SAN LUIS OBISPO – Senior left fielder Courtney Tyler produced three RBI and freshman righthander Steffi Best tossed three innings of relief to earn her first collegiate victory as the Cal Poly softball team opened Saturday's doubleheader at the program's ShareSLO Mustang Classic with an 11-0, five-inning victory against Sacred Heart. Cal Poly then completed the sweep with a 2-1, eight-inning evening win against Middle Tennessee State as senior righthander Sierra Hyland tied the Mustang program record with her 64th career victory.
During Saturday's opening victory versus Sacred Heart (3-4), Cal Poly (12-6) grabbed the game's only lead with a three-run first inning. Junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval opened Cal Poly's day with a leadoff single before junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward and senior starting righthander Sierra Hyland drew successive walks. Senior Courtney Tyler then produced a two-run single to right field. Sophomore catcher Makenna Young followed by scoring Hyland with a fielder's choice and, with Mustangs at the corner bases, Tyler reached home on a delayed steal. Freshman designated player Hailey Martin and Sandoval then closed Cal Poly's six-run first inning with RBI singles.
Cal Poly tacked on three more runs in the second as Hyland followed a Heyward leadoff triple with a sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, sophomore first baseman Megan Nordin produced a two-run single to plate freshman designated player Hailey Martin and senior pinch runner Shawna McDonough.
The Mustangs completed their scoring with a two-run third as Tyler earned a sacrifice fly RBI before sophomore catcher Noa Yakir produced a run-scoring base hit.
In the circle, Hyland struck out the Sacred Heart side in the second inning before giving way to Best, who allowed three hits without a walk.
During Saturday's second game, Cal Poly grabbed a 1-0 lead versus Middle Tennessee State (9-8) in the third inning as Tyler doubled with two down to plate Hyland.
The Blue Raiders, however, tied the matchup in the fifth as catcher Precious Birdsong produced a two-out single to bring home shortstop Summer Burgess.
With the international tiebreaker in effect to begin the eighth inning, Hyland (6-4) – who relieved starting junior righthander Lindsey Chalmers following Birdsong's game-tying hit – struck out two Blue Raiders to keep the scoreline level.
Mustang senior shortstop Ashley Tornio began the bottom of the eighth on second base. After Heyward produced a sacrifice bunt to move Tornio to third base, Hyland lashed a double to center field to hand Cal Poly the win.
With the victory, Hyland – who struck out four against zero hits in three and one-third innings – matched the program career wins record of 64, set by All-America selection Desarie Knipfer (1995-98).
Cal Poly closes Mustang Classic action on Sunday, March 5 versus Saint Mary's at 12:30 p.m.
2017 ShareSLO Mustang Classic
Friday, March 3
Saint Mary's 5, Middle Tennessee State 4
Saint Mary's 2, Sacred Heart 1
Cal Poly 3, Middle Tennessee State 0
Cal Poly 2, Sacred Heart 0
Saturday, March 4
Saint Mary's 5, Sacred Heart 3
Cal Poly 11, Sacred Heart 0 (5)
Middle Tennessee 8, Saint Mary's 0
Cal Poly 2, Middle Tennessee 1 (8)
Sunday, March 5
Sacred Heart vs. Middle Tennessee State, 10 a.m.
Saint Mary's at Cal Poly, 12:30 p.m.