NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Sophomore lefthander Chloe Wurst tossed a complete game and senior center fielder Whitley Gerhart's second-inning solo home run stood as the difference as the Cal Poly softball program closed its series versus Cal State Northridge with a 2-1 triumph on Sunday afternoon at Matador Diamond.
Junior second baseman Ashley Romano added a game-high two hits for Cal Poly (17-26-1, 6-8), which saw ninth-year head coach Jenny Condon win her 100th Big West Conference game. The three-time Big West Coach of the Year honoree became just the 10th person to post 100 Big West victories in conference history.
Held to just two total runs in dropping both ends of a Saturday doubleheader to the Matadors (17-25, 3-7), Cal Poly led from the onset during Sunday's contest. After stringing together successive one-out singles in the top of the first, Romano and junior shortstop Kim Westlund worked a double steal to each move into scoring position. Junior catcher Mariah Cochiolo then followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Romano for a 1-0 lead.
Cal State Northridge, however, deadlocked the scoreline during the bottom of the first through shortstop Maylynn Mitchell's two-out, run-scoring base hit to plate second baseman Korinne Randazzo.
Not to be outdone, Cal Poly regained its one-run cushion during the top of the second as Gerhart (above) sailed her team-leading third homer of the season over the center field fence.
Emboldened with the lead, Wurst (10-12-1) retired 10 of the next 12 hitters she faced with a one-out double from right fielder Crystal Maas counting as the only Matador in scoring position until the seventh.
Cal State Northridge left fielder Madalyne Handy led off the seventh with a single, but was cut down at second after overrunning the base following a bunt by center fielder Abby Linn. After striking out first baseman Ariana Wassmer, Wurst allowed a single to Maas. Wurst, however, recovered to force Randazzo into a game-ending line out on a full-count offering.
Cal Poly opens its final home stand of the year and completes the 2013 season series against Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara when hosting the Gauchos for a 3 p.m. single contest on Wednesday, April 17. The Mustangs close the home portion of their schedule when welcoming No. 15 and Big West-leading Hawai'i for an April 19-20 three-game set.