CSUN Softball’s season ends in Heartbreak with 13-5 Defeat against San Jose State.
CSUN’s Softball season ends in heartbreak as San Jose State comes from 5 runs down to complete an unbelievable comeback to end the Matadors playoff run in the National Softball Invitational Championship.
The Matadors were selected as an at-large bid for the 2023 National Invitational Championship and would make their first appearance in postseason play since the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The tournament began with the winner’s bracket kicking off on May 18th when the Matadors, as the 8th seed, took on 1st seed Maryland. This contest would result in a disappointing 8-0 loss with CSUN falling out of the winner’s bracket and into the loser’s bracket with the tournament being a double elimination format. CSUN would be scheduled to play the following day against San Jose State, who lost their previous match to BYU.
The Matadors came out determined and would go on to put up four runs in the very first inning. Kaylee Escutia started the scoring with a double to the left field gap to put up two runs. To cap off the top of the first, Vargas-Sandoval would hit a 2-run homerun to right field. CSUN’s offense wouldn’t stop just in the first inning, Shaylan Whatman hit a solo home run the next inning to extend the Matador's lead to a comfortable margin of 5-0 in the early innings of the game.
For the pitching side of the game, Isabella Alonso started the game for the Matadors and would also look as determined as the CSUN’s offense, when she began with a quick 1-2-3 inning. Alonso would go on to have four scoreless innings, not letting San Jose State grab any type of early game momentum.
It wouldn’t be until the bottom of the fourth when the Spartans would finally crack Alonso as Makenzie Hutchinson would homer to deep center field to put her team up on the scoreboard. This would be the beginning of San Jose’s comeback as in a bases loaded opportunity in the next inning, Ashley Rico would walk for another run to come across, but it would be Hutchinson who would repeat the same result as her first at bat with a grand slam to left field to not only complete the five-run deficit comeback, but also take a one-run lead over the Matadors.
San Jose wouldn’t stop after Alonso was taken out by Lauryn Carranco, as the Spartans kept on pounding runs over the Matadors. Adrianna Noriega homered along with Aubrie Thomas in the bottom of the fifth that would result in 8 runs coming across and San Jose to have a 10-5 lead.
The Matadors’ offense would not be able to get anything going in response, as they would be shut out in the last two innings by Lacie Ham. Ham would pitch 5 innings in relief for San Jose and strike out four. The Spartans would go on to win 13-5 after six innings due to the run rule. With the win, San Jose State would await their next opponent, either Maryland or BYU in the following round of the NISC. As for the Matadors, their season ends in heartbreak and they will return to Northridge looking forward to next year. Their season ends with a 28-24 record but will look to have much to improve on.
Head Coach Charlotte Morgan of CSUN Softball had some comments that were posted on CSUN Softball Twitter after the game where she spoke about the team and how they need to be proud of how they played, “Not the way we wanted to go out but like we told this group we’re proud of them and proud of everything they did the last two games and it doesn’t define who they are as people and we go to war with our group any way they do things right and we appreciate them more than they know.”