Cal Poly Softball lost their fifth consecutive game after being swept 3-0 in a Big West Conference series against Hawai’i from April 5-6 inside Bob Janssen Field.
The Mustangs (7-29, 1-5) are now tied with UC Santa Barbara for last place in the Big West Conference while the Rainbow Wahine (24-10, 5-1) are tied for first place.
On Friday, April 5, Cal Poly fell to Hawai’i 6-1 in their series opener. While the Mustangs took the initial lead in the first inning, Hawai’i went on to produce 11 hits to capture the victory. Cal Poly was held to just five hits by the Rainbow Wahine.
Cal Poly’s offense started the game with two hits in the bottom of the first inning. After sophomore outfielder Noellah Ramos singled up the middle and stole second, senior catcher Makenna Young doubled to left center field for a 1-0 Mustang lead. However, Young was left on base after Cal Poly’s final two batters grounded out to shortstop.
Hawai’i took no time to regain the lead and scored three times in the top of the second inning. After singles from Hawai’i’s Mikaela Gandia-Mak and Jennifer Iseri, Heather Cameron followed up with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1. The Mustangs’ troubles continued when Sissy Pantastico reached first on a Cal Poly fielding error to plate Iseri for another run. Hawai’i’s last run of the inning came from Brittnee Rossi’s RBI single for a 3-1 advantage.
After Hawai’i’s scoring drive, the game stayed scoreless until the fifth inning as Cal Poly sophomore pitcher Dakota Casper retired six out of seven batters through two innings. However, in the top of the fifth, Hawai’i first baseman Callee Heen homered over the center field wall to extended Hawai’i’s lead to 4-1.
In the top of the seventh inning Hawai’i struck again with three hits for two runs. In the bottom of the inning, freshman catcher Lily Amos registered a single through left field, but the effort was cut short as the last two batters were thrown out by Hawai’i shortstop Pantastico. Cal Poly was held to only three hits after scoring in the first inning in the 6-1 loss.
Saturday Game One
Cal Poly made a series-high seven hits in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, but fell 4-0 to Hawai’i.
Senior third baseman Noa Yakir connected on each of her four appearances at bat, earning a game-high four hits. Junior righthander Steffi Best made a career-high six strikeouts.
“The first two games our pitchers threw really well,” head coach Jenny Condon said. “They stuck to the game plan and executed their pitches.”
Yakir made the second out by catching a pop fly on the third base line. Senior outfielder Crimson Kaiser started off the bottom of the second right away with a pop fly, which dropped down on the right field line. Kaiser made it to first base but did not advance at any point throughout the inning.
Right away in the top of the third, Hawai’i junior Chardonnay Pastastico hit a line drive down the third base line. Yakir committed the first error of the game when she bobbled the ball, throwing it late to first. Nicole Lopez hit a bunt single and advanced Pastastico to second. The next hitter for Hawai’i had back-to-back RBI singles to take a 2-0 lead. Best ended the inning with a strikeout. There were two runners left on base going into the bottom of the third.
Yakir had the only hit for the Mustangs in the bottom of the third inning with a line drive up the middle. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Kaiser popped up right over the shortstop, making it to first base. Junior right-handed pitcher Shelby Jeffries hit a hopper down the first baseline, advancing Kaiser, however the team could not convert with players in scoring positions. The Mustangs left eight runners on base.
“This weekend I thought we kept the energy up even though we were down most of the time,” Yakir said.
In the top of the seventh, the Rainbow Wahine loaded up the bases and got their third unearned run of the game when Best walked Heen. An RBI single came from the Rainbow Wahine’s Mikaela Gandia-Mak, doubling their lead to 4-0.
The Mustangs were shutdown in the bottom of the seventh inning, but three pop flies were all caught by Hawai’i infielders. Hawai’i won 4-0.
Saturday Game Two
Hawai’i clinched the series sweep with a 12-0 win that ended in the fifth inning.
The Rainbow Wahine opened the scoring with a two-RBI double by second baseman Cheeks Ramos in the top of the first inning.
The Mustangs recorded two of their three hits of the game after back-to-back singles by center fielder Noellah Ramos and catcher Makenna Young. However, the Mustangs were unable to score either Ramos or Young, leaving two runners left on base.
The second inning went smoothly for both teams’ pitchers as both teams went 1-2-3 in the inning.
The top of the third inning did not go as smoothly for the Mustangs. The Rainbow Wahine recorded nine runs to extend their lead to 11-0. They also went through fourteen batters before reaching their third out.
“Hawai’i is too good of a team to give them too many opportunities [and]… put the ball over the middle of the plate,” Condon said.
Sophomore starting righthander Dakota Casper was replaced by freshman pitcher Krystyna Allman in the third inning after Hawai’i scored five runs. However, the Rainbow Wahine scored six more runs before Allman herself was replaced by junior pitcher Shelby Jeffries.
“The first two games our pitchers stuck to the gameplan and executed their pitches,” Condon said. “I am not sure why but they were unable to execute [in the third game].”
Hawai’i added one more run in the top of the fourth to extend their lead even further to 12-0.
The Mustangs, defensively and offensively, did not help out their pitchers. The Mustangs only recorded three total hits while committing three errors.
“On defense, we need to sharpen up,” Yakir said.
“Defensively we made mental mistakes,” Condon said. “We should have got out of that [third] inning with only one run, but we could not stop the bleeding so we gave up nine.”
Cal Poly will head to UC Davis (29-7, 4-2) for a three-game series starting Friday, April 13.