NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Sophomore righthander Jordan Yates tossed a complete-game six-hitter on Saturday afternoon, but a two-out, two-run homer by Cal State Northridge second baseman Korinne Randazzo during the bottom of the seventh inning propelled the Matadors to a 3-2 victory. Cal State Northridge also captured game No. 1 at Matador Diamond, 7-0.
After being shutout during Saturday's opener, Cal Poly (16-26-1, 5-8) struck immediately in game No. 2. Mustang junior third baseman Jillian Andersen – who matched a career high with three hits – lined the third pitch she saw from Cal State Northridge starting righthander Shelly Tait (7-9) into center field, where Matador Abby Linn mishandled the bounding ball and allowed Andersen to reach third. Two batters later, Mustang shortstop Kim Westlund drove a single down the left field line to score Andersen for an early 1-0 Cal Poly lead.
Mustang starting sophomore righthander Jordan Yates (4-11) opened her tenure by retiring nine of the first 10 hitters she faced and failed to allow a hit until yielding a solo home run down the right field line to third baseman Tiffany Lucero to open the fourth.
Cal Poly, however, returned in the top of the fifth to reclaim its lead. With Mustang junior second baseman Ashley Romano (top) at first, Westlund – who also matched a career high with three hits – drew a four-pitch walk. Two batters later, junior catcher Mariah Cochiolo dropped a single in front of Linn in center field to plate Romano for the go-ahead run.
Yates, who struck out three hitters, stranded a Cal State Northridge baserunner at second to close the fifth and sixth innings before the Matadors pushed across the decisive runs in the seventh. After retiring Linn (line out) and left fielder Mia Pagano (fly out) on two pitches, Yates allowed a single up the middle to right fielder Crystal Maas. Two pitches later, Randazzo lofted her two-run, walk-off effort over the left field wall.
During Saturday's opening contest, Cal Poly was retired in order during the top of the first and the Matadors notched all of the runs they needed in the bottom half of the inning. Randazzo led off with a single up the middle before advancing to second through a Lucero sacrifice bunt. Mustang sophomore starting righthander Chloe Wurst (9-12-1) then struck catcher Mikayla Thielges with a pitch before a fielder's choice off the bat of designated player Sydney House loaded the bases. A second hit batter – this time shortstop Maylynn Mitchell – forced home Lucero for Cal State Northridge's opening run before a fielding error by Westlund on a grounder struck by first baseman Tanna Bindi allowed Thielges and House to score and up the Matador lead to 3-0.
Wurst returned to retire the Matadors in order during the second and third innings before Cal State Northridge doubled its lead in the fourth. After striking out Bindi to open her inning, Wurst allowed a double to Linn that fell just inside the left field foul line. Matador left fielder Jennifer Tyler followed with a single through the left side of the infield before Maas doubled to score both pincher runner Leann Lopez and Linn. Randazzo capped Cal State Northridge's onslaught by doubling to right center to plate Maas for the 6-0 lead.
Cal Poly advanced just one baserunner into scoring position until the fifth, when a sacrifice bunt from junior right fielder Cami Brown pushed sophomore pinch runner Emily Ceccacci to third and senior center fielder Whitley Gerhart to second with two down. Matador starting righthander Brianna Elder (2-2), however, forced Mustang junior third baseman Jillian Andersen to ground out to end any threat.
Cal State Northridge added its seventh run in the fifth through a run-scoring groundout from Tyler.
Romano led Cal Poly with two hits during the second game while Mustang freshman lefthander Nicole Innamorato struck out four Matadors in two and two-thirds innings of relief work.
The Mustangs and Matadors conclude their three-game set on Sunday, April 14 at 12 noon.