To hear the coaches tell it, Friday's doubleheader split between the Utah and Cal-State Northridge softball teams was a question of motivation.

"I didn't think we came out to play in the first game," said CSUN coach Gary Torgeson of his 4th-ranked team's 2-1 loss. "We were a little lethargic.""We really let down in that second game," said Utah coach Jo Evans after her 15th-ranked team suffered a 7-0 drubbing. "We didn't play with the same intensity."

With all due respect for coaches' opinions, though, the games appeared to be decided more on the mound than in the motivation.

In the first game, Utah freshman Ali Andrus limited the power-hitting Matadors to six hits and benefited from some slick defensive plays. CSUN senior Amy Windmiller was equally impressive, allowing just four hits, but two fielding miscues negated her effort.

In the bottom of the second, Utah's Cyndee Bennett led off with a double to the fence in right-centerfield. After Wendy Stewart lined out, Tammy Beer bunted to Matador Shannon Jones at third. Jones fielded the ball cleanly but chucked it wide of first base, allowing Bennett to score and Beer to advance to third. With two outs, a pitch got away from Matador catcher Jennifer Parker, and Beer dove safely into home just ahead of Parker's tag.

The Matadors got their lone run in the sixth. Terri Pearson led off with a double to left and advanced to third when a line drive by Jen Fleming glanced off the glove of Ute shortstop Gaylyn Hoshide. Beth Calcante then lofted a fly ball to rightfield to score Pearson. The inning ended on a double-play ball by Tamara Ivie.

Andrus started the second game also, but just wasn't the same pitcher. The Matadors scored solo runs in the second and third innings, and chased her in the fourth as the first three batters singled, scoring another run. Bennett came on for the Utes, walked the first batter she faced and saw another run score on a double play.

Two outs into the next inning Bennett was gone, after giving up three more runs on five singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly. She was replaced by Amy Bigelow, who shut out the Matadors the rest of the way, but her teammates could do nothing at the plate against CSUN's Kathy Blake. The junior righthander scattered seven hits and three times stranded Utes at third base.

The Matadors (36-7 overall, 11-3 WAC) next play at Southern Utah today. The Utes (33-9, 11-3) host San Diego State today at home.