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In a battle for first place in the Big West Conference, the Cal Poly softball team was swept by the visiting Long Beach State 49ers. The three losses drop the Mustangs (28-13, 4-4) to fifth in the Big West halfway through their conference schedule.

The Mustangs and the 49ers were locked in a pitching battle for most of the game as senior pitcher Sierra Hyland struck out five in 12 innings, but Long Beach State scored two runs in the top of the 12th inning to take the first game 2-0.

The game was scoreless through 11 innings before Long Beach State shortstop Nichole Fry hit an RBI single to score second baseman LT Torres. The 49ers added another run as pitcher Jessica Flores scored on a fielding error, putting the game out of reach for the Mustangs.

Cal Poly struggled at the plate and went 7 of 40 in the first game. Only junior shortstop Chelsea Convissar and junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward had multiple hits, going 2 of 5 and 2 of 4, respectively. Between the seven hits and seven walks, the Mustangs left 17 runners on base over the course of the game, unable to score
when needed.

The second game of the Friday doubleheader was much of the same as junior pitcher Lindsey Chalmers struck out 10 batters, but the Mustangs went scoreless again in a 1-0 loss.

Tied 0-0 for eight innings, Long Beach State scored in the top of the ninth inning when Flores singled to plate Torres and gave the 49ers the winning margin. Cal Poly had little success from the plate again, going 7 of 33. Senior left fielder Courtney Tyler went 3 for 3 as the only Mustang with multiple hits in the game.

Cal Poly had already lost the series after Friday’s doubleheader, but again the Mustangs couldn’t find the scoring they needed in a 2-0 loss Saturday afternoon.

Hyland threw a complete game but gave up a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to Fry. From there, Hyland kept the 49ers scoreless from the circle, but Cal Poly went a meager 5 of 24 from the plate.

The Mustangs came close to scoring when Convissar and junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval hit successive singles to lead off the third inning. But both were stranded by the close of the inning and the deficit remained 2-0 for the rest of the game.

Prior to this series, the Mustangs had been held scoreless twice all season and were tied for first in the Big West. With this sweep they’re now in the middle of the Big West conference with three series finished. With four series left to go in the conference schedule, starting with one at CSUN (25-15, 5-4) this weekend, the Mustangs have the time to overcome being swept for the first time all year.

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