The Cal Poly softball team kicked off their conference season by taking two of three games from UC Riverside in Southern California during the weekend.
The first game went heavily in favor of the Mustangs. With the help of a couple longballs from seniors Anna Cahn and Stephanie Correia, the 7-1 victory was given to pitcher Rebecca Patton.
Cahn rocked the first Mustang homer in the third inning to push the score to 2-0, and Correia followed with a home run of her own.
Correia hit a second home run, a two-out three-run blast, following two walks to move the score to 7-0.
The sole Highlander run came off back-to-back doubles off Patton in the fifth inning.
Patton sat down seven straight batters at two different points in the game, including the final seven to clinch the Mustang victory and her fourth of the year.
The second game ended in a 4-3 defeat for Cal Poly, but not before Cahn belted her Big West-leading 10th home run of the season. Cahn also pitched three innings for the Mustangs and allowed the four earned runs. Trista Thomas came in for relief to shut out the Highlanders and give up only one hit and two walks.
Cahn recorded all three RBIs, including two on a single up the middle in the first inning. Junior center fielder Nora Sobczak and freshman shortstop Kim Westlund opened the game with a pair of hits to set up Cahn.
In the rubber match on Sunday, Patton retook the mound and guided the Mustangs to a 5-4 victory with the help of five strikeouts and the game-tying RBI. It was the Mustangs second win this season decided by two runs or fewer while they have lost nine.
Cal Poly came from behind using a three-run, seventh inning rally to surge past the Highlanders, who were up two going into the final frame. Down a run with the bases loaded and waiting on a 1-2 pitch, Patton was struck by the ball, forcing home a run to tie the game at four.
Shea Williams, the following batter, walked to force home the decisive run. On the mound, Patton was perfect through 3 1/3 and did not walk a batter. She improved to 2-0 in conference and 4-12 overall.
Cahn was 5 of 7 over the weekend and received four walks. After the weekend series, Cal Poly now boasts a 6-23 record after a tough nonconference schedule.
The Mustangs have now taken the last seven Big West series on the road and have won 17 of their last 20 against the Highlanders.
The team returns home on April 9 for a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara starting a 4 p.m. in Bob Janssen Field.