LOS ANGELES – Sophomore first baseman Hailey Martin's two-run double placed the Cal Poly softball team on the scoreboard Sunday afternoon, but the Mustangs produced just three hits against No. 5 UCLA and closed the opening week of action with a 7-2 loss inside Easton Stadium.
Held without a hit by UCLA starting righthander Rachel Garcia (1-0) through the opening five innings, Cal Poly (3-2) broke through against the Bruins (4-0) in the top of the sixth. Senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval led off the inning with a single, senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar followed with a base hit and freshman left fielder Noellah Ramos successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to place two Mustangs in scoring position. Two batters later, Martin drove a double down the right field line to cut UCLA's lead to 7-2.
Mustang starting freshman righthander Dakota Casper (1-1) kept UCLA to a single hit in the bottom of the first before the Bruins put the game out of reach with a four-run second inning. Bruins third baseman Brianna Tautalafua led off with a home run before first baseman Kinsley Washington added a one-out, two-run single while second baseman Kylee Perez completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Cal Poly sophomore righthander reliever Steffi Best took over for Casper after two innings, but the Bruins added a run in the third and two in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage.
Cal Poly (3-2) continues action with five games at the Feb. 17-19 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. Cal Poly's portion of the tournament begins on Saturday, Feb. 17 versus Sacramento State (3:30 p.m.) and UAB (6 p.m.).
Image courtesy of Arionne Thomas