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Windmiller Throws No-Hitter, Ivie Drives in 7 as CSUN Sweeps Missouri

March 13, 1994|DANA HADDAD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — They had survived the earthquake and escaped the despair one block west of their campus that much of the world had viewed on television. But the Cal State Northridge softball team is surrounded by a crippled campus and grim reminders.

Portable classrooms now span the length of Matador Diamond's outfield, sitting glumly several feet beyond the fence. Several yards to the south is a once-grand concrete parking structure, folded and sagging like wet clay.

The CSUN softball players have embraced this adversity. Playing at home on Saturday for the first time this season, the Matadors draped a sign on the fence in center field: "Welcome to the Epicenter."

A little bit of humor. And then a little bit of fun. Northridge, ranked sixth in the country in the NCAA coaches' poll, routed No. 20 Missouri, 8-1 and 12-0, in a nonconference doubleheader.

Tamara Ivie, celebrating the biggest day of her career, keyed the opening-game victory with a grand slam that ricocheted off one of the temporary bungalows.

"See, I told them not to put them there," a smiling Ivie said. "They don't know what kind of hitters we have on this team."

Amy Windmiller pitched the second no-hitter of her career in the second game and struck out 13--a career high for seven innings. Seven weeks earlier, Windmiller and Northridge third baseman Shannon Jones were fleeing their first-story home at the Northridge Meadows Apartments one block from the campus. Sixteen of their neighbors died after the earthquake caused the first story to collapse.

"It's a win," said Windmiller (6-1), refusing to admit that the no-hitter meant anything more. "It was exciting to play at home. I love playing at home."

Evidently. Windmiller, a senior who had a perfect game against South Carolina exactly one year earlier, threw 87 pitches, 67 of them strikes. Windmiller walked one and another batter reached on an error. She was ahead in the count to 19 of the 23 batters she faced.

Northridge (14-2) scored six runs in the fifth after Jen Fleming and Beth Calcante opened with back-to-back doubles off the fence, and Windmiller cruised from there.

In the first game, senior first-baseman Ivie was four for four, scored three times and drove in a career-high five runs in support of Kathy Blake (5-1), who gave up an unearned run and preserved an earned-run average of 0.00.

Missouri (7-4) never retired Ivie. She reached base seven consecutive times, had five hits and seven RBIs in the two games. CSUN led, 4-0, when Ivie lined Kacey Marshall's first pitch over the left-field fence in the sixth inning. It was gone before Ivie could get out of the batter's box, making a booming sound when it hit the portable classroom.

It was music to the ears of the Matadors.

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