Softball: Northridge faces Titans in last series of season

Jay Guillory

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WINNING: The Matadors faces CSUF in search of their third-straight conference series. Photo Credit: Quan Luong / Staff Reporter

CSUN has been playing its best softball as of late, winning four out of the last six games and second-straight conference series, improving its league record to 8-10.

Northridge will travel to Cal State Fullerton for the final three games of the 2011 season. The Matadors and Titans face off for a doubleheader at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, California.

The Matadors (20-30, 8-10 Big West) took the series, 2-1, against the UC Riverside last weekend for the final match at Matador Diamond.

CSUN defeated UCR twice Saturday via comeback fashion taking 10-5 and 7-1 decisions over the Highlanders. The Matadors dominated Riverside with a powerful display of offense, finishing the day with 17 runs, 22 hits and eight stolen bases.

Junior Jaci Carlsen had a record-setting game, stealing three bases in the Matadors’ 7-1 victory. Sophomore catcher Mikayla Thiegles hammered her 12th homerun of the season and recorded six runs batted in for a .727 batting average.

Senior infielder Tracy Allen finished her home career going 3-for-4 in the 10-5 victory, setting new highs for hits and RBIs. She batted .462 for the weekend. Allen now ranks ninth in school history in RBIs with 85 and 10th in homeruns with 17. She leads the Big West Conference with 146 defensive assists and .959 fielding percentage.

In the final home game at Matador Diamond, seniors Allen, Karla Chaparro, Kristen Mihm and Jennifer Mosier where honored before the game.

The series finale went into extra innings and ended when UCR’s Brittany Keeney blasted a three-run bomb in the top of the 11th inning to help the Highlanders snap an 18-game losing streak against the Matadors.

Mihm has been near perfect lately, going 8-for-8 at the plate in three games against Cal Poly from April 30 – May 1, which earned her Player of the Week honors on May 2. For the season, she has batted .252, with a team-high .447 during Big West Conference action.

In Mihm’s league games, she has three homeruns, 21 hits, four doubles, nine RBIs, 10 runs and a .519 on-base percentage.

Chaparro finishes her career at CSUN starting at shortstop the past three seasons. This year she has .954 fielding percentage with 109 defensive assists, which ranked fourth in Big West.

Mosier has totaled 37 stolen bases for her career, tying her for third-most in school history. Mosier also tied the school record with three steals in the Matadors’ win over Portland State on Feb. 13. She enters her final week batting .221 with two triples, 20 runs and 14 RBIs.

This weekend Northridge will play a 22-22 Cal State Fullerton that has a 11-7 record in conference.

Titan Nicole Johnson, who has bated .336 with nine doubles, five homeruns and 17 RBIs to lead Fullerton.

Pitching leaders for CSUF is shared between Katey Laban (5-6) and Ari Cervantes (15-13). On the year, Cervantes has 101 strikeouts in 185 innings with a 2.91 earned run average while Laban has a 3.59 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 74 innings.

CSUF has the edge over CSUN in the all-time series with 58-32-1. Last season, the Matadors took the series against the Titans for the first time since 1998.

Before the win against the Titans, CSUN’s last win at Anderson Family Field came on April 9, 2004 in a 3-2 victory.