LOS ANGELES – Junior catcher Noa Yakir's one-out single up the middle in the top of the eighth inning was the decisive blow for the Cal Poly softball program Saturday evening as the Mustangs produced a 4-3 victory against Maryland to close second-day action at the UCLA-hosted Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. Cal Poly, however, dropped Saturday's opening game to No. 5 UCLA after the Bruins produced an eight-run first inning in a 13-0, five-inning decision inside Easton Stadium.
During Saturday's 4-3, eight-inning victory versus Maryland (0-4), senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval's two-out single down the right field line in the top of the sixth inning scored Yakir to provide Cal Poly a 3-2 lead.
Maryland, however, forced extra innings with two down in the bottom of the seventh as a passed ball by Yakir behind the plate allowed Terrapins left fielder Amanda Brashear to score and tie the game, 3-3.
Sophomore righthanded reliever Steffi Best (1-0) – on after freshman righthander Dakota Casper allowed seven hits and struck out two through the first five and two-thirds innings – struck out Maryland catcher Anna Kufta to close the seventh. With the international tiebreaker rule in effect to begin the top half of the eighth, junior right fielder Crimson Kaiser began on second base. Freshman pinch runner Jackie Napoli came on and after junior first baseman Megan Nordin grounded out, Yakir produced her first RBI of 2018 for the eventual game-winning run.
Best allowed a walk in the bottom of the seventh but, with Terrapins at the corner bases, forced a fly out from right fielder JoJo McRae to end the matchup.
During Saturday's opener against No. 5 UCLA (3-0), the Bruins managed all the runs they required with one out in the bottom of the first inning. With Bruins shortstop Briana Perez doubling to lead off and left fielder Aaliyah Jordan singling up the middle, Cal Poly starting righthander Lindsey Chalmers (1-1) hit center fielder Bubba Nickles to load the bases. Chalmers then walked UCLA third baseman Briana Tautalafua and catcher Paige Halstead. Garcia and Shaw followed with run-scoring singles before Perez cleared the bases with a three-run double off of Mustang sophomore righthanded reliever Shelby Jeffries for a 7-0 UCLA lead. Jordan added a run-scoring single to complete UCLA's first-inning production.
The Bruins tacked on a single run in the third and four more in the third for the 13-0 scoreline.
Offensively, Cal Poly was held to two hits by a pair of UCLA pitchers with senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar singling to lead off the game and sophomore first baseman Hailey Martin producing a base hit to begin the fourth.
Cal Poly completes Winsberg Tournament action with a 2 p.m. matchup versus UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 11.