NORTHRIDGE – A fifth inning solo home run by sophomore second baseman Hannah Ramelot broke a scoreless deadlock and a two-run single from junior first baseman Hailey Martin provided the winning margin as the Cal Poly softball program opened Saturday action at the CSUN/LMU Tournament with a 3-1 victory versus California Baptist at CSUN's Matador Field. Cal Poly swept the Saturday doubleheader by edging Dartmouth, 5-4, in game No. 2.
During Saturday's opening matchup against first-time opponent California Baptist (11-14), the two sides combined to strand 13 baserunners during the opening four-and-a-half innings. Ramelot, however, drove the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth over the left field wall for her first career homer. Senior third baseman Noa Yakir then drew a five-pitch walk before sophomore center fielder Noellah Ramos reached on a Lancers fielding error. The pair both moved into scoring position after senior catcher Makenna Young successfully executed a sacrifice bunt before scoring through Martin's base hit down the left field line.
In the circle for Cal Poly, junior righthander Steffi Best scattered eight hits through the initial six innings, but struck out five to hold the Lancers scoreless. California Baptist eventually broke through in the seventh as designated player Amanda Argomaniz singled home pinch runner Makenna Stram with two down. Best, however, forced shortstop Anise Avalos into a game-ending lineout to strand two more Lancers baserunners.
Best walked just one and didn't hit a batter in victory.
During Cal Poly's second victory against Dartmouth (2-11), the Big Green notched the game's opening run in the bottom of the first before the Mustangs equalized in the top of the second through right fielder Crimson Kaiser's (above) second homer of 2019 – a leadoff shot to left field.
The Mustangs then surged ahead in the third with Ramos tripling to left field with one down before scoring through a Dartmouth fielding error. A run-scoring single by senior left fielder Sydney James highlighted a two-run fourth inning before freshman designated player Lily Amos brought home Young with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to push Cal Poly's lead to 5-1.
Dartmouth, which outhit the Mustangs, 7-4, responded with two runs during the bottom half of the sixth to cut Cal Poly's lead to 5-3. During the bottom of the seventh, Big Green catcher Schae Nelson tripled to score pinch runner Emily Lipsett with one out and bring Cal Poly's lead down to one. Best, however, relieved righthander Dakota Casper in the circle and forced a groundout from shortstop Calista Almer before striking out right fielder Billie McFayden to end the game.
Freshman lefthander Krystyna Allman (3-5) earned the victory for Cal Poly after allowing five hits during the first five and one-third innings.
Cal Poly (6-20) closes CSUN/LMU Tournament action on Sunday, March 17 with a 10:30 a.m. matchup against Illinois at Loyola Marymount.