Inconsistency costs softball the sweep against UCSB

Ivan Yeo

It was a tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the Cal State Northridge softball team against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Matador Diamond April 22-23.

Dr. Jekyll appeared in a two-game doubleheader sweep on April 22 in which the Matadors scored 18 runs, nine in each game and invoked the eight-run mercy rule in both games.

Mr. Hyde, however, reared its ugly head April 23, as the Gauchos scored at least one run in all but the first inning and weathered several Matador threats to salvage the series finale.

“I just don’t think we took the same approach,” said head coach Barbara Jordan. “Saturday’s games we came out and we had good leadership and today, we had good leadership from a couple players.”

In game one, CSUN used an eight-run fourth inning and solid pitching from freshman Selena Salazar to rout the Gauchos 9-0.

The Matadors got their first run in the third inning when sophomore Jackie Duree hit a one-out single to center field. Duree then stole second, took third on a sacrifice grounder by senior Heather Martin and finally crossed home plate when freshman Micah Putnam laid down a bunt that just stayed inside the first base line, allowing Putnam to reach first

CSUN broke the game wide open the next inning. Moshier started the hit parade when she took a Jennifer Davis pitch over the left field wall for her sixth home run of the season.

The Matadors weren’t done. Junior Kelly Zakosek followed Moshier’s blast with a double to left center, then senior Jamie Pederson singled to the same spot to bring Zakosek home and Duree followed with a double, also to left-center to score Pederson.

The next batter, Martin, reached on a Gaucho error and Putnam hit a flyball to center that was caught, but was deep enough to get Duree home.

Peek doubled to left to score Martin, then following a walk by senior Janine Grund, junior Megan Smith followed Moshier’s lead as she sent a Davis pitch over the left field fence for her third home run of the season.

“We knew we had to come out with a win,” Peek said. “We stayed together and got a victory,” Peek said.



The momentum carried over into the next game, as the Matadors fed off a six-run third and received another solid effort from Salazar as CSUN cruised to a 9-1 win.

The Gauchos scored first in the second inning as back-to-back singles by Tiffany Wright and Jessica Henja. Two outs later, Danielle Meyers hit an infield single to score Wright.

The Matadors, though, caught a break when Henja got greedy and was caught in a rundown between second and third and was eventually tagged out, ending the inning.

CSUN responded quickly in the bottom of the third. Martin led off with a walk and took second on a sacrifice grounder by Putnam. Peek walked and Grund hit an infield single to load the bases. Martin scored the tying run when a Tami Weston pitch to Smith instead went off the glove of catcher Erika Hansen and into the backstop.

Smith eventually drew the walk and Moshier followed with a single up the middle into center to score Putnam.

Weston then hit Zakosek and walked Pederson to force in two more runs and Duree singled to left to score pinch runner Sarah Kahn and Smith.

Peek kept CSUN going the next inning, as she led off the fourth inning with a blast to left for her 11th home run of the season.

CSUN ended the game in the fifth when the Matadors loaded the bases and Putnam drew a walk to score Zakosek.

Following a Peek flyout, Grund drew another walk to score Pederson and bring the afternoon to a close.

“We finally broke through,” Moshier said. “We had a couple of key hits, got a couple of runs on the board and it was nice to see everybody come through today.”

CSUN’s nine runs came on four hits, but its discipline at the plate was evident, as the Matadors drew 11 walks of Weston.

“I think the hitters had a plan going up to bat and they were patient,” Jordan said. “Its not always about getting a base hit, it’s about putting runners on base and trying to make things happen.”

Salazar was solid in the circle, as she went the whole way in both games and struck out five total batters and actually took a no-hitter into the final inning of the first game.

“Its not something easy, but I was able to pull through, give it my all and play with heart,” Salazar said.



The two teams, however, did a role reversal in the series finale the following day, as the Gauchos delivered the big hits and scored when they needed to and as a result, salvaged the series with a 13-5 win.

“I guess we took them lightly after beating them twice,” Duree said.

The Gauchos got on the board in the second inning on RBI singles by Danielle Meyers and Brittany Putich. Meyers’ single knocked Matador starter Sam Schroeder out of the game and marked the pitching debut of freshman Stacy Milne.

The Gauchos continued to put up the runs when Wright hit a one-out two-run home run to left in the third inning to stake UCSB to a 4-0 lead.

CSUN responded in its half of the third when Duree crushed a deep flyball to straight away center that cleared the fence for her first home run as a Matador, which cut the Gaucho lead in half.

“I didn’t think it was out,” Duree said. “I thought it was going to be caught.”

UCSB answered in the fourth when Liz Walters drew a leadoff walk and Meyers doubled to center to score pinch runner Jackie Conlin, forcing Jordan to go to the bullpen again, this time to Salazar. The Gauchos, however, scored two more runs to lead 7-2.

The Matadors got a run across in the bottom half of the fourth on a sacrifice grounder by Moshier that scored Peek, but the Gauchos got the run back when Davis doubled to left center and took advantage of a Matador error to score from first.

CSUN got two more in the bottom fifth when Martin singled to center to score Pederson and Duree, but UCSB put the game away in the last two innings, as they scored two in the sixth and three in the seventh to seal the win. The Gauchos two-run sixth came courtesy of a two-run home run by Kendra Singley.

“They never gave up,” Jordan said. “They don’t give in and that was good to see.”

CSUN is now 14-19, 3-9 in Big West Conference play while UCSB improves to 19-16, 3-6. The Matadors now head out on the road, with three games against UC Riverside starting April 29.

Ivan Yeo can be reached