With as many victories as any Division I baseball team, Cal State Northridge (9-1) made a grand entrance in the national rankings this week. The Matadors are ranked 13th by Collegiate Baseball magazine and 19th by Baseball America.
Only Arizona (9-2) had as many victories as Northridge entering this week. The blazing start is being downplayed by first-year Coach Mike Batesole, however.
"If it were a 10-game season I'd be excited," he said. "But we've got a lot to accomplish."
The ranking marks the first time the Matadors have cracked the top 15 since 1993. They were ranked as high as sixth in '92 and were 10th in the final '91 poll.
Pepperdine (4-5) fell from seventh to 11th in the Collegiate Baseball poll and is not ranked by Baseball America.
Fast one: Scia Maumausolo, Cal State Northridge's most dangerous hitter, is off to a better start than last year in most categories--she started with an .091 average last year and now she's hitting .421--but she's definitely worse in one area.
In 1995, Maumausolo struck out only twice. In 19 at-bats this season, she already has struck out four times. One of those deserves an asterisk, though.
During Friday's first game of a doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton, Maumausolo was up with the bases loaded. After a passed ball allowed a run to score and opened first base, the count was 2-and-2 on Maumausolo when Fullerton catcher Teresa Stippey stood up and put her right arm out, as if calling for an intentional walk.
But the Titans pulled a fast one, the pitcher zipping the third strike by Maumausolo as she stood and watched.
Maumausolo now has something in common with another slugging catcher: Johnny Bench fell for the same trick in the 1972 World Series.
No sight for sore eyes: There was more than one reason for the Cal State Northridge softball team to have ugly flashbacks during Friday's doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton.
Besides having to face the Titans, who knocked Northridge out of the NCAA regional playoffs last spring, they had to see Susie Parra.
Parra, in her first year as a coach at Fullerton, was the Arizona pitcher who threw a 4-0 shutout to beat the Matadors in the 1994 national championship game.
Still out: Wil Weir's hopes of returning to the Pepperdine basketball team this week appear to have hit a roadblock.
Weir, a junior forward who has not played since Dec. 29 because of health problems, still has not received proper medical clearance from doctors representing his insurance carrier, Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said Tuesday.
The 6-foot-7 Weir said last week he had received medical clearance and had turned the paperwork over to Pepperdine officials. Wilson, though, said the paperwork is incomplete.
"His doctor provided all the test paperwork, but it doesn't say what level of activity [Weir] can return to," Wilson said.
Weir, who suffers from asthma, has not been allowed to play or practice since tests performed several weeks ago revealed he had an accelerated heartbeat after an asthma attack. Weir also complained of "chest pressure."
But Weir claims he doesn't have a heart problem and that his symptoms subsided after his doctor had him switch his inhalant brand.
"You could take a potato off the street and Roland could make it a great diver."
-- Cal State Northridge swimming Coach Barry Schreifels, complimenting Roland King, his diving coach.
Sophomore forward LaMarr Thompson and freshman guard Shawanda Hotchkiss, both of Valley College, have been selected men's and women's players of the week in the Western State Conference South Division.
Thompson, from Sylmar High, scored 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in victories over Glendale and Bakersfield. Hotchkiss, from Channel Islands, scored 50 points in victories against the same teams. She scored 34 points, a career high, against Bakersfield.
Cal State Northridge's Jennifer Richardson has been named Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the week. Northridge's Robby Crabtree was named WAC baseball player of the week.
Things to Do
Ventura and Chaminade play in a Southern Section Division II girls' soccer wild-card match at 3 p.m. today at Chaminade. The teams met in the first round at Chaminade last year and Ventura defeated the Eagles, 2-1.
Contributing: Fernando Dominguez, Rob Fernas, Jeff Fletcher, Steve Henson, Bryan Rodgers, Tris Wykes.