Cal State Northridge's late rally in Game 1 clinches Big West title
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Northridge (41-15, 16-5 Big West Conference) split a doubleheader with Cal State Fullerton, winning 4-3 before falling 9-1 in six innings Saturday in both teams' final Big West Conference games of the season. The Matadors clinched the Big West Conference total outright with a 4-3 comeback victory in the first game, punctuated by Ariana Wassmer's two-out, two-run single in the top of the seventh.
With a 16-5 record in league play, the Matadors won the Big West Conference by one game. CSUN finished with at least 40 wins for the first time since the 1996 season.
Down to their final strike in the top of the seventh, Wassmer delivered a game-winning, two-run single to give the Matadors the comeback victory in Game 1.
The Matadors' seventh inning was a wild one. Carissa Sherman singled and then moved to second on a throwing error on the throw. Taylor Glover then singled to put runners on the corners and Katie Hooper was intentionally walked for the second time in the game to load the bases.
The next at-bat resulted in a popout double play and left CSUN to its final out of the game. Jordan Sauceda drew the second intentional pass of the frame and Wassmer delivered the key base hit.
In the bottom of the seventh, Brianna Elder (18-6) struck out the first two batters and got the final out on a routine groundball to shortstop. The win was the 43rd of Elder's career, moving her into a tie for 10th in program history. She tossed two innings with a hit and three strikeouts.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Maylynn Mitchell gave CSUN a 2-1 lead with a two-run home run. The deep fly was her career-high fourth of the year.
Wassmer tied a career and season high with her three base hits. Glover added a double in the contest, her 11th of the season. She also scored her 47th run of the season, tying her for seventh in school history for a single season.
Zoe Conley started the game for CSUN, going five innings with six hits and two earned runs. She also had two strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision.