After losing their seventh, eighth and ninth straight games to UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, the CSUN softball team will try to right its ship this coming weekend against the UC Riverside Highlanders.
Riverside, which defeated Pacific in their last game to break a small three-game losing streak, is the only team in the Big West Conference to post a worse record than the Matadors.
The Matadors, on the other hand, will be looking to snap out of a season-long slump against a Highlander team that is 14-38 overall, 2-13 in conference play and has won just one game in league play on the road.
CSUN was expected to contend for a league title at the beginning of the year, but due in part to having eight games cancelled earlier in the season because of inclement weather, the Matadors have been unable to find their way, stumbling to a 14-19 overall record including 3-12 in conference play.
The Highlanders have been led by junior first baseman Melissa Sanchez. Sanchez has batted .313 on the season with a team-leading five home runs. Her 34 RBI are more than the team’s next two leading players combined.
Junior outfielder Jessica Black is hitting .298 with three home runs and a team-leading nine doubles. Sophomore catcher Eliizabeth Buck is second on the team with four home runs and 15 RBI while batting .218.
Three pitchers have combined for all 14 wins and 37 of Riverside’s 38 losses. Freshman Danira Iolamo is 2-5 with a team-leading 2.94 ERA in 17 appearances.
Sophomore Sara Radabaugh leads the team in wins (seven), innings (162) and strikeouts (92), but also leads the team with 19 losses to go along with a 3.10 ERA.
Freshman Christin Songer is 5-13 with a 4.10 ERA and has a team-leading two saves. Riverside’s team ERA is 3.64, compared with a 1.76 ERA for its opponents.
As a team, the Highlanders are hitting .243, compared with .282 for their opponents.
In addition, the Highlanders, while out-homering the Matadors, only have 12 home runs as a team. The Highlander pitchers though have given up 36.
For CSUN, junior outfielder Emilee Moores has a team-leading .320 batting average, with 10 doubles and is second on the team with nine RBI. Junior catcher Jan Moshier has a .278 batting average and a team-leading six home runs and 17 RBI.
CSUN has five players that have hit at least one home run and have at least eight RBI including senior pitcher Kia Fennell. Fennell also leads the team with a 2.40 ERA and 122 strikeouts while posting a 9-8 record.
CSUN’s No. 2 pitcher, Erin Sigala, is just 5-11 with a 3.15 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 102 innings. At the plate, Sigala is second on the team with a .296 batting average and one home run.
CSUN’s team ERA has been a very respectable 2.77, but the Matadors’ opponents have had just a 1.93 ERA.
The Matadors have been shut out 10 times this season, while shutting out their opponents only four times.
CSUN is batting just .211 as a team compared with its opponents, which are batting .244. CSUN has 10 combined home runs compared with 18 for its opponents.
On Saturday, the Matadors and Highlanders play a doubleheader beginning at noon and follow that up with one more game Sunday, also beginning at noon.
The three-game set will be the final home games of the season for the CSUN softball team.
The Matadors have won the last six games against the Highlanders, covering the previous two seasons.