 record with a 3.52 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 67.2 innings of work. Chelsea Engle is 6-7 on the year with a 4.60 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .271 off Pacific pitching this season.

Brian Kolze, a 1984 graduate of Cal State Northridge, is in his 17th season as the head coach of Pacific. CSUN owns a 22-21 record in the all-time series between the two schools, taking two of three games in Stockton during the 2008 season.

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