Northridge, Calif. – For the first time in 2013 the Pacific softball team lost a season series in conference play as the Tigers dropped both parts of its doubleheader at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, April 20. Pacific fell in the opening game, 3-1, before dropping a 5-4 decision in eight innings in game two. The losses dropped the Tigers out of second place in the conference and to 11-6 in Big West play and 26-22 overall while the Matadors improved to 6-8 in conference play and 20-26 on the year.
Cal State Northridge 3 – Pacific 1
Playing with fire all game long, the Tigers finally got burned as the Matadors used a mental mistake in the field by Pacific to score three runs in the fifth and turn a potential win by the Tigers into a hard to swallow loss. The big hit of the game came from Tanna Bindi who posted a two-RBI triple on a misjudged ball down the right-field line.
Throughout the game, Pacific had its chances to blow the game wide open, but in the end managed to score just one run on an error by Cal State Northridge in the fourth inning. In total, the Tigers left 11 runners on base including leaving runners in scoring position in the second, fourth and seventh innings of play.
In the circle, the Tigers fell victim to a familiar face as former Tiger Shelly Tait (9-9) was able to keep Pacific's offense off balance all afternoon long as she scattered seven hits over 7.0 complete innings of work. In all, the only Tiger to record multiple hits in the game was junior Taylor Petty as she picked up a pair of singles in the contest For the Tigers, senior Nikki Armagost (11-5) was tagged with the loss as she gave up eight hits and three runs, falling victim to bad luck and poor timing to relinquish the three earn runs.
Cal State Northridge 5 – Pacific 4 (8 inn.)
In what would become essentially a replay of game one, the Tigers again got in their own way as too many mistakes and too many missed opportunities came back to haunt Pacific late. As they did early in the day, the Tigers grabbed an early lead on the Matadors as Pacific posted its first crooked number of the afternoon with three runs in the third.
In the inning, the Tigers strung together four hits to go along with a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch to score their runs. Pacific picked up its first run of the inning on back-to-back singles by junior Megan Foglesong and senior Nikki Armagost. The second single by Armagost came on a hit and run with Foglesong as the junior came all the way around to score after an errant throw back into the infield got away. The run for Foglesong was a milestone score as the junior became just the 14th Tiger in program history to score 100 runs in a career, joining Armagost and senior Megan Hom as the first triumvirate to score 100 runs together in a career.
Pacific tacked on two more runs in the inning as a sacrifice fly by senior Amy Moore scored Armagost before a bases loaded wild pitch three batters later tallied the third run. Despite the runs, the Tigers would leave the bases loaded in the inning for a missed chance that would bite the Tigers later. Pacific also left the bases loaded in the first inning with out coming up with a run.
Those missed chances proved to be too much for the Tigers' to overcome as Pacific's normally reliable defense found itself in the midst of one of its worst showings of the year. Tallying four errors over the next three innings of play, Pacific gave away four runs to the Matadors to fall behind 4-3 through six innings.
Despite the mistakes, the Tigers would not go quietly in the game as Pacific scored a single run in the seventh inning on a two-out RBI single by junior Taylor Petty after the Matadors issued a pair of walks to Armagost and Moore. However, the run by Petty proved to just be a delay of the inevitable as Cal State Northridge manufactured a game-winning run in the eighth on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Tanna Bindi. Bindi provided the game-winner in game one as well and had helped set up the scoring play in the fifth when the Matadors executed a squeeze on the Tigers for their second run.
In the circle, freshman Carly Mortensen (4-3) was charged with the loss as she threw 3.1 innings of relief for the Tigers in place of starter, Tori Shepard. Mortensen was charged with six hits and four runs, however, only one of the runs was earned. For Shepard, the junior went 4.0 innings and left with the lead as she gave up five hits and one unearned run in the no-decision.
For the Matadors, Shelly Tait (10-9) picked up her second win of the day against the Tigers as she was awarded the win after blowing the save in the seventh. Tait entered the game for Alexa Limon with two outs in the seventh and surrendered the hit to Petty the forced extra-innings. Limon, who gave up just two hits in 4.0 innings of relief, had entered the game in relief of Mia Pagano who lasted just 2.2 innings while giving up five hits and three runs.
The Tigers will look to salvage one victory on the road at Cal State Northridge on Sunday, April 21 as the two teams meet for a third and final time at Matador Diamond. The game is scheduled for 12:00 pm and is the Matadors' Pink Game.