May 5, 2012
Highlanders 1 – Matadors 0

Playing the first game of a doubleheader Saturday evening, the UC Riverside softball team (21-27,4-12) took the first game of a three game series versus CSU Northridge (10-37, 5-11) by a score of 1-0. Highlander starting pitcher Jordyn McDonald had a dominant outing, giving up only one hit the entire game and shutting out the Northridge offense to get the win. Her counterpart, Matadors’ Mia Pagano, gave up one run on three hits to the Highlanders.

CSU Northridge looked to go up by a couple of runs in the second inning, when they loaded the bases by forcing a walk and taking advantage of two Highlander defensive errors. McDonald was able to get out of the jam by forcing Matador Pagano to fly out to left field, and caught a break when Mikayla Thielges was called out for leaving third base early in her attempt to score on Pagano’s fly ball. Alyssa Ray then flied out to right field as McDonald escaped the inning unscratched.

In the fifth inning, Brittany Keeney gave the Highlanders the lead, when she hit a leadoff solo home run.

The Matadors ended McDonald’s no-hitter bid in the sixth inning when Matador Crystal Maas hit a single. McDonald was unfazed and secured the three outs to end the inning.

McDonald retired all three Matadors batting order, getting help on the second out from right fielder Dionne Anderson who made an amazing diving play to catch the fly ball.

May 5, 2012
Highlanders 5 – Matadors 4

The UC Riverside softball team (22-27, 5-12) scored early, defeating the visiting Matadors (10-38, 5-12), 5-4. The Highlanders tied a program record in its Division I history by winning their 22nd game this season. The 22 win mark was set in 2006 and was also reached in 2010. Highlander starting pitcher Taylor Alvarez gave up six hits, allowed four runs, while striking out three batters. Matador starting pitcher Shelly Tait was issued the loss having given up 10 hits.

The Highlanders got off to a great start in the second game of the doubleheader, scoring three runs in just the first inning. Highlander Kayla White started things off with a double. White would score from second base thanks to an Ariel Shore single down the middle, making it 1-0 Highlanders. A Dionne Anderson single, and Jessa Vasser double would make it 3-0.

In the second inning, the Matadors responded quickly scoring two runs to make it a 3-2 game. With two outs and two runners on second and third, Matador’s Alyssa Ray hit a single to score one run. The other Matador run of the inning came off the bat of Tiffini Lucero, who hit a RBI single.

Riverside added to their lead by scoring a single run in the bottom of the second, with Jojo Mendoza hitting a leadoff single. Anderson was able to score Mendoza with a single, to make the game 4-2 Highlanders.

In the third inning, the Matadors got their offense rolling, tying the game at 4-4. A double by Matador Thielges resulted in Northridge having runners on third and second. Mass would then single to bring in one run, making it 4-3. Tanna Bindi would hit another single to tie the score at 4-4 even.

In the fifth inning the Highlanders found the go ahead run when both Jessica Vasser and Britney Keeney hit singles to get on base. With two outs, Mendoza hit a clutch single straight up the middle to score Vasser to make it a 5-4 ball game.

Alvarez was able to shut down the Matadors, retiring the next six Matadors in both sixth and seventh innings to close out the game for the win.

May 6, 2012
Highlanders 10 – Matadors 0

The UC Riverside softball team (23-2, 6-12) dominated the Matadors (10-39, 5-13) in every aspect of the game, winning convincingly 10-0 on Sunday afternoon. The win set a new school record for overall wins in a season at 23. This is also the first time the Highlanders have swept CSU Northridge in its Division I history.

Highlander starting pitcher Casey Suda was awarded the win, allowing four hits while striking out two. Matador Mia Pagano was tagged with the loss, as she gave up five runs on five hits.

The Highlanders exploded offensively in the second inning, scoring six runs. It started with Dionne Anderson drawing a walk. Jojo Mendoza hit a single to put two runners on base. Mendoza was followed up by Kaylie Atkinson with another single resulting in the bases being loaded with no outs. An RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly later the Highlander had a 2-0 lead. Ariel Shore would hit a single, giving the Highlanders base runners on first and third. Brittany Keeney, with a massive swing, hit a three run home run to give the Highlanders a 5-0 lead. The Matadors relieved starting pitcher Pagano, replacing her with Brianna Elder. Kayla White got on base drawing a walk and was brought home by a Jessica Vasser double, making it 6-0 Highlanders.

In the third inning, the Highlanders once again got busy offensively as they open the scoring with Mendoza hitting a solo homer over the left field fence, making it 7-0 Highlanders. The Matadors had another pitching change, bringing in Alexa Limon. With runners on first and second, Shore hit a double toward the right field line, scoring two runs for the Highlanders after an error by a Matador fielder, making it 9-0.  Another Matador error made it 10-0, when Keeney hit the ball toward the Matador left fielder who dropped the ball, allowing Shore to score from second.

The Highlanders will finish their season on the road against Cal Poly in a three game series beginning on May 11 in San Luis Obispo, CA.