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Mustangs Rally to Split Saturday Doubleheader versus Pacific

Mustangs Rally to Split Saturday Doubleheader versus Pacific

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore lefthander and reigning Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week selection Chloe Week allowed five hits in a complete-game shutout as the Cal Poly softball program closed a Saturday doubleheader against Pacific with a 3-0 victory at Bob Janssen Field. The Mustangs, however, dropped Saturday's opening contest, 7-0.

Junior third baseman Jillian Andersen – Cal Poly's leading hitter with a .324 average – added two RBI during the second-game victory for the Mustangs (16-21-1, 5-3), who remained a game behind both second-place Pacific (21-18, 6-2) and Long Beach State (24-15, 6-2) in the Big West standings following Saturday's split. Cal Poly seeks its first series victory against the Tigers in three seasons when concluding the three-game series on Sunday, April 7 at 12 noon. 

During Saturday's closing contest, Cal Poly jumped on Pacific starting righthander Dani Bonnett (4-9) during the bottom of the first inning as junior shortstop Kim Westlund (right) singled up the middle of the infield to drive home junior second baseman Ashley Romano. The Mustangs doubled their advantage an inning later as Andersen also singled up the middle to score senior center fielder Whitley Gerhart.

Retired in order during the third, Cal Poly returned in the fourth inning to finalize the victory. With one down, junior right fielder Cami Brown reached on a throwing error by Tigers shortstop Taylor Brink. Romano followed with a nine-pitch walk before Andersen claimed her second RBI of the day by singling through the right side of the infield to plate Brown. 

Wurst, meanwhile, allowed just four hits through the opening five innings and let just two Pacific baserunners into scoring position the entirety of the game. She failed to allow a walk in winning for the third time during Cal Poly's previous five games.

Alongside Andersen, Westlund finished with two hits for Cal Poly. 

During Saturday's opening game, the Mustangs stranded a pair of baserunners during each of the opening two innings before Pacific took advantage of Cal Poly's inefficiency with a four-run third kickstarted by left fielder Megan Foglesong's one-out RBI single.

Pacific furthered its advantage to 5-0 in the fourth through a one-out double from first baseman Nikki Armagost that scored Hom. Hom and Armagost then helped Pacific finalize the 7-0 scoreline with run-scoring hits in the fifth. 

Cal Poly's best chance to break Pacific's hegemony occurred during the sixth, as Westlund and fellow juniors Mariah Cochiolo and Lauren Moreno all singled to load the bases with one down. However, Pacific starting righthander Tori Shepard (5-4) forced Gerhart to fly out and junior first baseman Madi Vogelsang to pop out to end the threat.

Westlund also collected two hits during Saturday's opener for Cal Poly, which stranded 10 baserunners during the first game.