SAN LUIS OBISPO – Senior third baseman Noa Yakir (above) became the first Cal Poly softball player to finish a game 4-for-4 in three years and junior starting righthander Steffi Best struck out a career high six batters, but Hawai'i pushed across four unearned runs during Saturday afternoon's doubleheader opener to secure a 4-0 victory versus the Cal Poly softball program. Cal Poly also dropped game No. 2 in five innings at Bob Janssen Field, 12-0, after committing three errors.
During Saturday's opening matchup, Cal Poly starting junior righthander Steffi Best limited Hawai'i to a solitary hit through the opening two innings. Leading off the third inning for Hawai'i, shortstop Chardonnay Pastastico reached on a Mustang fielding error – a miscue that eventually extended the inning and allowed first baseman Callee Heen and second baseman Cheeks Ramos to produce run-scoring singles to hand the Rainbow Wahine a 2-0 lead.
Offensively, Cal Poly enjoyed leadoff hits in each of the first four innings, but advanced just one baserunner past first until the fourth, when senior right fielder Crimson Kaiser reached third and junior designated player Shelby Jeffries advanced to second with two down. Hawai'i starting righthander Izzy Dino (8-5), however, struck out freshman shortstop Maddie Amos to keep Cal Poly scoreless.
Cal Poly stranded two more baserunners to close the fifth while Hawai'i added its final two runs in the top of the seventh after Heen drew a bases loaded walk and right fielder Mikaela Gandia-Mak singled up the middle with two down to plate center fielder Britnee Rossi.
With her four hits, Yakir became the first Cal Poly player to post a 4-for-4 performance at the plate since All-American Sierra Hyland accomplished feat in a March 3, 2016 home victory versus St. Peter's.
During Saturday's second game, the Rainbow Wahine (24-10, 5-1) scored the eventual winning runs in the top of the first after Ramos produced a two-run double to plate Heen and Rossi.
The Rainbow Wahine then tacked on nine more runs in the third with Heen, left fielder Jennifer Iseri and third baseman Nicole Lopez all producing two-run hits.
Cal Poly produced two of its three hits in the bottom of the first with sophomore center fielder Noellah Ramos and senior catcher Makenna Young stringing together successive one-out singles. Hawai'i starting righthander Brittany Hitchcock (12-5), however, retired the next nine Mustangs to hold Cal Poly scoreless.
Hawai'i, which produced 13 hits, added its final run in the fourth.
Cal Poly (7-29, 1-5) continues action with an April 13-14 three-game series at UC Davis. The series gets underway with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 13.