Cal Poly Softball lost three of their four games in a home weekend series against the University of Hawai’i on April 9-10 at Bob Janssen Field.
The series moves Cal Poly to 9-14 on the season and 3-9 in Big West play. Hawai’i is now 9-8 with a record of 8-4 in the Big West Conference, sitting comfortably in third place.
The one win for Cal Poly snaps an eight-game skid in which the Mustangs lost close matches against UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and the first three games against Hawai’i. The Mustangs hadn’t won since March 27 with a 6-5 win over UC Riverside.
The star of the weekend was first baseman Hailey Martin whose near-perfect weekend in the batter’s box gained her Big West Player of the Week honors.
Cal Poly lost game one of the series 10-6 to Hawai’i, in a battle that had 28 total hits, the most ever in a Cal Poly Softball game.
In game one, lefty Krystyna Allman got the start on the mound for the Mustangs and gave up two runs in the first inning after the Rainbow Wahine loaded the bases and got three hits.
The Rainbow Wahine doubled their score with a two-run home run by Bree Soma in the second inning and recorded two more runs in the third off of a RBI single by Soma and a throwing error by Mustang catcher Kai Barrett.
Nannen held the Mustangs to only one hit through three innings, only allowing a double by Barrett at the beginning of the third.
The score moved to 9-0 in favor of Hawai’i in the top of the fourth inning after a pitching change by Cal Poly, bringing in righthander Dakota Casper.
Casper had an impressive finish to the game, only allowing one run and three hits in the final three innings of the matchup.
However, Hawai’i widened their lead in the final inning on a RBI single, taking the score to 10-6, where it would remain.
The game takes Allman to 3-7 on the season and brings Hawai’i’s Nannen to an even 4-4.
The Mustangs lost the second game of the day to Hawai’i in a close 11-9 score. It was another hitting clinic, with a combined 23 hits.
Right hander Shelby Jeffries started on the bump for Cal Poly and held the Rainbow Wahine scoreless in the first.
Cal Poly started scoring early, with Jeffries bringing Noellah Ramos home with a single to right-center in the first inning.
Hawai’i responded quickly in the second when Nakamura hit a home run as the leadoff batter tying the game. Brittnee Rossi brought in their second run that inning with a RBI single.
The Rainbow Wahine expanded their lead in the third, scoring four runs on four hits, with Cal Poly replacing Jeffries with Casper mid-way through the inning.
Cal Poly then brought the score within one with a four-run third inning, heading into the fourth inning down 6-5.
Once again, Hawai’i responded with a strong offensive showing, scoring three runs in the fourth inning. The Mustangs cut the deficit again to three in the fifth inning after Martin scored on a sacrifice fly.
Hawai’i added two more runs in the sixth inning, the final runs they would score for the day.
Cal Poly’s comeback was looking strong in the sixth inning with Maddie Amos hit a three-run homer, her fourth home run of the season, bringing the score to 11-9. Both teams remained scoreless from that point on to give Hawai’i the 2-0 series lead.
As the teams went into the Saturday doubleheader, Martin hoped to continue her dominant offensive showing after going a perfect 7-7 in hitting on Friday.
Unlike the first two games in the series, the Mustangs lost a pitcher’s duel against Hawai’i 1-0, despite eight hits from Hawai’i and four from Cal Poly.
Allman got the start once again for Cal Poly and Nannen got her second start in as many days for Hawai’i.
The game’s lone score happened early when the Rainbow Wahine’s Keliinoi scored on a double from Rossi.
Nannen retired the first seven Mustangs in the batting order, with the first Mustang reaching base when Barrett doubled to left-center in the third inning.
Allman, who pitched the entire game Saturday afternoon, only allowed one hit in three innings, before giving up two in the top of the fifth.
Allman’s five strikeouts and strong pitching were able to hold the Rainbow Wahine to only one score for the day, but Nannen’s complete-game effort and six strikeouts halted any opportunity for the Mustangs to mount a comeback.
Game four of the series went to the Mustangs, with a 6-5 victory off of a commanding 11 hits.
The game did not count towards Big West conference standings since only the first three games of a series can count toward a team’s Big West record.
Jeffries was on the bump for Cal Poly and got four strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
The Rainbow Wahine started the game with the lead when Rossi came in off of a sacrifice fly. Hawai’i then expanded their lead to 2-0 when a fielding error led to Nakamura getting home.
The Mustangs responded quickly in a fourth inning that had four runs in as many hits to take a 4-2 lead.
The fifth inning was back-and-forth, with Hawai’i scoring twice and tying the game at 4-4. Cal Poly responded when Diaz singled to left field and Martin brought her home off of a double, taking their lead to 5-4.
After a hitless bottom of the sixth inning, Hawai’i tied the game at five with only their second batter of the seventh inning, when Millwood singled and brought Nakamura home.
Diaz singled to start the seventh inning and was joined on the bases by Maddie Amos when a fielder error allowed both to get on base safely.
Martin then loaded the bases with a right-field single and the team had two runners in a scoring position needing just one run to win with no outs. Facing a 1-2 count, Jeffries got a hit into centerfield and secured the win for Cal Poly, snapping their eight-game losing streak.
Allman recorded the victory after retiring the Rainbow Wahine’s final four batters. The game brings Allman to 4-8 on the 2021 season.
The Mustangs travel to Long Beach State for a road series on April 24-25.