Softball: CSUN starts Big West play with dominant wins against Cal Poly

Senior pitcher Brianna Elder and her team head into the Big West Conference were she will try to lead the Matadors to a post season appearance. (Raul Martinez/ The Sundial)

The Matadors (27-10, 2-0) swept a pair of games against the Cal Poly Mustangs (17-19, 0-2) in Big West Conference action on Saturday, 3-0 and 3-1, to get the beginning of the conference season off on the right foot.

CSUN allowed just five hits from Mustang batters through both of the games, as the Matador’s 1-2 punch of senior pitcher Brianna Elder and freshman pitcher Zoe Conley proved too much for Cal Poly to overcome.

Sophomore utility player Katie Hooper was in on both scoring plays of the first game of the double-header. Hooper reached first on a fielders choice, allowing Glover to cross the plate for the first run of the game.

Hooper added some space between herself, and Fullerton’s junior infielder Missy Taukeiaho in the Big West home run leaders category, when she knocked her 11th home run of the season, once again plating Glover.

Conley coasted through the Mustang’s batters en route to her 12th win of the season. The freshman tossed her sixth complete game, striking out five and allowing three hits. Cal Poly’s sophomore pitcher Sierra Hyland was given the complete game loss. At 1.38, Conley has the second best ERA in the conference.

Elder was given the ball for the second game of the twin bill. The concord native went the distance, earning her eighth complete game of the season The power pitcher allowed just two hits and one earned run, while striking out a pair to advance to 11-3. Hyland, who pitched just two innings, was saddled with the loss. Her second of the day.

Freshman shortstop Savannah Horvath put the Matadors on the board in the first inning thanks to a RBI double down the right field line, scoring freshman center fielder Taylor Glover.

Cal Poly scored their first, and only run of the double header in the fourth inning after Hyland powered a pitch over the left field fence to tie the game up at one.

Glover broke the tie up in the next inning by knocking a home run of her own to right center field for her fifth home run of the season. An RBI double off the bat of freshman infielder Maylynn Mitchell was all Elder needed to close the door and seal the 3-1 win and pick up CSUN’s second win of the conference season.

At 27-10, and 2-0 in the early conference part of the season, the Matadors rest in first place in the conference. Originally picked to finish sixth in early Big West polls, CSUN has gone 7-3 in the last 10 games and have begun to receive national ranking considerations from both ESPN and USA Today.

The Matadors will then take most of next week off before traveling up north to engage in a weekend series against the UC Davis Aggies (12-15, 1-1).