Softball: Matadors host UC Riverside in last home series of season

Jay Guillory

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CSUN  will be playing the last series of the season at Matador Diamond this weekend, where four graduating seniors will be honor prior to the series finale this weekend against UC Riverside.

“Were definitely ready to play UCR a big rival game for us. Last season, it got pretty intense between us, a lot of trash talk was going on,” pitcher Hannah Fraijo said. “The team is working hard concentrating on getting better at the little things.”

Northridge can still can clinch a playoff berth pending on how they do in their last two series of the regular season.The Matadors are tied for fifth place and if they could win out the remaining games, it will improve their chances greatly.

“Our ultimate goal is making the conference tournament but we can’t look ahead, we focus on getting better everyday and executing in our game,” Flowers said.

The UCR softball team is 4-11 in the Big West Conference, only winning two of its last ten games.

“The Bears are struggling right now to get wins, but every game they’ve played has been close. The Big West is a tough league and any team can be beaten, but we’re staying confident, preparing for the fight in our last series at Matador Diamond,” coach Tairia Flowers said.

The CSUN’s softball team is coming off a victory against Cal Poly, 7-5, Sunday at Matador Diamond to win the series 2-1, improving their Big West Conference standings.

The Matadors (18-29, 6-9 Big West) sealed the comeback victory on the hands of Mikayla Thielges who scored a three-run double in the bottom of the sixth with a line drive for her fifth double of the season.

Thielges has had an impressive season as she continues to rank among the Big West leaders in runs batted in as she has a team-high 39. The Matadors also had a stellar performance from senior Kristen Mihm, who finished the weekend by going a perfect 8-for-8 against the Mustangs.

In the first game of the series, Mihm went 2-for-2 in the 4-2 loss, with a run scored and a sac bunt. The second game the Matadors capitalized on Mihm’s play when she set a new career-high with three hits, finishing 3-for-3 with a run scored.

She ended the weekend with a 3-for-3 performance, hitting a pivotal two-run double in the sixth inning of the finale, giving Northridge the edge to beat Cal Poly and coming back from a five-run deficit.

“Mihm had a great performance over the weekend, batting 1.000 percent is unheard of at this level. She’s definitely been a clutch player for our team,” Flowers said.

Mihm was named Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday for her flawless performance against Cal Poly. Since the start of league play, Mihm’s numbers has increased. In just 15 Big West games, Mihm is batting .474. She also set new career-highs in runs scored (20), doubles (7), home runs (3) and RBIs (14).

“Mihm is a spark plug for our team. We feed of her intensity,” Fraijo said.