Mustang News Staff Report
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This past weekend, the Cal Poly softball team swept Long Beach State on the road and moved within one game of the Big West-leading 49ers in the conference standings.
On Sunday afternoon, freshman right-hander Sierra Hyland entered the Cal Poly record books with her 254th strikeout and 11th shutout, helping the Mustangs secure a 3-0 victory over the 49ers.
Hyland (24-8) needed just four strikeouts to break Cal Poly Hall of Famer Desarie (Knipfer) French’s 1997 program record, and struck out a 49er apiece in the second and third before striking out two in the fourth to break the record. The record-breaking strikeout came in dramatic fashion, when Long Beach State had the bases loaded with two outs.
The only other jam Hyland faced was in the bottom of the sixth, when 49er designated player Ashlynn Booker doubled with one out. Hyland forced a groundout from right fielder Sarah Carrasco and a foul out to end the threat. Hyland earned a shutout while surrendering only five hits.
Cal Poly’s offensive output on Sunday began in the top of the 3rd inning. Senior shortstop Kim Westlund led off the inning with one of her game-high two hits. Westlund advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior left fielder Emily Ceccacci, and then reached home off a triple by freshman right fielder Courtney Tyler.
The Mustangs continued to score in the seventh inning, when Westlund led off with a triple. After Tyler was struck with a pitch, Hyland singled to score Westlund, and the Mustangs eventually scored one more run for the final 3-0 score.
To close out the year, the Mustangs host UC Riverside for a three-game series May 9-10. In order for Cal Poly to clinch its first Big West title since 2009, the Mustangs must sweep UC Riverside and have Long Beach State defeat UC Santa Barbara twice.
Erik Chu contributed to this report.