CSUN opens at Cathedral City

David Denenberg

The CSUN softball team will get the season started this weekend at the Cathedral City Kickoff.’ After posting a 23-24 overall record last year, highlighted by a 12-9 Big West Conference record, the women are expecting a strong outing this season.’

This weekend’s tournament will provide a big test for the team as they face some big-name colleges such as Wisconsin and Georgia.

Coming back this season to provide solid leadership for the team are juniors Alexandria Alvarado and Jaclyn Rymer.’ As a sophomore Rymer hit .279 and posted a career-high 10 steals for the Matadors.’ Rymer’s defense was nearly flawless as she committed only three errors all year.’ She was the only Matador named to the All-Big West First Team.
Alvarado was the offensive spark last year, batting .289 with 38 hits and 17 RBIs.’ She also showed off her speed with nine stolen bases.

‘We’ve worked really hard up to this point,’ Alvarado said. ‘I’m really looking forward to putting it all together and having a good season.’

The Matadors look solid on offense, but this year’s pitching staff has a lot to. After losing Mercedes Lavato to graduation, the team is looking for junior Amanda Pitzenberger to step up her game on the mound.’ Pitzenberger was 3-6 last year, with a 3.15 ERA and three saves.

Helping out the team’s offense this year will be senior second baseman Micah Putnam, who batted .279 and led the Big West with seven doubles last season.’ She ended the year with 36 hits and 23 runs.

Other strong returning players include sophomore infielder Tracy Allen and junior outfielders Lauren Olivas and Christina Saenz.’ Allen had a strong freshman year, finishing with 20 runs, 24 hits and three home runs.’ Saenz had an impressive 15 RBIs to go with 19 hits. Olivas recorded a .273 batting average against Big West teams.
Head Coach Barbara Jordan believes the team has great potential.

‘This team reminds me a lot of one of our most successful teams in the past.’ They do that in two ways: one is they’re mentally mature ‘hellip; and two is that they like to have fun amongst themselves’hellip;on and off the field.’

The Matadors will face some stiff competition this weekend as they match up with a couple of teams that appear on the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason rankings.’ After they take on Liberty and Fordham on Friday, CSUN will face No. 23 Georgia the next day. They also play Wisconsin that day. On Sunday, CSUN takes on No. 12 Fresno State and Southern Illinois.