STANFORD – Junior righthander Sierra Hyland tossed a complete-game two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and the Cal Poly softball program scored seven times with two outs in the second inning to top host Stanford in five innings during Saturday's doubleheader opener at the Louisville Slugger Classic, 10-2. Cal Poly, however, fell in game No. 2 to 11th-ranked Florida State, 3-1.
With Saturday's split, Cal Poly (15-6) matched the 1995 Mustang squad's program record for best 21-game start to a season. Cal Poly closes Louisville Slugger Classic play on Sunday with a 9 a.m. rematch versus Florida State and can set a new record for best start to a season with a victory.
During Saturday's opening triumph versus Stanford (11-9), Hyland conceded just one of her two allowed hits in the first inning and Cal Poly pushed across seven runs in the top of the second. With two Mustangs on base and two down, sophomore shortstop Chelsea Convissar initiated the scoring with an infield RBI single. Sophomore designated player Stephanie Heyward (top) then produced a two-run double down the right field line to plate freshman catcher Makenna Young and Convissar.
Sophomore center fielder Amanda Sandoval and Hyland each followed with run-scoring singles to push Cal Poly's lead to 5-0 and senior right fielder Betsy Colburn capped the seven-run effort with two-run double into right center field.
The Mustangs added run No. 8 in the third through junior left fielder Courtney Tyler's one-out sacrifice fly to plate Heyward. Shut out in the fourth, Cal Poly went up 10-0 in the fifth as Heyward scored her third run of the morning following a error by Stanford second baseman Lauren Frost before Mustang senior first baseman Breana West doubled with two down to bring home Hyland.
Staked to the lead with Cal Poly's seven-run second, Hyland retired nine of the next 11 Cardinal hitters she faced. Stanford's only offense occurred in the bottom of the fifth with shortstop Kylie Sorenson hitting a two-out, two-run homer. Hyland, however, forced a fly out from the next Stanford hitter as Cal Poly rolled to its second run-rule win of 2016.
During Saturday's second game against Florida State (20-3), the Mustangs grabbed the initial lead in the top of the second as Colburn followed Hyland's leadoff walk with a run-scoring double to left center.
Cal Poly starting righthander Lindsey Chalmers (6-3) allowed a single Florida State hit in the first and retired the Seminoles in order in the second. Florida State tied the matchup in the bottom of the third as left fielder Zoe Casas produced a one-out double to score shortstop Cali Harrod.
Florida State then wrested the lead from Cal Poly in the fourth with Seminoles pinch hitter Victoria East drawing a full-count walk and center fielder Korina Rosario fouling out to muster a sacrifice fly that scored designated player Carsyn Gordon.
Trailing, Cal Poly enjoyed just one more baserunner and zero hits the remainder of the game.
Chalmers struck out three Seminoles during her four innings of work while Hyland added four strikeouts in three innings of relief.