Calcante's Swat Keys CSUN's Sweep : College softball: Left fielder belts grand slam to pave way for Northridge's 4-0 and 2-1 victories over New Mexico.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Beth Calcante's home run records at Cal State Northridge speak volumes about her power-hitting talent. But until Sunday afternoon, Calcante's older sister Heather was not impressed.

And Heather made sure Beth knew as much before the Matadors took the field for their Western Athletic Conference debut against visiting New Mexico.

"I told her all she ever does is strike out when I see her play," Heather said.

Call it motivation. With her sister in mind, Calcante ripped her first collegiate grand slam to account for all the runs in Northridge's 4-0 victory over New Mexico. The Matadors won the second game, 2-1.

"She goes, 'Every time I come to the game, you do (poorly),' " Beth said. "And I'm like, 'Than you're not at very many games because. . . . ' "

Because Calcante, who is batting .317 with a team-high 10 runs batted in, has rewritten every Northridge home run record.

The left fielder owns home run records for a career (16), season (10) and game (two). Her homer in the third inning was her third of the season and broke a scoreless tie.

It was, however, a home run that New Mexico could have averted.

With the bases loaded and one out in the third, Calcante lifted a high pop fly deep down the left-field line in foul territory. Instead of making the easy grab, left fielder Michelle Cash opted to let the ball drop and keep the runner at third from tagging and scoring.

Five pitches later on a 2-and-2 count, Calcante went with a high outside pitch and ripped it over the fence in right-center field.

In the second game, Northridge (12-2, 2-0) overcame a one-run deficit by scoring two unearned runs in the third.

Denise Swank scored on a Jen Fleming groundout and Vicky Rios scored moments later on a throwing error in a play at the plate.

New Mexico fell to 16-5, 2-2 in conference play.

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