Softball swept by Cal State Fullerton

Catcher Stephanie Correia went 1 for 4 Sunday against the Matadors. Ryan Sidarto - Mustang Daily

After the Cal Poly softball team defeated UC Riverside in its Big West opening series, the Mustangs looked like they were about to flip the script on what has been a difficult year.

Now, the Mustangs are starting to write a different story.

Cal Poly failed to grab a win against Cal State Fullerton in its three-game conference series this weekend, marking the second weekend in a row where the Mustangs have been swept.

It’s been a harsh fall off for what has been a streaking program in recent years. Head coach Jenny Condon’s 189-114 record in her five seasons at Cal Poly has been the best in the Big West during that stretch. She had yet to record a losing record in her tenure at Cal Poly, until last season’s 23-24 team.

Still, last season was close to a successful season in itself. The Mustangs were in the running for the Big West regular season crown after winning eight games in a nine-game stretch last year. But a series sweep to UC Davis knocked the Mustangs out of playoff contention.

The season before that, the Mustangs strung together a storied 39-10 (18-3 Big West) record, winning their second straight Big West title and two games in the Palo Alto regional of the NCAA Tournament.

This season, none of that success has carried over — at least not yet. After losing their sixth straight game against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, the Mustangs are now 6-29 and 2-7 in the Big West.

Yet, the Mustangs were one swing away from winning the series finale Sunday.

With the game tied 6-6 as the Mustangs headed into eighth, Anna Cahn belted a RBI double to center field and Rebecca Patton hit a RBI single down the left field line to put the Mustangs on top 8-6. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Titans tied the game at 8-8.

With runners on first and third, Cal State Fullerton’s Nicole Johnson knocked a three-run home run to left as the Titans walked off with an 11-8 win.

The Mustangs didn’t fare better in the first game of Saturday’s double header.

Cal State Fullerton got on the board first with a run in the first, when Torrie Anderson hit a RBI single to center.

The Mustangs answered in the sixth. Catcher Stephanie Correia hit a single down the right field line to bring home right fielder Nicole Lund, and Patton hit a RBI single to center to put the Mustangs ahead 2-1.

But, in the bottom of the sixth, Cal State Fullerton answered with two runs of its own. Cal State Fullerton’s Ashley Carter hit a RBI single, while Jena Rubio gave the Titans a 3-2 lead.

The Mustangs would go down 1-2-3 in the seventh for the loss.

Patton pitched all six innings and gave up two earned runs. She struck out two, while walking one.

In the second game, Cahn got the start and pitched all six innings. She gave up two earned runs and walked four, en route to her ninth loss of the season.

She didn’t get much help from her offense. The Titans were able to score one run in the first and two more in the sixth, but Cal Poly had no answer. The Mustangs combined for five hits in their eighth shutout loss of the season, falling 3-0.

It’s now a battle to get back to the top. With UC Riverside defeating UC Santa Barbara, the Mustangs are in sole position of last place in the Big West. The Mustangs will play Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, UC Davis and Pacific to close out the regular season.

 

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