Northridge Returns to Matador Diamond for Three Games with Pacific

April 14, 2011

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Host Tigers in Three-Game Series

The Cal State Northridge softball team (14-24, 2-4 Big West) hosts Pacific in its Big West Conference home opener this weekend. The Matadors and Tigers will play a doubleheader at Matador Diamond on Apr. 16 at noon, followed by a single game on Apr. 17 also at noon. CSUN has won the past six meetings with Pacific, though the Tigers enter the series as one of the hottest clubs in the Big West Conference.

Last weekend, the Matadors took one of three games in a series with Long Beach State at the 49er Softball Complex. After being shutout 4-0 in the first game of a doubleheader on Apr. 9, the Matadors rallied for a 3-2 victory in the nightcap thanks to some timely defense. Leading 3-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the 49ers loaded the bases and quickly made it 3-1 with two outs. A single threatened to derail the Matadors' hopes, but after the second run scored, Northridge caught the 49er baseunner in a pickle between third and the plate to end the game. The 3-2 victory was the first Northridge win against a team ranked in the RPI top 50 in 2011 and the program's second win in Long Beach since 2001.

Although the Matadors dropped the third and final game in the series, they are posting lots of impressive statistics. Jaci Carlsen ranks among the league leaders in eight offensive categories while Mikayla Thielges is among the league's best in eight as well. With 23 RBIs on the season and 81 for her career, Tracy Allen has now tied Jan Mosier for 10th in school history. On the basepaths, Jennifer Mosier continues to add to her school Division-I record in stolen bases, having now recorded 32 steals in her two-plus seasons with CSUN.

In the circle, Carly Wade has been especially effective since the start of Big West play. The rookie is 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA and a .234 opponent batting average in four appearances, including two complete games, in league action. She also checks in at second in the league with two saves on the season. Fellow hurler Hannah Fraijo is sixth in the league with nine victories, increasing her career total to 34 in two-plus seasons.

A week after facing the top pitching staff in the Big West, CSUN now meets the top hitting team in the league. Pacific enters the three-game series at 25-13 overall and with a league-high .316 team batting average. The Tigers also own the conference's top on-base percentage (.402) and have scored 200 runs. Kelsey Rodriguez leads the league with a .400 batting average and Megan Hom (.387) and Nikki Armagost (.373) also check in among the league's top five hitters.

Not to be outdone, the Pacific pitching staff sports a 3.13 team ERA and .262 opponent batting average. Tori Shepard is 10-5 on the year with a .237 opponent batting average and 70 strikeouts in 97 innings of work. Armagost, who was named Big West Pitcher of the Week on Apr. 11, is 11-8 with a 2.96 ERA and 93 K's in 120.2 innings.

CSUN has won the past six games with Pacific and eight of the last nine meetings. The Tigers' last win in the series came on Mar. 30, 2008 in a 6-2 victory in Stockton.

Thielges Do Us Part

Sophomore Mikayla Thielges is tied for the Big West Conference lead with 10 home runs, which is tied for the ninth-most in school history for a single season. The team's everyday catcher, Thielges ranks among the league's top 10 in eight different categories: home runs (1st), slugging percentage (2nd, .687), on-base percentage (3rd, .457), RBIs (2nd, 31), total bases (3rd, 57), walks (2nd, 22), hit by pitch (5th, 8), and sac flies (1st, 3). Since the start of Big West play, Thielges is batting .333 with seven walks and a team-high .619 on-base percentage. She had seven RBIs in the Matadors' doubleheader sweep over North Dakota, including a three-run walk-off home run in CSUN's game two victory. She also had three RBIs in the Matadors' win gainst Ohio. She has a three-hit game (Nevada) and has driven in a career-high four RBIs on two separate occasions (San Jose State, North Dakota). For the season, Thielges owns a .969 fielding percentage in 128 chances.

Reno 911

Junior Jaci Carlsen moved into ninth in school history with 17 career home runs when she blasted her seventh of the season in the Matadors' 3-2 victory over Long Beach State on Apr. 9. For the season, Carlsen leads CSUN with a .361 batting average, eight doubles, 70 total bases and 39 hits. In fact, she ranks among the league's top 10 in eight different categories: total bases (1st), batting average (6th), slugging percentage (3rd, .648), runs (8th, 20), hits (5th), doubles (3rd), home runs (3rd) and stolen bases (3rd, 10). The 10 steals represent a new career high, she has 18 RBIs and also owns a .420 on-base percentage. She tied a career high with four hits at San Diego and three runs scored against Ohio on Mar. 20. She owns a .951 fielding percentage in 183 chances. Carlsen was named Big West Player of the Week on Mar. 28.

Allen Wrenches Her Way into Offensive Fixture

Senior Tracy Allen is second on the team and sixth in the Big West Conference with 23 RBIs. That figure raises her career RBI total to 81, tying her with Jan Mosier for 10th in school history. Allen also has five home runs on the season, third on the team and sixth in the Big West Conference, to raise her career total to 16 and which is tied for ninth in school history. A mainstay at third base for the Matadors over the last three seasons, Allen is batting .269 for the season with 17 runs, six doubles and a .453 slugging percentage. She is also second in the conference with 107 defensive assists and owns a .957 fielding percentage in 140 chances.

Run Forrest Run

Senior Jennifer Mosier leads the Matadors and Big West Conference with 11 stolen bases on the season, giving her 32 for her career, the fifth-most in school history and a new program Division-I record. In her three seasons at Northridge, Mosier has been successful on 89 percent (32-of-36) of stolen base attempts. 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. She also adds 13 runs scored, two triples and eight RBIs on the year.

Time for Madeline

Freshman Madeline Sale is second on the team with a .303 batting average through the first 38 games of her collegiate career. A rookie from Yorba Linda, Calif., Sale has 30 hits, four doubles and 12 RBIs on the season. She has produced two three-hit performances (Nevada, Southern Miss) while drawing 13 walks to raise her on-base percentage to .381 for the season. After starting the year as the team's Designated Player, Sale has now played the majority of games at first base for CSUN and owns a .977 fielding percentage in 173 chances.

Carly's Wade With Words

Freshman Carly Wade has been a reliable force for the Matadors in her rookie season, especially since the start of Big West play. In four appearances during the Big West season, she owns a 1.62 ERA and a .234 opponent batting average. She picked up her third win of the season by tossing a complete game against Long Beach State on Apr. 9 and is now 4-13 on the season. Wade is also tied for the second in the league with her two saves.

Basepaths Beware

CSUN has been aggressively attacking the basepaths again in 2011. The Matadors are second in the Big West Conference with 32 stolen bases and Jennifer Mosier leads the league with 11 steals and Jaci Carlsen is third with a career-high 10. Korinne Randazzo and Kristen Mihm each add three steals while Tracy Allen has two. Mosier is now the school's Division-I career leader in stolen bases, having swiped 32 in her two-plus seasons at CSUN. She set a school Division-I record with 18 steals in 2010 and then tied another school record with three steals against Portland State on Feb. 13, 2011.

Flowers Named Team USA Assistant Coach

Cal State Northridge softball head coach Tairia Flowers was named an assistant coach for the 2011 USA Softball season on Mar. 3, 2011. A member of the 2004 and 2008 US Olympic teams, Flowers will be a part of Team USA head coach Ken Eriksen's staff at the World Cup of Softball July 21-25 in Oklahoma City. In addition to that experience, Flowers will work at the team's selection camp in Chula Vista, Calif., from June 13-17. She will then be part of tour stops in Salem, Virginia (June 29) and Bowie, Maryland (July 1). Flowers is one of two newcomers to the Team USA Coaching Staff for 2011. Joining her as a rookie assistant coach is former UCLA teammate and current San Diego State assistant head coach Stacey Nuveman.