NORTHRIDGE — Pitcher Tara Glaister and the Cal State Northridge softball team moved into a tie for first place in the Big West Conference with a 1-0, 2-1 doubleheader sweep of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday at Northridge.
After Glaister shut down the Mustangs with a season-high 13 strikeouts in the first game, Northridge--playing without slugger Chelo Lopez because of a back injury--rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win the second game on Ashlie Hayes' solo home run off Kelly Smith with one out in the seventh.
"I went up thinking I'm gonna hit the first pitch, because in my [previous] at-bat she threw me a good pitch and I hit it up the middle," Hayes said. "She threw it in the same spot."
Hayes, a Chaminade High graduate who transferred to Northridge after one season at Massachusetts, ripped the first pitch over the center-field fence for her first home run.
Northridge (26-14-2, 13-7) moved percentage points ahead of Long Beach State (32-15, 14-8), which split with Pacific on Saturday. Cal Poly (32-11, 13-8) fell a half game behind.
Northridge, which started 3-6 in conference play, has won 10 of 11 games, including nine conference victories.
Glaister (17-8), who has won eight consecutive decisions, has been the catalyst.
The sophomore right-hander, who has started eight of the past 11 games, allowed only two hits in the first game and four in the second.
"Physically I'm not feeling anything right now," said Glaister, who threw 183 pitches.
In the first game, Glaister, who was ranked 12th in the nation with 7.83 strikeouts per game, surrendered a single in the first and a double in the second. She then retired the final 16 batters in order. She rarely missed her mark, throwing 68 strikes in 90 pitches.
Northridge scored in the second inning. After Elizabeth Sanches reached base on a fielding error, pinch-runner Jill Stribling stole second base, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a bloop single to left by Kelly Toovey.
In the second game, Glaister, who struck out six and walked one, retired 12 of the first 13 batters without allowing a hit. But Anna Bauer homered to left to start the fifth, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Northridge answered in its half of the fifth, when Jamie Herrington scored on a single by Jennifer Parker to tie the score, 1-1.
Northridge survived a scare in the seventh when second baseman Jodi Borenstein made a diving catch just inside the foul line in right to prevent Cal Poly from scoring. With two out and a runner on second, Kelly Duncan poked a blooper to the edge of the infield dirt behind first base, where Borenstein made her catch.
The Matadors collected 10 hits but stranded nine runners in the second game.
On the day, Hayes was five for seven. Cheri Shinn and Parker each had two hits in the second game.