March 29, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Krysten Cary's grand slam capped a six-run sixth inning, rallying visiting Cal Poly from four runs down and lifting the No. 24 Mustangs to a 7-5 Big West Conference softball victory over Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon at Anderson Family Field.
The Titans fell to 14-16 overall and suffered their first loss in league play, dropping to 2-1. Cal Poly improved to 22-9 overall and claimed its first Big West win in improving to 1-2.
Freshman Nicole Johnson gave her side a 5-1 lead in the fifth, slugging a grand slam for her first career home run. A fielder's choice by Sheila Holguin, a double by Courtney Martinez, and an intentional pass to Francesca Gonzales loaded the bases with one out.
Johnson then sent the first pitch she saw from Anna Cahn (14-5) over the wall in right centerfield to snap a 1-1 tie.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as the Mustangs sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth to bring them all the way back with two outs. An infield single with one out by Cristen Lee and a single down the left field line by Stephanie Tam put two on for Jenna Maiden, who worked the count full before drawing a walk to load the bases.
Cahn then helped her own cause, singling back through the box to drive home two and make it a 5-3 game. Cal Poly kept applying the pressure, getting another infield hit by Stephanie Correia to reload the bases for Cary, who fell behind in the count 1-2 before sending a pitch over the wall in left for her 11th home run of the season and make it 7-5.
The Mustangs then shut the door, retiring the Titans in order over the final two innings to clinch the win.
Cal Poly got on the board in the first on a sacrifice fly by Correia after a pair of singles to lead-off the inning and a walk with one out loaded the bases. After a hit batter, starter Ari Cervantes (9-9) induced a deep fly out to centerfield to prevent any further damage.
Cervantes, who allowed just three hits in earning a win and a save on Saturday, was allowed seven runs on 11 hits while striking out five in the complete-game effort. Johnson and Craddick each finished with two hits to lead the Titans' offense while Tam finished with three hits to lead the Mustangs.
Cal State Fullerton returns to the diamond next weekend with a three-game road series at UC Riverside beginning on Saturday (April 4) with a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and concluding on Sunday (April 5) with a single game, also at noon.