The Matadors softball team (11-17) split Tuesday’s double header against visiting Northern Illinois (7-13), winning the first game 3-2 and losing the second 2-1, surpassing last season’s win total of 10.
Trailing by one entering the seventh inning of the first game, the Matadors were able to tie it up on a throwing error after a sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Mikayla Thiegles. Walking the bases loaded, the Huskies got a quick out, but redshirt sophomore Jennifer Tyler hit a sacrifice fly to left center that scored the winning run. The RBI was the first of Tyler’s career at CSUN.
Senior pitcher Mia Pagano won her team high sixth game of the season, giving up seven hits, one earned run and striking out five in seven innings.
Northridge was unable to repeat the same magic in the second game, but jumped out to a quick lead. With runners at second and third with no outs, the Matadors were able to put one on the board in the second with a groundout RBI by junior first baseman Tanna Bindi.
Held quiet in the first few innings, the Huskies started a rally in the fourth. Scoring two runs on a double and three singles, Northern Illinois regained the lead and forced CSUN sophomore starting pitcher Brianna Elder off the mound.
“I missed a couple spots and they took advantage of it,” said Elder, who allowed seven hits, two runs and recorded two strikeouts. “My team had my back today.”
Relieved by senior pitcher Alexa Limon, Limon would allow only one hit and one walk for the remaining 3 2/3 innings.
Northridge had a few opportunities to come back, but were unable to take advantage with runners on base.
“We played a little on our heals in both games. Luckily we came out with the first one (game),” said head coach Tairia Flowers. “The stars didn’t align in the second game.”
Running miscues on the base paths killed rallies for the Matadors in back-to-back innings. In the fifth, senior Tiffini Lucero was caught stealing second with no outs and a runner on third, Northridge was unable to score the runner. Sophomore center fielder Abby Linn was picked off at first base in the sixth inning after leading of the inning with a single down the left field line.
Sophomore designated player Sydney House and freshman shortstop Maylynn Mitchell led the Matadors offensive charge, each going 2 for 3. Brianna Elder picked up the loss for the Matadors, her second on the season, and Jessica Sturm earned the win for the Huskies, her fourth.