The Cal Poly softball team traveled to Hawaii for a weekend series and left Honolulu with a win and two losses in one of the season’s final tournaments.
On Friday afternoon, the Mustangs (24-23, 7-11 Big West) got out to an early 1-0 lead against the Warriors (23-28, 7-11) after sophomore third basemen Stephanie Heyward scored off an RBI single by junior pitcher Sierra Hyland in the top of the first inning.
Cal Poly extended its lead in the top of the third when Heyward scored an unearned run to make it 2-0. But the Warriors came back with a three-run scoring spree in the bottom of the seventh to win the first game 3-2.
On Saturday, the Mustangs went down 1-0 by the top of the fourth but fought back with a three-run fifth inning. Freshman catcher Makenna Young hit a sacrificial fly to score junior left fielder Courtney Tyler and sophomore center fielder Amanda Sandoval hit a double to plate Heyward and freshman pinch-runner Noa Yakir.
The Warriors tied the game 3-3 after the bottom of the fifth, but Tyler singled to score senior right fielder Betsy Colburn in the top of the sixth to put Cal Poly up 4-3 for the win.
In the second game on Saturday, the Mustangs played yet another low-scoring affair, this time one that went to eight innings. The Mustangs ended up on the losing end after a run by the Warriors in the bottom of the eighth to make it 1-0.
Each of the three games were decided by one run and the series totaled 13 runs for both sides. For the Mustangs, this is par for the course; their season schedule is full of low-scoring affairs controlled by great pitching and just enough offense to pull off a victory.
Hyland notched a combined 20 strikeouts in the weekend series to move up to 10th on the Big West career strikeouts list. In the series, Heyward led the way on the plate, hitting 5-11 with three runs scored.
With this series now finished, there’s one more series left to play against UC Riverside at home. Winning the three games in that series could move the Mustangs up to as high as third in the Big West Conference before the regional tournament.