Cal Poly softball’s eight-game win streak was snapped on Tuesday, Apr. 19 after being defeated by the Fresno State Bulldogs (13-30, 5-10 Mountain West) 2-0 at Bob Janssen Field.
The loss marked the end of a streak that was the program’s longest since taking nine games in a row in 2017 and began on Saturday, April 2 against UCSB in the second half of that day’s doubleheader.
It was the Mustangs’ (14-22, 9-6 Big West) first home loss since the first game of that doubleheader, and their first non-conference loss since Sunday, March 13 against Nevada.
At first, it didn’t appear as though a loss was in the cards for the Mustangs, as freshman righthander Kate Judy was perfect through the opening three innings.
Any hopes of a perfect game were quickly squashed in the very next inning, however, as Bulldog designated hitter Alyssa Orr led off the fourth by ripping a single into center field.
After a steal and a sacrifice bunt moved Orr to third base, left fielder Keahilele Mattson pulled the 0-1 pitch from Judy down the left-field line for a run-scoring single to present the Mustangs with a 1-0 deficit.
It was a deficit that, despite having chances over the next three and a half innings, they couldn’t overcome. The Mustangs were limited to just two hits during the opening four innings of the contest.
However, their chances began to appear in the fifth, after successive two-out singles from sophomore catcher Kai Barrett and freshman left fielder Jessica Clements set up senior center fielder Noellah Ramos for an RBI opportunity. However, Ramos struck out to end the threat.
Fresno State would add an insurance run in the subsequent frame off of a two-out double by shortstop Alesia Denby that scored Mattson and brought the score to 2-0.
Despite baserunners in both the sixth and seventh innings, the Mustangs couldn’t do anything to prevent the loss, and the game—and winning streak—was over six outs later.
Judy received the loss after five innings of one-run pitching, dropping her record to 5-10. The win went to Cassidy West (7-14), who allowed zero runs on five hits while striking out five over four innings of work.
Offensively, it was Clements—the Big West Conference’s leading hitter with a .420 (50-for-119) batting average—who led the way for Cal Poly, going 3-for-4 with three singles, while also reaching base on an error in her first at-bat.
The Mustangs will look to win their ninth Big West contest in a row when they host a three-game series against Long Beach State beginning on Saturday, Apr. 23 at 1 p.m. at Bob Janssen Field.