STANFORD – In becoming the Cal Poly softball program's all-time leader with her 65th career victory, senior righthander Sierra Hyland (above) struck out 14 Grand Canyon hitters in a complete-game, two-hit shutout as the Mustangs opened the Stanford Easton Classic with a 1-0 triumph versus Grand Canyon. Cal Poly then completed the Friday sweep as junior righthander Lindsey Chalmers struck out five in a 2-0 victory versus Lehigh.
During Friday's opener versus Grand Canyon (20-3), Hyland (7-4) broke the previous Cal Poly pitching record of 64 victories set by All-American Desarie Knipfer (1995-98) by retiring the first 12 Lopes hitters she faced. Grand Canyon center fielder Laynee Gomez broke up the perfect game by singling to lead off the fifth, but the ensuing Lopes batter – third baseman Sierra Smith – hit into a double play.
Hyland, whose 14 strikeouts were one shy of her career high, allowed leadoff hits in the sixth and seventh, but the Lopes failed to advance a runner past first during the game.
Hyland, who hasn't allowed a walk in 50.1 innings, faced just two Grand Canyon hitters over the minimum.
With the 14-strikeout performance, Hyland also moved within nine strikeouts of tying Knipfer's program record of 798.
Offensively, Cal Poly (14-6) produced eight hits before pushing across the decisive run in the top of the seventh. Sophomore right fielder Crimson Kaiser reached to leadoff on an error by Grand Canyon second baseman Camree Wartman. With senior Shawna McDonough on to pinch run, Mustang sophomore first baseman Megan Nordin successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval doubled to score McDonough for the margin of victory.
During Friday's second victory versus Lehigh (4-7), Cal Poly grabbed the only lead of the game during the bottom of the third. Sandoval walked to lead off before junior shortstop Chelsea Convissar singled. After junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward moved both Mustangs into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Hyland brought home Sandoval with a fielder's choice.
In the circle, Chalmers (6-2) – who lowered her Big West Conference leading ERA to 0.70 during the victory – kept Lehigh to four hits and just one through the opening three innings. The Mountain Hawks advanced just one baserunner as far as third versus Chalmers, who threw 72 of her 100 pitches for strikes.
Cal Poly tacked on its second run in the fifth with Convissar swatting a leadoff home run – her second of 2017 – over the left center field wall.
Winners of eight straight games, Cal Poly continues Stanford Easton Classic play on Saturday, March 11 versus UConn (9:30 a.m.) and Grand Canyon (2 p.m.).