Senior center fielder Lauren Moreno went 1 for 4 with an RBI in the Cal Poly softball team’s 1-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday. | Mustang News File Photo

Evan Morter

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Freshman right-hander Sierra Hyland propelled Cal Poly to a 6-0 victory against UC Davis at Bob Janssen Field on Sunday. She managed seven strikeouts in a complete-game shutout to move into third place for single-season Ks in the program’s history.

Hyland, who has pitched 187 2/3 innings this season and compiled 208 strikeouts, has a 19-7 record and is also second all-time in single-season shutouts (9) and third in victories (19) for Cal Poly.

Hyland’s milestone season has garnered national attention, but she said she’s simply focused on the next pitch.

“It feels good,” she said. “I don’t try to pay a lot of attention to it. As it comes closer, more people are bringing it to my attention. I just try to take it one pitch at a time.”

Hyland’s performance Sunday was a capsule of the phenom’s breakout season to date.

She pitched a complete game with just three hits allowed, no earned runs and seven strikeouts to blank the Aggies.

“She threw a lot better today than she did yesterday,” head coach Jenny Condon said. “She made her pitches and got ahead on batters, which was key.”

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Hyland pitched a complete game with three earned runs and six hits as Cal Poly lost that and the following game of the two-game set.

“I can tell the difference between how we played the last four games and how we played today,” Hyland said. “Today we had a little extra push, and hopefully we keep it.”

The Mustangs had previously lost the last four games before Sunday’s victory, and managed to score just five runs and left 29 runners on base during the streak.

“It was rough, especially dropping them at home like that, but again, we have short-term memory,” junior outfielder Emily Ceccacci said. “You have to forget about it. It was a new day, a new game, and we came out ready to go.”

Cal Poly broke out offensively on Sunday with six runs and nine hits.

Ceccacci, Cal Poly’s leader on  offense, is batting .378 on the year and had hit a two-run single in the fourth inning on Sunday.

“I have the same mindset every time,” Ceccacci said. “Just hit the ball up the middle. I’m just going to keep doing what I have been doing and just stay relaxed at the plate to get as many as I can.”

The win puts the Mustangs 22-16 overall, while Cal Poly holds a 4-5 record in Big West Conference play.

“Anytime we get the win, it’s great,” Condon said. “We played really well today. It’s always good to get the win, but when you get a shutout, then you’re doing something right.”

The remaining schedule for the Mustangs consists of five series (14 games) against conference rivals who are ahead of them in the Big West standings.

“It’s in our own hands,” Condon said. “If we execute and focus on the process, then I think we’ll do great things. We’re matched up with all the remaining teams that we match up really closely with.

“We want the College World Series. We have to do it one step at a time. We have to win the conference first to make it into the postseason and we’ll take it from there. Everyone is 0-0 at that point.”

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