Gauchos Topped by Cal Poly in Big-West Openers

Jessica Johnston (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)
Jessica Johnston (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Playing its first two games of the conference season at Cal Poly (26-8, 2-0) on Saturday, UCSB (18-17, 0-2) fell to the Mustangs by final scores of 4-1 and 3-1. Redshirt freshman Whitney Pemberton earned an RBI in the first game, scoring a run from sophomore Melanie Menor. In the second game, senior Kristen Clark notched an RBI – her tenth of the season – to bring home freshman Nicole Marino.

Game One

Facing a talented Cal Poly team in their Big West opener, the Gauchos managed to shutout the Mustangs until the bottom of the fifth. That's when Cal Poly opened the scoring, as it picked up a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead.

The first run came was scored by junior Chelsea Convissar off a single by junior Stephanie Heyward. Shortly after, senior Ashley Tornio scored an unearned run on a sac fly from senior Courtney Tyler.

UCSB would be quick to find an answer, as Menor would score to make it 2-1 on a sac fly by Pemberton in the top of the sixth. That would be the Gauchos' final run of the game. Cal Poly added two more runs – both unearned – in the bottom of the sixth on the way to the 4-1 win.

The Gauchos finished the game with six hits, compared to eight for the Mustangs. The six hits were tied for the second-most that Cal Poly pitcher Sierra Hyland has given up this season.

Sophomore Sierra Altmeyer led the way with two hits, going 2-3 at the plate. Menor, Jacqueline Hinojosa, Kayla Krantz and Stacy Cavazos all finished with one hit.

Game Two

In the second game of the day, both teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the third. Convissar opened the scoring for the Mustangs on a single by Hyland.

In the bottom of the fifth, Cal Poly would add to the lead, as Tornio scored on an error to make it 2-0. Hyland would also score a run in the inning off a double by teammate Crimson Kaiser.

The Gauchos would score their second run of the day in the top of the seventh, as Clark hit a single up the middle to bring Marino home. UCSB outhit the Mustangs 8-7, as Hinojosa and junior Jessica Johnston led the way with two hits apiece.

UCSB will close out its three-game series with Cal Poly tomorrow at 1 p.m.