CSUN and Long Beach Play for Big West Title
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Friday, May 14 • vs. #18 Long Beach State • DH • Noon
Saturday, May 15 • vs. #18 Long Beach State • Noon
Sunday, May 16 • NCAA Regionals Selection Show • ESPNEWS • Between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. PT
CONFERENCE TITLE AND AUTOMATIC BID ON THE LINE
The second-place Matadors (33-14, 14-4), who are riding a 12-game winning streak after last weekend’s three-game sweep at Pacific, will take on first-place Long Beach State (45-11, 15-3) in a three-game set at Matador Diamond this weekend. Both Friday’s doubleheader and Saturday’s single game start at Noon. Prior to Saturday’s contest, five Matador seniors, Shannon Acevedo, Christen Bedwell, Monique Lovell, Christy Menefee and Sondra Milchiker, will be honored in their final games at Matador Diamond. The 49ers can clinch the outright title with two wins, while the Matadors need a sweep to win the outright crown and two victories for a share of the title and the automatic bid. On Sunday, the Matadors, the 49ers and 62 other teams across the country will find out where they are headed for the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will air on ESPNEWS between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
LIVE STATS AVAILABLE FOR LONG BEACH SERIES
You can follow this weekend’s games against Long Beach State with live stats on the softball page of www.GoMatadors.com. All postseason games will also be broadcast on the Matador website.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State brings a 45-11 overall record and a 15-3 Big West record into this weekend’s series with CSUN. Last weekend, the 49ers took two-of-three from UC Santa Barbara. LBSU won Friday’s doubleheader by scores of 5-0 and 1-0, but has its seven-game winning streak snapped in a 4-1 loss on Saturday. This season, the 49ers own another seven-game winning streak, as well as a 12-game streak from Mar. 13-30. Head coach Pete Manarino, in his 21st season at the helm of the softball program, has been led this season by the strong pitching corps of juniors Meredith Cervenka and Marcel Torres and senior Lindsey Knoff. Torres owns a team-best ERA of 0.89, posting a record of 13-3 with six shutouts and 85 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings. Knoff is second on the team with a 1.15 earned run average, a 14-3 mark, six shutouts and 59 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings. Right behind her is Cervenka, who has a 1.19 ERA, a team-best 18-5 record with eight shutouts and 131 strikeouts in 158 1/3 innings of work. The combined team earned run average is 1.08 with 27 shutouts and 285 strikeouts. At the plate, senior Jamie Farnworth is the only batter hitting above .300. The shortstop is batting .346 with a team-high five home runs and 30 runs batted in. Senior outfielder Arleigh Thorp is next best with a .284 average, five homers, 29 RBI and a team-high 13 stolen bases. Junior outfielder Lauren Johnson also has five homers, posting a .283 average and 22 RBI. As a team, the 49ers are hitting .256 with 24 home runs and 29 stolen bases. The Matadors and the 49ers have met 69 previous times, with CSUN holding a 38-31 advantage despite last year’s three-game defeat in Long Beach. The 49ers took the Friday doubleheader 1-0 and 3-1, as well as Saturday’s game 6-1. It was a bit of payback for Long Beach State, which was swept by Northridge during the 2002 series at Matador Diamond. CSUN won all three games by one run, 3-2, 5-4 and 1-0 and have won eight of the last 10 meetings in Northridge.
MOSHIER NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Jan Moshier was named Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday after going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and seven runs batted in during the Matadors' three-game sweep of Pacific last weekend.
After not playing in the first game, Moshier went 2-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI, a double and a homer in Saturday's second game, a 5-4, eight-inning victory. Her RBI double in the second inning gave the Matadors a 1-0 lead and her home run in the fourth tied the game at two. In Sunday's 9-1 win, Moshier drove in the game-winning runs when she belted her third homer of the season and second of the weekend in the second inning to make it 3-1. The sophomore doubled in the final two runs of the game in the seventh. Moshier raised her season average from .243 to .278 and has three homers and 21 runs batted in, which is tied for fourth on the team.
MATADORS MAKE IT A DOZEN STRAIGHT AT PACIFIC
The Matador bats came alive last weekend in Stockton to improve the team’s win streak to 12. In its fourth straight sweep of a Big West opponent, CSUN beat Pacific in Saturday’s twinbill by scores of 10-3 and 5-4 in eight innings, also taking Sunday’s game 9-1.
Game 1 - Cal State Northridge 10, Pacific 3
Game 2 - Cal State Northridge 5, Pacific 4 (8 innings)
Senior Christen Bedwell hit her team-leading ninth home run of the season in the top of the eighth to lift the Matadors to a 5-4 victory in the second game of a doubleheader in Stockton on Saturday. In game one, CSUN took a 10-3 decision.
In game one, after a scoreless first, the Matadors (32-14, 13-4) got on the board with three in the top of the second. Bedwell led off with a single to center and junior Kia Fennell followed with another single to right. One out later and with freshman Darcy Hillstrom pinch-running for Bedwell at second, sophomore Emilee Moores drove her in with a double to left for a 1-0 lead. Another out later and with Fennell at third and Moores at second, sophomore Jen Dishner flared a single down the right-field line to score both runners to make it 3-0.
The Tigers (31-20, 9-8) got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Ashlie D'Errico led off with a double, advanced to third on an illegal pitch by Fennell and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Crystal Presson.
CSUN brought its lead back to three in the third when junior Jade Abel belted her second home run of the season to right-center field to make it 4-1. In the bottom half of the third, Pacific made it 4-2 when Lizzie Hagen came home on an RBI single by Brandi Gordon.
In the fourth, Northridge put the game out of reach with three runs. With senior pinch-runner Shannon Acevedo at second, Moores at first following a single to center and two outs, senior pinch-hitter Sondra Milchiker doubled to right-center to plate both runners for a 6-2 lead. After Milchiker advanced to third on the throw, freshman Laura Hovestreydt singled her in with a shot to right for a 7-2 lead.
Northridge tacked on three unearned runs in the seventh. With one out, sophomore Jenny Cochran reached on an error by second baseman Hagen and was pinch-run for by senior Christy Menefee. Following an Abel walk, with junior Lacey Hebert pinch-running for her, Bedwell grounded into a fielder's choice to retire Hebert at second and put runners at the corners. Fennell then singled down the left-field line to score Menefee, making it 8-2. After a walk by senior Monique Lovell, Moores singled to right to score Bedwell and Fennell to make it 10-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jennifer Curtier singled in Hagen to make it 10-3, but Fennell struck out D'Errico to end the game to give the junior her 15th win of the season. Fennell finished the game with six strikeouts, allowing seven hits and two walks. At the plate, Moores went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, Fennell and Hovestreydt each had two hits and Dishner and Milchiker drove in a pair.
Curtier had two hits for Pacific, while Kristen Allen went the distance in the circle, allowing seven earned runs, 12 hits and three walks while striking out two.
In the second game, the Matadors again got on the board first with a run in the second. With one out, Fennell walked, advanced to second on a single to right by Moores and scored on a double down the left-field line by sophomore Jan Moshier.
The Tigers took their first lead of the afternoon in the third, scoring twice to take a 2-1 advantage. With one out, Michelle Anunciation singled to center and Hagen was hit by a pitch. After a passed ball moved the runners to second and third, Curtier doubled to right-center to score both runners.
Northridge took back the lead in the fifth with a pair of runs. Moshier led off the inning with her second home run of the season to tie the game at two. One out later, Dishner walked and stole second. With two outs, Cochran doubled to deep right field to plate Dishner to make it 3-2.
But Pacific tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth when Hagen led off the inning with a double and scored one out later on a double by D'Errico. The Tigers would retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Presson scored on a bases-loaded walk to Curtier.
However, the seesaw game continued in the top of the seventh as the Matadors tied it up. With one out, Dishner doubled down the left-field line and Hovestreydt walked. Pinch-hitter Milchiker followed with a single up the middle to score Dishner to knot the contest at four, leading to Bedwell's heroics in the eighth.
Moshier had two hits and two runs batted in, while Dishner scored twice in the nightcap. Freshman Erin Sigala started and allowed three runs, seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Fennell went the final 3 2/3 and allowed one run, two hits and three walks with two strikeouts to pick up the win.
Game 3 - Cal State Northridge 9, Pacific 1
Home runs by senior Christen Bedwell and sophomores Jenny Cochran and Jan Moshier lifted the Matadors (33-14, 14-4) to a 9-1 win over Pacific (31-21, 9-9) on Sunday to sweep the weekend series from the Tigers and improve their winning streak to 12 games.
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Michelle Anunciation led off with a four-pitch walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Lizzie Hagen and scored on a double to left-center by Jennifer Curtier.
CSUN came right back in the second to take a 3-1 lead on one swing of the bat by Moshier. With Bedwell at second and senior Monique Lovell at first following walks, Moshier slugged her third home run of the season to right-center field to give the Matadors the lead.
The Matadors would up their lead to 5-1 on their second hit of the game, also a homer. After freshman Laura Hovestreydt led off with a walk, Cochran belted her first home run as a Matador to right field. It was the second collegiate homer for Cochran, who had a home run in her freshman season at Temple in 2003.
Northridge’s third hit of the game would also land on the other side of the fence. With two out in the fifth, junior Jade Abel walked and Bedwell smashed her 10th home run of the year over the center-field wall to make it 7-1.
In the seventh, the Matadors would tack on two more thanks to a Pacific error. With two outs, junior Kia Fennell reached on an error by first baseman Curtier. Sophomore Emilee Moores and Lovell followed with back-to-back infield singles to load the bases for Moshier, who roped a double down the left-field line to score Fennell and Moores to make it 9-1.
Moshier ended the contest with a career-high five runs batted in and ended the weekend 4-for-5 with two runs scored and seven RBI. Fennell went the distance in the circle to improve to 17-7 on the season and 3-0 on the weekend, striking out six while allowing four hits and five walks.