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The Cal Poly softball team impressed early at the Fresno State Classic, winning its first three games of the weekend. But the Mustangs ran into a couple of tough teams on Sunday, dropping their last two games to nationally ranked Minnesota and host Fresno State.
The weekend was not without its fair share of exceptional performances. Freshman Chelsea Convissar had a day at the plate in Cal Poly’s first game against South Dakota State. The starting shortstop went 3-for-3 with four runs, three RBIs and her first collegiate home run.
A late-inning inside-the-park home run by freshman Stephanie Heyward proved to be the difference in a Cal Poly win over Montana.
Sophomore standout starting pitcher Sierra Hyland also had quite the admirable performance over the weekend, albeit in a losing effort. On Sunday’s matchup against Minnesota, the right-hander shut out the country’s 16th-ranked team for the first seven innings. A last-minute unearned run in extra innings was the only thing separating her loss from a win.
On Friday, an 11-run performance proved enough for Cal Poly to outlast South Dakota State 11-8. The aforementioned Convissar was a key component in a game of such offensive magnitude. In fact, the Mustangs would fail to score 11 runs in the following four games combined. This game featured the weekend’s only pitchers for Cal Poly, sophomore Sierra Hyland and freshman Lindsey Chalmers, with Hyland picking up the win in this one.
Saturday’s doubleheader saw a scrappy Mustangs team sweep the day, taking a win from both Providence and Montana.
Against Providence, Heyward’s three hits and two RBIs led the way for a 4-2 Cal Poly victory. Chalmers picked up the victory after allowing only two hits in her complete-game effort.
In their matchup with Montana, the homer by Heyward, coupled with an impeccable pitching performance by Hyland, gave the Mustangs a narrow 2-1 win. The sophomore went the distance, allowing one earned run and striking out six along the way.
Sunday’s action was not quite as seamless for Cal Poly. Minnesota starting pitcher Sara Groenewegen shut down the Mustangs’ lineup, holding all Cal Poly hitters hitless with the exception of Hyland. In addition to hitting the Mustangs’ only base hits of the day, Hyland pitched well yet again. The sophomore struck out six Golden Gophers and, were it not for an eighth-inning walk-off single, could have come away with the victory, but the Mustangs instead lost 1-0.
Cal Poly’s second game did not go much better, falling to Fresno State 4-1. Chalmers was saddled with the loss in her 5 1/3 innings of work. The hot-hitting Heyward tacked on two more hits at the plate against the Bulldogs, putting her batting average to .325 on the season.
After both pitching a lot of innings in three days, Hyland’s record now stands at 10-9, while Chalmers’ stands at 4-6.
The Mustangs follow up their busy weekend with a home doubleheader against Buffalo 5 p.m. on Friday.