Pacific Softball: Hard Day Ends With Two Losses To Cal State Northridge
A rough afternoon turned into a pair of losses for the Pacific softball team as the Matadors of Cal State Northridge swept the series opening double header against the Tigers on Saturday, April 17. The Matadors took game one 2-1 before picking up a late inning, 12-7 (8 inn.), win in game No. 2. The losses dropped the Tigers to 17-22 overall and 3-4 in the Big West while Cal State Northridge improved to 20-20 on the year and 4-3 in the conference.
Locking horns with the Matadors, the first game proved to be a pitchers duel between freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.) and Hannah Feijo. The duo each entered the circle with 10 wins on the year and proved to be each others match as both put down the opposition with relative ease.
Against Armagost the Matadors were the first to strike as they posted a pair of runs in the top of the second inning to jump out front. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Armagost got into her only real trouble of the contest in the second when she relinquished a pair of leadoff hits to Cal State Northridge's middle of the order beginning with a double to left center off the bat of Jaci Carlsen. The two hits led to the first run of the game for the Matadors and eventually led to the second as the Matadors used a pair of ground outs, including a sacrifice bunt, to manufacture the second run of the inning.
Despite giving up just two runs in the inning, the early deficit proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome against Freijo as she held the Tigers' conference leading offense in check as Pacific managed just four hits in the game. Pacific did put up a small fight against Freijo midway through the contest led by senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) who hammered her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Tigers deficit in half. In the sixth, Wilson doubled down the left field line to put a runner in scoring position with two outs in the inning, but found herself stranded on the base paths as Pacific let the opportunity to tie the game slip through their fingers.
For Armagost and Freijo, the duo each threw a complete seven innings in the contest with Freijo picking up the victory after striking out four and walking none. Armagost finished right behind Freijo as she tallied three strike outs and walked one in the loss.
After the duel in the circle in game one, the Tigers and Matadors slipped into a slugfest in the second contest of the afternoon with the outcome of the offensive onslaught turning on Pacific's misplays in the field late in the game to give Cal State Northridge the victory.
Leading 7-5 with just three outs to get for the victory, the Tigers saw the victory slip away with an error in the seventh that cost the Tigers the game-tying run and then an error in the eighth that resulted in five unearned runs including a grand slam off the bat of Tracy Allen that put the game away for the Matadors.
Prior to the six unearned runs, the Tigers and the Matadors combined for four home runs and 13 combined runs as both teams came out slugging in the contest. Pacific got on the board first against the Matadors as they turned a pair of walks into a single run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single up the middle by Armagost.
However, the lead was short lived for the Tigers as the Matadors posted three runs in the next half inning in a rally kick started by a solo shot to left center by Carlsen, who homered on the first pitch of the inning for Cal State Northridge.
In the third, the Tigers took back the lead from the Matadors with yet another long ball, this time of the grand variety from senior Kellee Wilson (Tracy, Calif.). The senior picked up her third home run and second grand slam of the year after the top of the order picked up a single and a pair of walks to setup the scoring opportunity.
Leading 5-3, the safety of Pacific's lead was in peril as the Matadors responded with two in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. After junior Shaina Brock (Derby, Kan.), Pacific's starter, walked the leadoff batter, Armagost was sent back into the circle to see if she could quell the potential rally. However, the down time from starting the game at first was too much as she walked the next two batters in the order and threw a pair of wild pitches which allowed both runs to score for the Matadors.
Back to square one, the Tigers immediately took back the lead in the bottom half of the inning as the picked up yet another big fly off, this time a two-run shot from freshman Megan Allen (Yucaipa, Calif.), her team-leading sixth of the season.
The 7-5 lead set up the late inning come back scenario for the Matadors which they began with a solo shot from Jennifer Mosier on the first pitch of the top of the seventh inning.
In the circle, Armagost suffered the loss as she gave up three hits and seven runs, only two earned, in 3.2 innings pitched. Brock picked up the no-decision as she split 4.1 innings over two stints in the circle, giving up four hits and five runs while walking four and striking out one.
For the Matadors, Fraijo picked up her second win of the afternoon, this time as the third reliever of the game for Cal State Northridge as the threw 3.2 inning of shutout softball while giving up four hits.
Offensively, Karie Wilson led the Tigers throughout the two game with three hits in four at bats while going 1-for-1 in game two with three walks and one sacrifice.
The two teams will complete their three game series with a single game on Sunday, April 18, at Bill Simoni Field. The game is scheduled for 12:00 pm.