NORTHRIDGE — Jillian James tossed a one-hitter against Saint Mary’s before CSUN dropped a 14-2 decision to No. 1 UCLA Sunday afternoon at Matador Diamond.
Jillian James tossed a one-hitter as the Matadors defeated Saint Mary’s 6-0 in Sunday’s first contest. James allowed a leadoff double to Bailey Lotz to open the seventh. She struck out seven, walked two, and hit two batters.
CSUN took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Kira Cauley scored on a Gaels’ error before Kiarra Crockett-Pope recorded an RBI single.
The Matadors stranded five runners in the second and third innings. CSUN broke through in the fourth when Jessica Alexander hit a three-run home run. Mackenzie Babbitt added an RBI double that plated Alexander in the sixth.
Kira Cauley was 3-for-4 with a stolen base for the Matadors. Alexander was 2-for-4 with two runs scored to go along with her home run. Crockett-Pope was 2-for-3.
UCLA handed CSUN a 14-2 loss to wrap up the weekend for the Matadors.
The Bruins received RBI base hits from Bubba Nickels and Aaliyah Jordan in the top of the first to earn a 2-0 lead.
A Briana Perez throwing error at shortstop allowed Jessica Alexander to score in the bottom of the second.
With one out in the second, Alyssa Vazquez attempted a suicide squeeze with Babbitt breaking for home. UCLA attempted to get Babbitt in a rundown, but Babbitt turned the play into a successful steal of home to tie the score.
Kinsley Washington returned the lead to the Bruins with a two-out RBI single. Paige Halstead followed with a single to right to score Taylor Pack. A 13-pitch at-bat to pinch-hitter Malia Quarles resulted in a shot towards Alexander at short. Alexander was able to deflect the ball to Haileigh Gonzalez at second. She stretched and was able to record the final out of the inning.
Halstead led off the UCLA sixth with her second home run of the season. The Bruins would score a total of 10 runs in the sixth to break the game open.
UCLA starter Rachel Garcia posted a one-hitter, striking out 11 and walking one. She 10 in a row at one point. Halstead, Nickles and Jordan all tallied two hits for the Bruins.
This was the 19th time since 1995 with the onset of the NFCA Top 25 poll, the Matadors faced the No. 1 team in the top 25 poll, the ninth that it was UCLA.
According to Head Coach Tairia Flowers:
“I thought we did a good job in the first game. The third time seeing a team is hard. You have to make adjustments. We came out hard and made things happen. We took advantage of UCLA’s mistakes in the beginning. They do not make many of them and we did not have that many more opportunities afterwards.”
Saint Mary’s (7-21)
CSUN opens Big West play Friday at UC Davis (24-5). The series gets underway with a doubleheader that begins on Friday at 1 p.m.