LOS ANGELES – The Cal Poly softball program stranded five baserunners – all in scoring position – during the opening game of a Tuesday doubleheader versus Loyola Marymount and fell to the Lions at Smith Field, 4-0. Despite a homer from starting righthander Stephanie Heyward, Cal Poly also dropped the second half of the doubleheader in five innings, 9-1.
During Tuesday's opener against the Lions (21-12), Cal Poly (16-11) was held hitless by Loyola Marymount starting righthander Rachael Farrington (11-5) during the opening two innings while junior left fielder Courtney Tyler lined out with two Mustangs in scoring position to close the top of the third.
Leading off the bottom half of the third, first baseman Alex Finie capitalized for the Lions by homering with the first pitch from Mustang starting righthander Lindsey Chalmers (6-5). Shortstop Stephanie Maciel then followed with a run-scoring hit to double Loyola Marymount's lead.
Mustang senior first baseman Breana West (top) led off the fourth with a double to right field and junior pinch runner Shawna McDonough was sacrificed to third base by senior right fielder Betsy Colburn. Freshman catcher Makenna Young, however, lined out to strand McDonough.
Chalmers returned in the bottom half of the fourth to retire in LMU in order, but Cal Poly once more stranded a baserunner in scoring position in the fifth.
Loyola Marymount then doubled its lead again in the bottom of the fifth as third baseman Alicia Brown sent a two-run homer to right center field.
Cal Poly, which saw Chalmers walk just one but concede nine hits in defeat, produced one total baserunner between the sixth and seventh innings.
During game No. 2, Cal Poly was retired in order to begin the matchup and Loyola Marymount grabbed the opening lead once more as Lions center fielder Meghan von Behren homered to right center with the third pitch of the game from Mustang starter Heyward (0-1). The Lions also received a run-scoring base hit from left fielder Amanda Dirks and a bases-loaded walk by Heyward to close the first inning with a 3-0 lead.
Cal Poly stranded two baserunners in the top of the second after junior second baseman Ashley Tornio and Young strung together successive one-out singles and Loyola Marymount improved its lead to 5-0 in the bottom half as designated player Stephanie Crist scored van Behren with a single and right fielder Shianne Ybarra flew out to bring home Maciel.
Cal Poly grabbed a run back in the third as Heyward belted her first homer of the year to left field.
Loyola Marymount, however, placed the game out of reach in the third with Crist producing a grand slam to center field.
Cal Poly enjoys an 11-day break before opening Big West Conference play with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, April 2.