The CSUN (20-26, 6-8 Big West) women’s softball team recorded its second doubleheader Big West Conference sweep in the past month, with Saturday afternoon’s extra inning victory over visiting Pacific 5-4.
Winning the first game 3-1, with a complete game by senior pitcher Shelly Tait, the Matadors trailed the Tigers (26-22, 11-6) 1-0 early in the game.
Pacific scored the game’s first run in the top of the fourth, and Northridge regained the lead in a three-run fifth inning. Junior first baseman Tanna Bindi lined a triple down the right field line, the Matadors first triple of the season, scoring Northridge’s first two runs.
“I went up there looking for a pitch I could work with and drive. My teammates did a good job of getting on base for me so we could score some runs,” said Bindi in an interview with gomatadors.com.
A single by freshman shortstop Maylynn Mitchell scored Bindi from third and gave Tait all the run support she would need. Striking out two, Tait worked around seven hits and two walks.
“The team came out ready to have my back and we fought every step of the way and every inning,” said Tait in an interview with gomatadors.com. “It was (a) full team effort in both games. We have got into a groove as far as pitch calling and defense, and its more about hitting spots than trying to overpower people.”
Pacific came out swinging in the second game, putting the pressure on Northridge early. A pair of singles up the middle in the third, followed by a throwing error, drove in the first run for the Tigers. A sacrifice fly to centerfield scored the second run and after two singles, senior pitcher Alexa Limon replaced senior pitcher Mia Pagano.
Walking the bases loaded, a wild pitch gave Pacific a 3-0 lead before CSUN was able to escape the inning.
Northridge started a rally in the fourth inning, with sophomore center fielder Abby Linn and Pagano singling through the left side of the infield. After loading the bases on a fielding error, senior second baseman Korinne Randazzo was hit by a pitch, scoring a run for the Matadors.
Scoring their second run in the fifth inning, Linn laid down a bunt single, cutting the score 3-2.
Gaining their first lead of the game, senior catcher Mikayla Thielges drove a single to left center in the sixth inning, scoring two runs.
Down to their last out, Pacific had runners on first and second with first-game winner Tait on the mound for Northridge. A single up the middle forced the game into extra innings after tying the score at four.
Pacific threatened in the eighth, putting a runner in scoring position, but were unable to score.
Putting runners at second and third in the bottom of the eighth, Randazzo grounded out and Pacific cut down the runner at home to preserve the tie. Bindi came up to bat with a runner on third and laid down a sacrifice bunt, allowing the winning run to score.
Tait earned her second victory of the day, recording 1.2 innings of relief, giving up two hits, one walk and a strikeout.
“I think overall we hit the ball pretty well,” said head coach Tairia Flowers in an interview with gomatadors.com. “Our pitchers kept us in the game and we came out ready and prepared to play.”