LOS ANGELES – Eight different Mustangs collected hits during the Cal Poly softball program's Friday morning opening matchup versus Loyola Marymount at the CSUN/LMU Tournament, but a seven-run second inning from the Lions lifted the hosts to a 9-4 victory. Cal Poly also dropped game No. 2 of its doubleheader to Illinois, 9-1 (five innings), after the Fighting Illini posted a five-run first inning.
During Friday's opening matchup versus Loyola Marymount (16-10), Cal Poly grabbed the game's initial lead in the top of the second inning as freshman designated player Lily Amos plated sophomore pinch runner Sarah Wulff with a single up the middle of the infield before sophomore center fielder Noellah Ramos (above) scored freshman shortstop Maddie Amos with a two-out base hit.
The Lions, however, struck back in the bottom half of the second with their seven-run effort as two hit batters, a passed ball, three run-scoring hits and a sacrifice fly contributed to Loyola Marymount taking a 7-2 lead.
Limited to one hit between the third and fourth innings, Cal Poly trimmed its deficit with two runs in the top half of the fifth. After Ramos reached on a leadoff error from Lions shortstop Megan Dedrick, senior catcher Makenna Young singled before Lions righthanded reliever Linnay Wilson (2-0) hit junior first baseman Hailey Martin to load the bases. Mustang freshman second baseman Kianah Corey then produced a sacrifice fly to bring home Ramos before Maddie Amos doubled to plate Young and cut Loyola Marymount's lead to 7-4.
Loyola Marymount, however, scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to cement the final score.
During Friday's second game against Illinois (14-4), the Illini notched their five-run first inning on just three hits with the biggest blow a three-run homer off the bat of first baseman Maddison Demers.
Kept to one combined hit during the first two innings, Cal Poly notched its lone run in the third as Martin brought home senior third baseman Noa Yakir with a sacrifice fly.
Illinois, however, added its sixth run in the fourth before pushing three runs across in the bottom of the fifth through a two-run triple by right fielder Rhein Trochim and a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Veronica Ruelius to complete the run-rule decision.
Cal Poly (4-20) continues CSUN/LMU Tournament action at CSUN's Matador Field on Saturday, March 16 versus Cal Baptist (10 a.m.) and Dartmouth (12:15 p.m.).