SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore righthander Jordan Yates (right) tossed a complete-game four-hitter and junior shortstop Kim Westlund's two-out, two-run single during the bottom of the fourth inning marked the decisive blow as the Cal Poly softball team concluded its season series against Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Bob Janssen Field.
UC Santa Barbara (25-17, 6-6), which opened the 2013 Blue-Green series by sweeping an April 10 doubleheader from Cal Poly (18-26-1, 7-8), notched its lone run of Wednesday's matchup during the top of the first inning as shortstop Keilani Jennings produced a two-out double to score center fielder Jessica Soria.
Cal Poly erased the early deficit, however, in the bottom half of the first. After Mustang baserunners were twice cut down at second base, Westlund drew a full-count walk. Freshman first baseman Breana West then dropped her first career triple down the right field line to score Westlund.
The Mustangs returned during the bottom of the second to load the bases against UC Santa Barbara starting righthander and reigning Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week honoree Alex Pingree (6-3), but Gaucho second baseman Kathryn Pilpil killed off Cal Poly's rally by making an overhead catch of second baseman Ashley Romano's fly ball to short right.
Cal Poly, however, found the winning runs during the bottom of the fourth. Junior right fielder Cami Brown followed senior center fielder Whitley Gerhart's leadoff single with a one-out base hit through the left side of the infield. A single to short left field by junior third baseman Jillian Andersen loaded the bases and they remained packed after a Romano fielder's choice forced Gerhart out at home. Westlund though broke the 1-1 deadlock by tucking a single inside third base and down the left field line to score Andersen and Brown.
After yielding UC Santa Barbara's lone run during the first, Yates allowed just two Gaucho baserunners to reach as far as second the remainder of the day. Yates, who retired UC Santa Barbara in order during the fifth and seventh, required just 80 pitches to dispatch of the Gauchos.
Wednesday's victory helped Cal Poly snap an eight-game slide against UC Santa Barbara that dated to the 2011 season.
Cal Poly concludes its 2013 home schedule at Bob Janssen Field when hosting No. 15 Hawai'i for a three-game April 19-20 series. The set opens with a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 19.