Cal Poly Softball went 0-5 in their five matchups in the SVC Classic from Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27. The Mustangs faced off against San Jose State twice, Sacramento State, Utah State and Santa Clara.
Cal Poly is now 0-10 to begin the season.
Game One versus San Jose State
In the opening matchup of the tournament, the Mustangs fell to the Spartans (9-5) by a score of 2-1.
San Jose State came out strong in the first inning, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead off of an error by Cal Poly’s defense.
After three straight scoreless innings, the Mustangs evened up the score at 1-1 after senior shortstop Maddie Amos drove in redshirt freshman outfielder Jessica Clements with a single up the middle.
With the game stalled at 1-1 at the end of seven innings, the squads headed into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, the Mustangs were unable to scratch a run across.
In the bottom of the inning, the Spartans capitalized off yet another Cal Poly error that brought across the game-winning run and secured the win in the tournament opener by a score of 2-1.
Game Two versus San Jose State
The Spartans’ momentum from the first win carried over to the second matchup, as they took down Cal Poly 4-1 in the afternoon game.
The Mustang offense struggled throughout the game, as they left two runners on base in the second, fourth and fifth innings against the righthanded arm of Spartan pitcher Lacie Ham.
After two scoreless innings from both squads, San Jose State broke the scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third. The fourth was scoreless again, and the Spartans extended their lead to 4-0 after dropping three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Cal Poly broke into the scoreboard in the top of the seventh with a double from Maddie Amos to bring home redshirt senior outfielder Noellah Ramos.
However, it was too little, too late as the Mustangs couldn’t get any more runs across the board and fell 4-1.
Saturday versus Sacramento State
In their only match-up on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Mustangs’ four-run comeback came up short as Sacramento State (6-8) bested them 6-5.
It was a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth inning by the Hornets’ left fielder Samantha Parish to regain the lead that ended up being the game-winner.
Senior lefthander Krystyna Allman started in the circle for the Mustangs and was quickly pulled after letting in three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman Kate Judy came in relief to start the second inning and worked out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the Sacramento State lead to 3-0.
In the fourth, Cal Poly grabbed a run back as senior designated hitter Lily Amos doubled into the gap, scoring Maddie Amos.
In response, the Hornets scored two in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of third baseman Lewa Day’s two-run homer to left field to push the lead to 5-1.
Down 5-1, the Mustangs mounted their best offensive inning of the season, scoring four runs off of four hits in the fifth inning to tie the ball game at five apiece.
The rally started with a leadoff double from sophomore catcher Kai Barrett, followed by a base hit from Clements. With runners in scoring position, Ramos drilled a two-run triple that cut the lead to 5-3.
The Mustangs weren’t done yet, as Maddie Amos singled in Ramos in the next at-bat to get to within one. Maddie Amos scored later in the innings thanks to a fielding error by the Hornets to even the score.
However, Sacramento State immediately responded with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning to recapture the lead at 6-5.
Cal Poly followed this by stranding two base runners in the sixth and being retired in order in the seventh to drop their third game of the weekend.
Sunday versus Utah State
Despite outhitting Utah State, Cal Poly’s critical errors led to a 6-4 loss to the Aggies in the first game of their doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Three Mustang errors led to a four-run second inning for the Aggies (6-7), which proved to be too much of a gap to overcome.
Utah State struck first in the top of the first inning with a sacrifice fly from shortstop Lexi Orozco to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs responded in the bottom half of the first inning, with Lily Amos doubling to score Clements and tie the game at 1-1.
However, the Aggies came right back with a four-run second inning to grab a 5-1 lead. All of the four runs were unearned, coming from errors by Cal Poly’s defense.
A sacrifice flyball from Barrett in the bottom of the fourth and a double into the left-center gap by sophomore Juju Sargent in the fifth chipped away at the Aggies’ lead to make the score 5-3.
In her first collegiate start, freshman righthander Paige Maier pitched all seven innings for the Mustangs, holding the Aggies scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
An Orozco leadoff homer in the sixth inning pushed the lead to three runs for the Aggies. After this insurance run, the Cal Poly offense was shut out in the sixth and seventh innings to give Utah State the 6-3 win.
Cal Poly outhit the Aggies 8-6, but the Mustangs left a total of eight baserunners stranded and tallied four errors to hand them their ninth straight loss.
Sunday versus Santa Clara
Cal Poly capped off their tournament in a pitchers’ duel against Santa Clara that they lost by a score of 1-0.
Allman kept the Broncos (8-9) to only four hits, but another tough offensive game led the Mustangs to leave the SVC Classic winless.
Cal Poly left runners on third base in the second and third inning, continuing their trend of missing opportunities to score.
Scoreless through six, the Broncos broke through with an RBI double from first baseman Sammy Needham to score third baseman Emma Bickford.
Down 1-0 with three outs left for the Mustangs, freshman third baseman Malia Mah tried to add to her career-best, two-hit game and drive in Sargent. However, Mah flew out to center, ending the game and Cal Poly’s 14-game winning streak over the Broncos.
Mah led the team with two hits while Allman struck out five batters through six innings, allowing just one run.
Cal Poly will look to get into the win column when they participate in the Judi Garman Classic from Thursday, Mar. 3 through Saturday, Mar. 5. The Mustangs will face off against No. 6 UCLA, Loyola Marymount, No. 22 Arizona State, Penn and Fresno State.