Cal Poly softball won their first Big West series of the 2022 season against Blue-Green rival UCSB in a three-game series from Saturday, Apr. 2 through Sunday, Apr. 3 at Bob Janssen Field.
The Mustangs (8-21, 3-6 Big West) dropped game one of the Saturday doubleheader to the Gauchos (10-24, 2-7 Big West) before winning games two and three to take the series victory.
Saturday Game One
The Gauchos got the best of the Mustangs in the series opener, winning in dominant fashion, 6-1.
Cal Poly sent UCSB down in order to start the first. Redshirt freshman left fielder Jessica Clements led off the inning with a single, advancing to second and third on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Redshirt senior center fielder Noellah Ramos walked to put runners on the corners, but the Mustangs couldn’t capitalize, stranding two runners to end the inning.
The defensive stand from the Gauchos bled into their offense, leading off the second with a home run to get on the board. With Gaucho runners on first and third, a groundout scored another run, before a Mustang error led to the third run of the inning. UCSB snagged a 3-0 lead after the second.
Three more runs scored in the third for the Gauchos, extending their lead to 6-0.
The Cal Poly bats stayed cold until the bottom of the fifth, when senior shortstop Maddie Amos doubled to score Clements, chipping away at the UCSB lead, now trailing 6-1.
The Mustangs were unable to scratch away any more, dropping game one 6-1.
Saturday Game Two
In game two of the doubleheader, Cal Poly came from behind to defeat UCSB, scoring seven unanswered runs en route to a 7-6 win.
The Gauchos jumped on the Mustangs in the top of the first, scoring four runs on five hits. UCSB added two more runs in the second to put Cal Poly in a 6-0 hole.
Clements reached on an error in the bottom of the third, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ramos then singled to right field, cutting the UCSB lead to 6-1.
The Mustang offense exploded in the fifth inning. Redshirt sophomore catcher Kai Barrett led off with a solo home run. Ramos walked, Maddie Amos singled and senior designated hitter Lily Amos walked to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice, sophomore second baseman Xiara Diaz was hit by a pitch to score another run, as the Mustangs now trailed 6-4. Prahm then delivered a single, scoring two to tie the game at 6-6. A double from redshirt sophomore pinch hitter Juju Sargent scored Diaz to give the Mustangs the 7-6 advantage.
Cal Poly slammed the door shut on any UCSB comeback in the final innings, winning game two 7-6 to even the series.
Maier went just ⅓ of an inning in the start, allowing four runs on five hits. Freshman reliever Kate Judy (2-9) earned the win, giving up two runs over 6 ⅔ innings while striking out six.
In Sunday’s series finale, Cal Poly’s offense stayed hot, defeating UCSB 7-1 to clinch the Blue-Green series.
In the first, after Ramos reached on a hit-by-pitch, Maddie Amos doubled to score Ramos from first. A single from Lily Amos then put runners on the corners. Sargent followed with a single to left field to give Cal Poly a 2-0 lead after the first.
In the second inning, Clements singled with one out, which was followed by a triple from Ramos to extend the Mustang lead to 3-0. Two batters later, Lily Amos sent a long ball over the left-field fence for a two-run home run to make it 5-0.
The offense stayed rolling in the third when sophomore third baseman Mia Perez walked with one out and Barrett singled to put two runners on. Ramos then hit her second triple of the game to score Perez and Barrett, adding two insurance runs to make it a 7-0 Cal Poly lead.
Cal Poly’s defense held its ground, only surrendering one run in the seventh to win game three, 7-1, and the series.
After a shaky outing in game one, Allman (5-11) came back in game three to pitch a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits.
The Mustangs return to action when they travel to Manoa to take on Hawaii from Friday, Apr. 8 through Saturday, Apr. 9 inside Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.