The Cal State Northridge softball team won only one out of four games at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton March 15-18.
A fifth game against Florida State was canceled in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain and lightning when the Matadors held a 3-2 advantage March 18. Since rules and regulations require teams to finish five whole innings in a contest in order for games to be officially recorded, the game statistics did not count and the Matadors will not receive a second victory in the classic.
“It was really disappointing that we couldn’t finish the game because it was actually a really a good game,” said head coach Barbara Jordan. “The players would have really liked to have finished.”
In the last game against Utah, the Matadors lost 4-3 as the Utes were able to hold off a CSUN comeback.
All four runs scored by Utah came in the top of the first inning. Leading off, Utah’s Jackie Wong singled to center and advanced to second on a Diana Phillips infield single. CSUN junior Sam Schroeder struck out Jessica Shiery and Devina Quintero grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out as Wong going to third and was retired. A Schroeder wild pitch moved Phillips and Quintero into scoring position and a walk to Ivette Hernandez, loading the bases.
Staci Hemingway walked and brought home Phillips to give Utah a 1-0 advantage. The next batter, Andrea Hoffman, hit a groundball to short, but freshman Amanda Peek committed an error with a wide throw to second, letting Quintero and Hernandez score from home and advanced Hemingway to third.
Senior Jan Moshier then overthrew second, allowing Hemingway to score, which gave Utah a 4-0 lead.
“When you give up three unearned runs in the first inning, you obviously did not come out ready to play,” Jordan said.
In the fifth, Peek hit her fourth home run of the season, cutting it to 4-1. Junior Kelly Zakosek doubled to left-center and junior Megan Smith connected on her first home run over the left-center field fence to bring the Matadors within one run. Lindsie Nielsen, however, dominated the Matadors from that point, retiring seven of the last eight batters.
For Utah, Sharee Fonoti, Wong and Phillips led the Utes’ with two hits each. The Matadors were led by Peek who had three hits in four at-bats to raise her team-leading batting average to .385 for the season.
“We didn’t play well the first three innings,” Jordan said. “We played like Northridge softball the last four innings.”
Prior to the loss against Utah, the Matadors were defeated 9-0 in five innings by top-ranked Arizona. A game in which the Wildcats’ Taryne Mowatt threw a perfect game.
Arizona struck first by scoring twice in the second inning. The first pitch thrown by Schroeder was hit deep by Kristie Fox for a home run. Laine Roth then doubled but would be out at third because of a failed sacrifice by Sam Banister. Callista Balko advanced Banister to second with a walk to put two runners on.
With two outs, Caitlin Lowe loaded the bases with a single up the middle. Moshier then threw down to second, attempting to pick off Balko for the final out when Autumn Champion was at the plate, but freshman Micah Putnam mishandled the throw as Banister came in to make it 2-0 Arizona.
Champion singled to second but Putnam redeemed herself by cutting down Balko at home plate to end the inning.
With two outs in the third inning, Arizona would blow CSUN away with five runs in the third and two more runs in the fourth. Roth smashed a two-run homer to left-center followed by Banister who connected to deep left-center for back-to-back home runs in the third for a 5-0 Arizona advantage.
For the Matadors, Schroeder lasted 2.3 innings, giving up 11 hits and seven earned runs. The Wildcats were led by six different players, who had two-hit games. Mowatt struck out 13 of 15 Matadors, allowing no hits and going the distance in five innings for her perfect game.
Jordan said Mowatt threw “everything and anything” to retire Matador players.
Before CSUN played Arizona, the Matadors earned its only victory in the classic against UNLV March 16 with a 5-1 win.
The Rebels scored first in the top of the third inning when Kendall Fearn drove a ball to center and drove Brittany Bolinger home from third on a sacrifice fly. Mistakes by the Rebels would haunt them in the bottom of the third as the Matadors tied up the game without getting a hit.
Rebels shortstop Maggie Livreri committed an error to Peek, who reached first and stole second. With two outs in the third. Smith hit a ball to short which Livreri misplayed again, to bring in Peek to tie the game at one.
In the top of the fifth, the Rebels threatened but the Matadors would counter with solid defense. Brittany Freight doubled to left but was thrown out trying to steal third for the first out.
A single by Bolinger, a hit-by-pitch to Livreri and an infield single by Shannon Crisp loaded the bases with one out. Fearn, however, grounded into a double-play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth with one out, Zakosek tripled to right and scored the winning run on a Smith single to left-center.
Another error, this time by Fearn at third base allowed senior Janine Grund to round first and reach second while Smith moved to third. Moshier singled to center, bringing in Smith and giving CSUN a 3-1 advantage.
For the game, the Matadors were led by Zakosek, who had two hits in four at-bats and two RBIs.
Texas A’M 5
In the opener of the classic, CSUN fell to the 18th-ranked Texas A’M Aggies 5-0 March 15.
With one out in the bottom of the second, the Aggies’ Jami Lobpries doubled to left. A single to left by Holly Ridley scored Lobpries one out later to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.
Leading 3-0, the Aggies added two more runs with in the fifth when Rocky Spencer doubled to left-center.Lobpries smashed a home run to left-center to bring in Spencer, making it 5-0 Aggies.
For Texas A’M, Amanda Scarborough threw a complete game shutout, striking out seven while walking just one. Schroeder, the Matadors’ starting pitcher, pitched five innings, struck out one and allowed 10 hits.
After the classic, CSUN stands at 11-9 for the season and will next take the field March 15 to face UCLA at 1 p.m. at Matador Diamond.
Arthur Vong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.