Titans Fall Twice to Cal Poly on Saturday
San Luis Obispo, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton softball team was swept in a doubleheader with Cal Poly at Bob Janssen Field on Saturday. Cal Poly was led by Sierra Hyland's complete game two-hit shutout in game one, 6-0, while holding on for a 2-1 decision by another complete game four-hit gem by game two starter, Chloe Wurst.
Following the sweep in the Big West doubleheader, the Mustangs climb to (28-17, 9-5) and the Titans fall to (26-20-1, 7-7). This was the first time Fullerton has dropped a doubleheader at Cal Poly since the 2010 season, in which the Titans were eventually swept in the three-game set.
Game One: Cal Poly 6, Cal State Fullerton 0
Hyland stifled the Titans for a complete game two-hitter, shutting out the Titans in a seven inning gem. The finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year fanned six Titans while issuing only two walks, keeping Fullerton in check the entire way.
The Mustangs jumped ahead in the opening frame as Kim Westlund tripled to right field. Emily Ceccacci immediately drove Westlund in with a sharp single to left center, placing Cal Poly ahead 1-0. Westlund led Cal Poly with a 3-for-4 outing, driving in two RBI while scoring another run from the leadoff position.
Cal Poly struck again for two more runs in the fifth inning as Shea Williams drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning. Jillian Anderson later followed with a single to left center. Westlund came through with her second hit of the game with a two-run double, scoring Anderson and Williams.
It didn't take long for the Mustangs to tack on some more, striking for three insurances runs in the sixth frame. The inning was highlighted by Hyland's solo round-tripper, Lauren Moreno's RBI triple and Kiersten Nordin's RBI single, extending the lead to 6-0, a deficit that was never challenged. Hyland chipped in a 1-for-3 effort, scoring one run and driving in another.
Sophomore Jasmine Antunez (10-8) was given the nod in the circle to open the series for Fullerton, surrendering two hits and one run over just one inning of work. Antunez suffered her ninth loss of the season while walking two Mustangs.
Entering in relief for Fullerton was freshman Christina Washington, tossing the final five frames, yielding five runs on seven hits. The left-hander struck out two and issued one walk.
Game Two: Cal Poly 2, Cal State Fullerton 1
Typically overshadowed by the success of Hyland on the pitching staff, Wurst showed off that she's quite the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation. Tossing a complete game four-hitter, Wurst (6-9) issued three walks and struck out one en route to her sixth win of the season.
Cal Poly was the first team to get on the board for the second consecutive contest as the Mustangs began a two-out rally. Ashley Romano drew a four-pitch walk and Jillian Anderson singled through the right side, advancing Romano into scoring position. Westlund continued her dominance at the plate in game two with an RBI single to right field placing Cal Poly ahead once again, 1-0.
The Titans surrendered another two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth frame as Hyland was intentionally walked. Mariah Cochiolo came through with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Hyland and tacking on a crucial insurance run. Cochiolo batted 1-for-3, driving in one run.
The Titans showed a last gasp of life in the final frame as Missy Taukeiaho launched her Big West leading 15th round-tripper of the season, but was of the solo variety, cutting the Mustang lead in half at 2-1. Taukeiaho batted 1-for-2, driving in one run, scoring another and drew two walks to reach base on four occasions.
Wurst forced Ariel Tsuchiyama to ground out to end the rally and complete the sweep for the Mustangs on Saturday.
Sophomore Monique Wesley (3-6) was the hard luck loser, tossing the full six innings for her sixth loss of the year. Wesley scattered 11 hits to the Mustangs, stranding 10 runners while keeping the Titans within striking distance the entire way. The right-hander yielded only two earned runs and walked another pair.
The Titans and Mustangs will conclude the series with the rubber match tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Bob Janssen Field in San Luis Obispo, Calif.