Palo Alto Regional Championship Game:
No. 8 Stanford 4, Cal Poly 0
The Cal Poly softball team entered this season’s NCAA Tournament having never won a regional game. After romping over Portland State (5-0) and Nevada (6-1) on Saturday, the Mustangs found themselves just two wins away from advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in program history.
Cal Poly ran into a brick wall in Cardinal starting pitcher Missy Penna (34-6). Penna held the Mustangs hitless for the first three innings and scattered just three hits in a complete-game shutout.
Stanford would put the game out of reach in the final innings scoring two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh for the final margin.
The Mustangs end the 2009 season with a 41-12 record and a litany of new program records. In capturing a second Big West title in three seasons, Cal Poly established program records for overall winning percentage (.774), conference winning percentage (.857), conference victories (18), fewest conference defeats (three) and fewest overall defeats. Additionally, the Mustangs earned their first national ranking in 12 seasons and rose to as high as No. 21 in the April 28 edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and their 41 wins is best since the school moved to Division I in 1995.
Cal Poly also had several players collect accolades. Sophomore left-hander Anna Cahn was named Big West Pitcher of the Year. She also set school records in wins (28) and innings pitched (252.2).
Cahn and junior first baseman Krysten Cary were named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-West Region Team marking the first time in program history that Cal Poly enjoyed dual honorees.
“We had a great season and it’s been something we’ve been building toward,” Cal Poly head coach Jenny Condon said in a statement. “We’ve set a foundation for things to come. We’ll be patient and get better each year. Overall, it’s hard to ask for a better year and no one should hang their head.”
Track and field
Big West Championships
The Cal Poly track and field team won six individual event winners at last weekend’s Big West Conference Championship in Irvine.
Senior Julie Dufresne was the only two-event winner for Cal Poly as she triumphed with a 161-3 mark in the discus on Friday and a personal-best effort of 52-8 3/4 feet in the shot put on Saturday.
The Mustangs also swept the men’s and women’s pole vault as sophomore Connor Landry and junior Jenna Homes won for Cal Poly.
Freshman Derek Thomas won the 1,500 for Cal Poly in a time of 3:46.19 while senior Katie Robbins rounded out the Cal Poly winners taking the javelin with a throw of 146-2.
Cal State Northridge dominated the competition, winning both the men’s and women’s team competitions. The Cal Poly women finished a distant second while the men finished in third.
The men’s team made a final push to overtake UC Davis for second place with a strong effort in the 5,000, but came up just short. Cal Poly put four in the top eight — Troy Swier (fourth, 14:31.60), Carl Dargitz (fifth, 14:32.86), Jeff Lease (sixth, 14:34.00) and Daniel Gonia (eighth, 14:38.40).
Senior James Nunno, who won the decathlon at the multi-event championships two weekends ago, is awaiting word on whether he will be invited to the NCAA national championships. Nunno currently has the 20th best score in the nation.
No. 18 Cal Poly 9, Long Beach State 3
The Mustangs took Sunday’s rubber game in Long Beach after the team’s split on Friday and Saturday.
Freshman right-hander Mason Radeke (6-1) gave his second-consecutive solid start for Cal Poly, scattering nine hits and allowing just two earned runs over eight innings.
Senior outfielder Ryan Lee and junior outfielder Luke Yoder each collected three hits in helping the Mustangs improve to 35-17 and 13-8 in the Big West Conference.
In winning the series, Cal Poly has claimed 11 of 13 series’ this season and maintains sole possession of third place in the conference. It was the first series victory for the Mustangs in Long Beach since 1997.
Cal Poly concludes the regular season with four home games, the first at 6 p.m. Monday, hosting non-conference foe Santa Clara in Baggett Stadium.