All bark and no bite. A big-mouthed bully who can't really fight.
That's what Cal State Northridge softball Coach Gary Torgeson is saying about the sixth-ranked Matadors.
"We're talking more with our mouths than we are with our bats," Torgeson said after watching the Matadors lose, 2-1, Saturday to unranked Georgia State in the first round of bracket play in the Cal State Fullerton tournament.
Northridge, which went 7-0 and claimed the tournament championship title last season, couldn't even get out of the first round a year later.
Why? Torgeson is blaming over-inflated egos and the Matadors' inability to "fire up" for games against unranked teams.
"We got a real problem," he said. "We don't get fired up for the people we should get fired up for.
"Nothing against Georgia State, but our kids have got to realize that we gotta blow out teams like that."
Northridge's Shannon Jones conceded that the Matadors were "possibly" looking past Georgia State and forward to testing themselves against top-ranked Arizona in a later round.
But that will not happen. Instead the Matadors will play Cal State Fullerton at 11 a.m. today in a losers' bracket game and go home, win or lose.
"Unless we start feeling disappointed about these losses, we will continue to lose," said Torgeson, who also cited previous defeats to unranked San Jose State and No. 11 Kansas.
Meanwhile, junior right-hander Kathy Blake blamed only herself.
With the score tied at 1 in the bottom of the seventh, Georgia State's Melany Del Gallo ripped a one-out triple down the right-field line.
Charlene Chilton followed with a suicide squeeze just to the right of the pitching circle. Blake attempted to field the ball but couldn't get a grip, and it caromed off her feet. Del Gallo scored and the Matadors (22-4), who committed four errors, walked off the field disgusted.
Blake (8-3), who struck out six and allowed only two hits (both triples), was shaken later.
"(Catcher Scia Maumausolo) called for it inside and down," Blake said tearfully, "and (Dell Gallo) took it deep."
Blake received little support from the Matadors, who managed five hits and stranded nine runners--five in scoring position.
Maumausolo provided Northridge's lone highlight by ripping a pitch over the left-center field fence to tie it, 1-1, in the second.
Georgia State (19-9) also scored in the first on a triple by Susan Fryer and an error by Kelly Hunt.