STANFORD – Senior righthander Sierra Hyland (above) produced nine total strikeouts during two appearances Saturday to match the Cal Poly softball program record of 798 career strikeouts, but the Mustangs – after easing past UConn 3-0 in the doubleheader opener – saw a nine-game winning streak snapped by Grand Canyon in game No. 2, 5-4.
During Saturday's second game versus Grand Canyon (22-3), Cal Poly (15-7) grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward producing a two-run single and sophomore catcher Makenna Young adding a run-scoring base hit before scoring herself following a double by sophomore right fielder Crimson Kaiser.
Mustang starting freshman righthander Steffi Best kept Grand Canyon to a pair of hits through the opening two innings before conceding three runs in the third, highlighted by a two-run double from Lopes right fielder Loriann Olson. Hyland (8-5) took over for Best and, with two down, Grand Canyon tied the matchup through a run-scoring double by second baseman Camree Wartman.
Cal Poly, which stranded 11 baserunners against Grand Canyon, left two Mustangs on to close the third and one each to end the fourth, fifth and sixth. Cal Poly closed the matchup by stranding two in the bottom of the seventh.
Grand Canyon, meanwhile, produced the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth as Wartman singled to score center fielder Laynee Gomez for the 5-4 edge.
Hyland produced her first strikeout of the game in the fifth before equalizing All-American Desarie Knipfer's program record of 798 strikeouts by catching Lopes shortstop Shea Smith looking to close the sixth. Alongside Knipfer (1995-98), Hyland's 798-strikeout total trails only UC Santa Barbara's Jennifer Davis – who struck out 846 from 2004-07 – for the all-time Big West Conference lead.
During Saturday's opening victory versus UConn (5-8), Hyland struck out seven Huskies to move within two strikeouts of the Mustang record. After allowing solitary UConn hits in the first and second innings, she retired the Huskies in order during the third and fourth. Hyland conceded just her sixth walk of the season and first walk in 55.0 innings during the fifth, but set down UConn in order in the sixth and seventh to preserve Cal Poly's win.
Offensively, the Mustangs notched the game's opening run in the top of the second as Kaiser brought home Heyward with a one-out sacrifice fly.
Set down in order during the third and fourth innings, Cal Poly doubled its lead in the fifth as junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval doubled to left field with two down to plate senior pinch runner Shawna McDonough.
The Mustangs completed the scoring in the seventh with freshman pinch runner Erin Roloff able to tag up and score on a foul out down the left field line from Sandoval.
Cal Poly completes Stanford Easton Classic action on Sunday, March 12 versus the host Cardinal at 9:30 a.m.