What losing streak?
With two of three wins against Long Beach State (21-22, 5-7 Big West) last weekend, Cal Poly (20-18, 9-3) has fired back from its mid-season eight-game losing streak with nine wins in their last 11 games to help propel the Mustangs to a one-game lead over Cal State Northridge to lead the Big West.
Sunday, home runs by freshman designated player Rebecca Patton and sophomore third baseman Kendal Hennings helped fuel the Mustangs to a 6-2 triumph over the 49ers.
In the bottom of the first inning, a one-out single from 49ers right fielder Caitrin DeBaun advanced center fielder Bree Stephen to third base. Pinch runner Alisha Rosen stole second in place of DeBaun to put two 49ers in scoring position, but Mustang starting lefthander Anna Cahn stopped the Long Beach State scoring threat by forcing a fly out from first baseman Christina Schallig and striking out second baseman Nalani St. Germain.
Cal Poly immediately capitalized on Long Beach State’s misfortune as Patton followed a leadoff walk by Hennings with her second collegiate homer. The shot, which cleared the left field wall, snapped a six-game drought without a homer by the Mustangs — the program’s longest such streak this season.
Cahn found herself in trouble again during the bottom half of the second, as 49ers catcher Kristen Pocock produced a leadoff double while shortstop Ashley Levine followed with a single up the middle with one out. But the reigning Big West Pithcher of the year got out of the jam again as she struck out designated player Casey Burba and forced a ground out from left fielder Ashley Weber to leave three runners on base.
The Mustangs struck again when Hennings flew her fourth homer of the year over the left field wall to provide the Mustangs a 5-0 lead in the third. Fullerton would rally back with two runs, but its late rally fell short in the final game of the series.
In the second game of Saturday’s double-header, 49ers starting pitcher Taylor Petty held the Mustangs scoreless, to help Long Beach State to a 4-0 victory.
With their first loss in seven games, the Mustangs couldn’t find enough to assist Cahn’s 5 1/3 scoreless innings pitched.
Despite receiving a double with no outs from Perez during the second and a one-out double by Cahn in the fourth, Cal Poly failed to break through against Long Beach State starting righthander Taylor Petty (9-11). The Mustangs held a chance against Petty during the top of the seventh, as Correia singled with one out before sophomore pinch hitter Capri Ruiz drew a bases loaded walk. However, freshman center fielder Whitley Gerhart popped out and Sobczak grounded out to end the game.
Petty, who finished with six strikeouts, yielded just four hits. Cahn struck out four against one walk before being lifted in favor of Patton with one out in the sixth.
In the first game, Patton pitched a complete game seven innings of scoreless softball, and the Mustangs started off their conference series against Long Beach State with a 5-0 victory.
The Mustangs will return to the diamond with a three-game conference series against Cal State Northridge next weekend.