Senior catcher Jan Moshier connected on a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to right-center, bringing the Cal State Northridge softball team within three runs, but the 23rd ranked Oregon Ducks pulled away 15-8 from the Matadors in San Diego at the Aztec Classic March 4.
In the classic, games on March 3 with Fresno State and San Diego State were washed away due to rain and will not be rescheduled.
Rain, however, did not cancel any action the next day as CSUN was able to come out with a split by beating Loyola Marymount but lost to Oregon.
In the latter of the doubleheader, the Ducks showcased an offensive outburst with a 15-8 victory to end the Matadors five-game winning streak and leaving them with a 6-6 overall record. With the win Oregon improved to 11-8.
The Matadors scored first against the Ducks. With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, senior Janine Grund put CSUN on the board with a RBI single up the middle which drove in junior Megan Smith who doubled to left in the previous at-bat to give the Matadors the early 1-0 advantage.
Oregon battled back in the top of the second as Suzie Barnes drove in Kayleen Hudson to even the score. Then Breanne Sabol’s single brought in two runs as Joanna Gail and Amie Morris came in to score, putting the Ducks up 3-1.
CSUN continued the see-saw battle by coming back in the bottom half of the inning.
Senior right fielder Heather Martin went to first on an error by Sabol. Martin advanced to third after junior third baseman Kelly Zakosek doubled to right-center. A two-run single by senior left fielder Jamie Pederson tied the score at three when Martin and Zackosek scored.
Pederson stole second with sophomore center fielder Jackie Duree at the plate. Duree bounced the ball back to pitcher Elise Orange who threw the ball away, resulting in Pederson scoring to give the Matadors a 4-3 lead.
Momentum switched again as Oregon took the lead for good.
In the top of the third, the Ducks knocked out freshman pitcher Selena Salazar who did not record an out in the inning as Hudson and Sari-Jane Jenkins drove in one run each.
A two-run single by Sabol ended with Lovena Chaput’s three-run homer off junior Sam Schroeder gave the Ducks an insurmountable 10-4 lead.
Smith had three hits in four at-bats but did not have an RBI. She, however, is second on the team with a .438 batting average.
Salazar, who allowed five runs, five hits and three walks in two innings. For the season, she has a 2-3 overall record and a 5.34 ERA.
The final five innings was pitched by Schroeder who gave up nine earned runs and eight hits.
Fatigue set in on Schroeder for the game against Oregon but she showed her best stuff for the earlier game with Loyola Marymount as the Matadors were able to shutout the Lions.
It was the second complete-game shutout by Schroeder of the season who pitched CSUN to 3-0 victory. She allowed only four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
In the second inning, LMU pitcher Tiffany Pagano threw a wild pitch that advanced Moshier to second who led off with a walk. Moshier went to third on a groundout by Martin. Zakosek hit a single past second to score Moshier making it 1-0 CSUN.
With one out, Zakosek drove Duree home off an infield single to make it 2-0 CSUN.
In the sixth inning, second basemen Micah Putnam led off with a single and put herself in scoring position by stealing second. Back-to-back strikeouts by Pagano later resulted in two outs but Moshier’s single to center scored Putnam to make it 3-0 CSUN.
The Matadors continue action at the Loyola Marymount Tournament with games against Pennsylvania at 9 a.m. and Virginia at 11 a.m on March 9. CSUN will then play Loyola-Chicago at 1 p.m. and Loyola Marymount at 3 p.m. on March 10 to conclude the tournament.
Arthur Vong can be reached at email@example.com.