Softball: Matadors defeat ninth ranked UCLA with walk off two-run home run

Softball: Matadors defeat ninth ranked UCLA with walk off two-run home run

Bob Garcia

Left-fielder Tanna Bindi signs an autograph for a Northridge ASA softball player, Bindi hit the game-winning home run to clinch a victory over UCLA. The junior hit one out of the park to bring home freshman Ariana Wassmer and take the lead from the Bruins. Photo credit by Ken Scarboro / Senior Photographer


CSUN’s women’s softball team (9-15) ended its two game skid by defeating the ninth-ranked UCLA Bruins (18-3) 3-2 Wednesday, on a walk off two-run home run to right field by junior outfielder Tanna Bindi in their home opener.

“I felt good all game. I was seeing good pitching and seeing the ball,” Bindi said, who was 1 for 3 for the game with two RBI’s, including her first career home run. “She just left (it) there and I took my swing and went with it….I saw the ball really well today. I just made a small adjust of seeing the ball out front and just stayed calm.”

Bindi’s home run was one of four hits in the game for Northidge, coming after redshirt sophomore first baseman Jennifer Tyler reached first on a hit by pitch.

“Tanna in all three of her at-bats, you could see that she was seeing the ball, finding her timing and she finally squared one up.” said head coach Tairia Flowers. ” She has been putting in the time and I am glad that it paid off for her. I was very excited to see her (hit the home run) and you always love to win games in the bottom of the seventh like that.”

The Matadors trailed early in the game after UCLA’s senior outfielder B.B. Bates hit a two-run home run first inning to left center field, off CSUN senior pitcher Mia Pagano.

Paganoturned it around, pitching six consecutive scoreless innings. She finished the game with seven innings pitched, two earned runs and three strikeouts to improve her record to 4-5.

“I think in the first inning (it) was not the best that I could do and I did not rely on my defense as much as I could of,” Pagano said. “So I trusted them behind me and they made the plays for me. I started making them hit the ball on the ground instead of the air, and my defense really backed me up.”

The Matadors did not register a hit off of UCLA sophomore pitcher Ally Carda (11-2) until the bottom of the fourth on a single up the middle by sophomore infielder Sydney House.

Sophomore outfielder Crystal Maas followed House’s single with a double to right field that scored pinch runner Leann Lopez to give the Matadors their first run of the game.

Senior pitcher Mia Pagano held the ninth-ranked UCLA Bruins to two runs over seven innings, striking out three batters and leading the Matadors to their first victory over UCLA since 1998. Giving up two runs in the first inning, Pagano shut down UCLA for the next six innings. Photo credit by Ken Scarboro/ Senior Photographer

UCLA failed to get hits when runners were in scoring position, leaving eight players on base with designated hitter Jessica Hall going 0 for 4 and being responsible four stranded runners.

Northridge was able to get out of a jam in the second inning when Carda was thrown at home by CSUN sophomore center fielder Abby Linn. In the seventh inning, the Matadors prevented the Bruins from scoring with the bases loaded with one out.

“We came out ready to play,” Flowers said. ” We played some good defense, got some key hits when we needed them and we just fought to the end.”

The win was CSUN’s first defeat of a ranked opponent this season and first win over UCLA since the 1998 season.