The Matadors softball (15-12) winning streak now sits at three games, after winning a 5-2 game against the Loyola Marymount University Lions (19-9) in their second of two games played Friday in the Mizzuno Classic.
The Matadors’ defense was outstanding for the duration of the game, making several diving plays both in the infield and the outfield. Almost any time the Lions threatened with baserunners, CSUN’s defense was up to the task of limiting the damage and keeping them off the scoreboard.
“We’ve just needed to keep things simple, and to just be us,” head coach Tairia Flowers said. “We are good enough, and this is how we should be playing all the time. This is what happens when we play and we’re comfortable.”
The Matadors pitching and defense has been solid since their March 10 game against Toledo University; they committed five errors that lead to six runs in the loss. In the four games since, CSUN has only allowed a combined three runs total, including a stretch of 16 scoreless innings that was snapped during Friday’s game.
After a Lions solo home run that gave them a 1-0 lead in the first inning, CSUN struck in the third inning to give themselves a lead they would not relinquish.
Sophomore second baseman Tara Kliebenstein lead off the inning with a double, that was followed by a sophomore shortstop Savannah Horvath walk, giving the Matadors two runners on base with no outs. The red-hot hitting center fielder Taylor Glover stepped to the plate and drove both runners in on a two-RBI triple. Junior catcher Katie Hooper followed that hit with an RBI single of her own, giving CSUN a 3-1 lead after three innings of play.
LMU inched closer in the bottom of the fifth inning when a two-out RBI single by left fielder Amanda Dirks cut the CSUN lead to just one.
However in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Matadors gave themselves a couple of insurance runs, putting away the Lions for good.
Freshman third baseman Maylynn Mitchell lead off the inning being hit by a pitch. The next hitter Kliebenstein hit a towering fly ball to right-center field that banged off the wall after the LMU outfielder slipped, it gave Kliebenstein just enough time to hit a 2-RBI inside-the-park home run.
“I wasn’t expecting (the inside-the-park home run) at all really,” Kliebenstein said. “I was kind of surprised when I saw that coach was sending me home.”
Kliebenstein hit two-for-two, with two runs and two RBIs each.
Junior starting pitcher Daphne Pofek pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and walking two batters. She also struck out four Lion’s hitters in the game. The win for Pofek was her team-leading seventh, her record now stands at 7-4.
CSUN resumes play Saturday at the Mizzuno Classic with a game against Yale University at 4 p.m.