Senior second baseman Korinne Randazzo reared back and crushed her second home run of the season over the left-center field wall with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, leading the Matadors (17-24, 3-6 Big West) softball team to a walk-0ff win against visiting Cal Poly (16-26-1, 5-8).
After winning the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Mustangs 7-0 with an overbearing attack of small ball, CSUN relied on the long ball in the second game, using two home runs to defeat Cal Poly 3-2.
Striking first in game one, sophomore pitcher Brianna Elder was staked to a 3-0 lead after the first inning after the Matadors loaded the bases on a combination of walks, errors and hit by pitches. Throughout the game, Elder shut down every Mustang rally, pitching her second complete game of the season and holding Cal Poly to four hits while striking out three.
“That first inning is kind of rough for some pitchers and I have definitely put a lot of pressure on myself,” Elder said. “When we get the early lead it can definitely take it off my shoulders and I can just throw pitches knowing my defense is pumped up from the hitting.”
The second game was a whole new ballgame for Northridge. Mustangs sophomore pitcher Jordan Yates was not as wild as her predecessor had been, and hits came at a premium for CSUN.
“They threw a different girl, but I think that our girls’ did a good job of adjusting to seeing three different pitchers in one day,” head coach Tairia Flowers said. “We kept our composure, swung at good pitches and had timely hits.”
Senior pitcher Shelly Tait was called upon to pitch the second game for CSUN, but came out of the gate a little inconsistent. Allowing one run in the first inning, Tait would eventually settle down and throw a complete game for Northridge, their second of the day.
Held hitless and down 1-0 through three innings, Northridge got on the board on a home run by senior third baseman Tiffini Lucero that hugged the right field line.
“It feels amazing. I was just making solid contact throughout the entire game, both games,” Lucero said. “That one (at-bat) I just saw the ball really well and I didn’t realize it was over until I rounded second base and saw all my team.”
The Mustangs did not let the tie last long, scoring another run in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by junior catcher Mariah Cochiolo.
Threatening in the fifth and sixth innings, a failed steal of third base by sophomore center fielder with one out stymied a possible rally for Northridge in the fifth. Putting runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth inning, CSUN was unable to move them any farther and headed into the seventh down 2-1.
Two pitches brought a quick two outs and sophomore right fielder Crystal Maas to the plate as the Matadors last hope. Singling back up the middle kept the Matadors hopes alive and gave Randazzo a last at-bat.
On the second pitch of her at-bat, Randazzo lifted a pitch to left-center field for her second home run and gave the Matadors their third walk-off win of the season.
“I had no idea it was going out, my whole team said right when I made contact it was out. It felt good when I made contact,” Randazzo said. “I saw that she was would go hard in and soft out, so once I picked that up I stayed off the plate a little more. I was able to pick that pitch up and send it.”