NORTHRIDGE – Freshman left fielder Lily Amos (above) provided the Cal Poly softball program a brief lead Saturday afternoon with a two-run double in the third inning, but CSUN shortstop Jessica Alexander's two-run homer helped account for the difference at Matador Diamond as the Mustangs fell in the series finale, 5-3.
Cal Poly starting righthander Steffi Best retired CSUN in order to close the first inning before Matadors first baseman Kiarra Crockett-Pope led off the second with a single off the top of the center field wall. Shortstop Jessica Alexander then doubled off the center field wall to score pinch runner Puti Hernandez and hand CSUN the 1-0 lead.
Cal Poly, which outhit CSUN, 8-5, saw its first eight hitters retired in order by CSUN starting righthander Jillian James (15-10) before sophomore second baseman Sarah Wulff singled with two down in the third. James then hit sophomore center fielder Noellah Ramos before issuing a full-count walk to senior third baseman Noa Yakir. Amos subsequently unloaded two of the three bases with a single to right center that plated Wulff and Ramos for a 2-1 Cal Poly lead.
Handed the lead, Best set down the Matadors to complete the third. With one down in the fourth, however, Best hit right fielder Megan Stevens and, two batters later, Alexander lined a two-run homer over the right field wall to provide her side the 3-2 advantage.
After CSUN tacked on its final two runs in the sixth, Cal Poly enjoyed one final opportunity to tie the matchup in the top of the seventh. After the Mustangs loaded the bases with one down through a hit batsman, fielder's choice and an infield single, Yakir trimmed Cal Poly's deficit to 5-3 by singling home freshman pinch runner Krystyna Allman. James, however, struck out Amos before forcing senior right fielder Crimson Kaiser into a series-ending lineout.
Cal Poly (9-33, 3-9) plays two of its final three Big West Conference regular season series at home, beginning with an April 27-28, three-game set versus Long Beach State. The series gets underway with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 27.