HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS : Northridge Has Appetite for Victory

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The breakfasts that the Cal State Northridge softball team had devoured about 11 hours earlier had to have been fully digested.

The Matadors were playing their third game of the day Friday in the San Diego State tournament, and with less than 20 minutes between games, there was little time to refuel.

After splitting their first two games, Northridge looked tired, lifeless and very hungry.

But a dozen hot dogs proved the perfect solution. Cal State Northridge Coach Janet Sherman had the treats delivered to the Matadors in the middle of a scoreless game against Loyola Marymount--and the Matadors responded with 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings for a 10-1 victory.

Northridge went 2-1 in the first day of the round-robin tournament, beating Washington, 3-2, in the opener before losing to California, 8-2, about two hours later.

The Matadors went from game to game to game without lunch--and it showed early on against Loyola.

Loyola (4-3) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Kim Qualls' run-scoring single.

But about the time the hot dogs started to digest the Matadors sprang back to life.

"I was hot doggin' in the third inning," said Northridge catcher Scia Maumausolo.

"After the hot dog I was feeling pretty good."

Maumausolo, also the cleanup hitter, carried Northridge (4-3) all day. She came into the tournament hitting .091. But after a five-for-eight effort, Maumausolo raised her average to .316.

"Basically it was just a mental problem for me," she said. "I turned it around by coming in here with confidence."

Maumausolo, who had the support of 15 friends and family from the San Diego area in attendance, hit solo home runs on consecutive at-bats against Cal and finished the day with five runs batted in.

Against Washington (0-1), the Matadors trailed, 1-0, after the first inning. But comebacks seemed to be the theme of the day.

Northridge took the lead in the third on Lee Ann Taylor's two-run single. But Washington's Sara Pickering led off the fourth with a home run to tie the score, 2-2.

Maumausolo scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a errant throw by third baseman Heather Tarr and the Matadors, who benefited from four errors, held on to win it, 3-2.

Against Cal, Northridge could do little right. The Golden Bears took a 3-0 lead in the third on three hits, a walk and an error, and added another run in the fourth on Kirsten Drake's sacrifice fly.

Maumausolo's home runs in the fourth and sixth innings accounted for two of the Matadors' five hits.

Northridge's Jen Richardson (1-1) was pounded for 11 hits before reliever Christina Baiao came on in the seventh.

After managing only nine hits in their first two games, the Matadors produced 11 against Loyola, including Maumausolo's two-run triple.

Baiao (1-1) picked up her first victory, scattering four hits and striking out five.

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