LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Sophomore righthander Rebecca Patton struck out six BYU hitters and senior designated player Anna Cahn's third-inning home run provided the Cal Poly softball team a brief lead on Friday afternoon, but the 23rd-ranked Cougars scored five times without replay to hand the Mustangs an 8-6 defeat during the opening game for both programs of the UNLV-hosted Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Cahn (above) added a pair of solo homers during the nightcap against No. 3 Tennessee, but the longballs proved the only offense Cal Poly could muster in suffering an 11-2, six-inning loss versus the Volunteers.
During Friday's opening game at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park, Cal Poly (1-6) erased a 1-0 deficit with two outs during the bottom half of the first inning as Patton doubled into right center field to plate freshman second baseman Ashley Romano before Mustang senior catcher Stephanie Correia secured her first two RBI of 2011 by singling to score Cahn and Patton.
BYU (4-3) added successive runs during its half of the third after Patton issued consecutive bases-loaded walks to first baseman Katie Manuma and right fielder Delaney Willard. Cal Poly, however, answered just a half inning later. Romano led off the bottom half of the third by singling into center field. The next Mustang, junior right fielder Nicole Lund, twice fouled off pitches before drawing a full-count walk. Cahn then swatted her second homer of the season over the left field fence to provide Cal Poly a 6-3 advantage.
Cahn took over in the circle for Patton to begin the fourth, but yielded three runs as the Cougars deadlocked the scoreline. After BYU second baseman Kristen Delahoussaye's ground out scored center fielder Jessica Dugas, Cahn intentionally walked catcher Jessica Fitu. Third baseman Caschjen Atagi followed with a single into right field to score shortstop J.C. Clayton before Manuma's fielder's choice plated designated player Messerschmid to tie the matchup at 6-6.
The Mustangs mustered just the three hits the remainder of the game as BYU notched runs in the top of the fifth and sixth to edge Cal Poly.
Cal Poly received two hits apiece from Romano, Patton and Lund, who picked her third double of 2011.
During the nightcap, shortstop Madison Shipman provided Tennessee (6-0) the only lead of the game in the bottom of the first by doubling with two outs to score right fielder Kat Dotson.
Cal Poly tied the game during the top of the second via Cahn's first homer of the night, but the Volunteers countered with three runs during the bottom half of the frame to increase their lead to 4-1.
Cahn lashed her second homer of the game to left field during the fourth. However, Tennessee center fielder Kelly Grieve hit a two-run homer during the bottom half of the inning to provide the Volunteers a 6-2 lead and put the game out of reach.
Patton (0-3) suffered the loss for Cal Poly, which continues Louisville Slugger Desert Classic action on Saturday versus Boise State (9 a.m.) and Utah State (11:15 a.m.).