Women’s softball team continues to struggle

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The Cal State Northridge softball team was shut out for the third and fourth straight time Thursday as it lost a doubleheader to Loyola Marymount at Matador Diamond.

Game one went to the Lions 8-0 in six innings, and LMU won the nightcap 5-0. The Matadors fell to 5-6 with the two defeats, while the Lions improved to 3-4 on the season.

The Matadors made a bit of history as they were shut out for the fourth straight contest, tying a school record set in 1990.

In the first game, Loyola Marymount jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the third. Danielle Kaminaka doubled down the right field line to drive in both Lisa Abbott and Margo Pineda. The Lions added three more runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to evoke the mercy rule.

Kayla Meeks scored on a broken play and the next batter, Caylin Hornish, singled to right to score Abbott. One out later, Brittany Bassett singled to the hole at shortstop to score Pineda and make it 5-0. In the sixth, Pineda hit a two-run homer with Meeks aboard and Kaminaka followed with a solo shot to make it 8-0. Abbott, Bassett, Kaminaka, Meeks and Pineda each had a pair of hits for the Lions. The Lions had 11 hits while the Matadors had just six.

Meeks also did the job in the circle, pitching six scoreless innings to record her first collegiate victory. The freshman struck out one and allowed six hits and no walks.

Juniors Jen Dishner and Jan Moshier each went 2-for-3 at the plate, while fellow juniors Heather Martin and Emilee Moores had the other singles for CSUN.

Dishner was one of the few players actually able to hit Meeks pitches.

“I am seeing the ball well,” Dishner said. “My timing is good and I’m in a good place at the plate.”

Starting pitcher Kia Fennell allowed seven earned runs, 11 hits and three walks in five and two-third innings. Senior Jenny Wheeler faced Hornish and retired her on a groundout to end the sixth.

“We are not doing the little things right to win games,” said head coach Barbara Jordan. “We are not moving runners when they get on first base. We are just not playing tough.”

In game two, the teams played four scoreless innings before the Lions broke through with three runs in the fifth. Kaminaka, Hornish and Emily Foltz had consecutive two-out, RBI singles to make it 3-0. Kaminaka wasn’t done though. Saving her best for last, she hit a two-run homer in the seventh, her second of the day.

Sophomore Erin Sigala pitched a complete game, striking out seven, allowing seven hits, five runs and five walks while throwing 142 pitches.

“I was out of rhythm in the circle,” Sigala said. “I need to become much more consistent.”

“I do not blame these things on other people,” Sigala said about the Loyola rally. “I take the responsibility for the hits that I gave up in the fifth.”

Kaminaka had another two-hit game, while Hornish also went 2-for-4. Dishner and sophomore Laura Hovestreydt had the only two hits for the Matadors.

“I thought we came out ready,” Dishner said. “I don’t know what happened, but if we take care of our base runners, we will be fine.”

The Matadors will host the Shanghai Softball Team in an exhibition game on Thursday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at Matador Diamond. CSUN returns to regular-season play next weekend when they host Syracuse in a three-game weekend series March 12 and 13. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s game both start at Noon.