The CSUN softball team wrapped up the 2005 regular season with a three-game series against rival Cal State Fullerton in not so glamorous fashion.
The Matadors were looking to inch closer to .500 and improve on their porous 5-13 conference record, but the possibility of ending the season on a positive note ended quickly Friday afternoon as CSUN was swept in a doubleheader. The Matadors lost the first game 6-3, fell 5-1 in the nightcap, and lost again Saturday 8-3.
Matador pitcher Kia Fennell struggled in the second inning of game 1, giving up five runs, including a grand slam to Titan senior Lindsey Bashor. Already leading 1-0d with the bases loaded, Bashor nailed an 0-2 pitch over the leftfield wall for a 5-0 lead. What precipitated the big hit was Fennells’wildness, as she walked the bases loaded before Bashor arrived at the plate and delivered the crushing shot.
The Matadors answered with two runs in their half of the third inning, spearheaded by consecutive singles by juniors Heather Martin and Jan Moshier. After they moved to second and third on a groundout, Fennell hit a sacrifice fly to give CSUN its first run of the game. Then, with two outs in the inning, Janine Grund nailed a two-out single to left-center scoring Moshier to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Fullerton would tack on another run in the third with the second homer in as many innings, as Ashley Van Boxmeer crushed a lead-off homer to left field to give the Titans a four-run lead.
The big moment in the game occurred in the seventh inning, with the Matadors trailing by three. CSUN loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, and Darcy Hillstrom at the plate representing the go-ahead run. Titan pitcher Marissa Marzan mitigated the comeback as she struck out Hillstrom to end the game.
In game 2 of the series, a familiar trend of falling behind plagued the Matadors, as the Titans jumped out to an early lead with a run in the second, as Bashor continued her dominance of the Matadors with a run-scoring single.
The Matadors battled back in the fourth inning, when Jenny Cochran produced a run by scoring Moores, temporarily tying the game at 1. But the Matador’s pitching continued to falter in crucial stretches Friday, as sophomore Erin Sigala ran into more trouble on the mound.
Fullerton produced a four-run fifth inning to break the game wide open. With runners on second and third, Fullerton’s Candice Baker laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score a run, making it 2-1. Sigala ran into more trouble after loading the bases, as Kiki Munoz cleared the bases with a three-run double to left, making the score 5-1.
That is how the score would end. as CSUN’s hitters could not get anything going against Fullerton ace Brooke Weekley, as she struck out a career-high 12 batters while allowing just one run.
In the third game, the Matadors accomplished something they had not done in 14 games by scoring first, when sophomore Kelly Zakosek hit an RBI single to give the Matadors an early 1-0 lead.
But the lead would not last long, as the Titans tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Vieyra.
Fullerton would break the game wide open with another huge scoring barrage off of poor Matador pitching, scoring six times with two outs, and giving Fullerton a comfortable lead they would not relinquish.
The game-clinching hit came from a familiar source, as Lindsey Bashor crushed her second grand slam of the weekend, making the score 7-1. Most of the damage came off struggling pitcher Erin Sigala, who had her second consecutive difficult outing.
The CSUN offense was unable to mount much of an attack before falling 8-3 in the season finale.
The season-ending loss embodied the struggles the team faced all year, suffering through inconsistency both offensively and defensively. The Matadors ended their season with an overall record of 16-23 including 5-16 in Big West Conference Play.