LONG BEACH, Calif. - Alexandria Alvarado stole home on the back end of a double steal with Jaclyn Rymer to score what proved to be the game-winning run, as the Matadors won their fifth straight with a 2-1 victory against Eastern Kentucky in Long Beach on Friday.
The Matadors move to .500 for the first time this season, improving to 7-7-1, while the Colonels fall to 5-8.
Northridge got on the board first with a run in the second. Amanda Peek led off with a double and scored on a triple to right by Megan Smith to put the Matadors up 1-0.
The Matadors added what would be the game winner in the fifth. Alvarado hit the first pitch of the inning into the right-center field gap for a double and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Olivas. Rymer followed with a walk, and one out later, the double steal took place with Rymer swiping second and Alvarado steaming down the third-base line to make it 2-0.
The Colonels scored a run in the sixth with three straight singles by Shyenne Hussey, Kelsey Anderson and Katie Rolf, but Mercedes Lovato retired the final three batters in the sixth and went 1-2-3 in the seventh to finish off the victory.
Lovato struck out five and gave up five hits and no walks in the complete-game effort. Olivas and Smith each had two-hit games for the Matadors.
Shelby Thompson started for the Colonels and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Anderson struck out five of the six batters she faced in relief of Thompson, allowing one hit.
The Matadors return to the field on Monday when they host Tennessee-Martin in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Matador Diamond. Northridge can make history if it wins both contests, with a pair of victories giving the sport its 1,100th win.