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April 9, 2012

Mustang Softball Produces Historic 4-3 Victory at Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. – Sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo's two-run homer during the top of the seventh sent the Cal Poly softball program's Monday matchup against Fresno State into extra innings and sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund's two-out, run-scoring single during the top of the 10th stood as the winning run as the Mustangs produced a 4-3 victory at Bulldog Diamond.

Freshman righthander Jordan Yates (2-7) scattered eight hits in a complete-game effort for Cal Poly (9-25), which snapped a 17-season, 12-game losing slide at Bulldog Diamond. During Cal Poly's lengthiest game since downing Utah State, 2-1, in 13 innings on March 8, 2009, Yates (above) tossed a career-high 133 pitches to earn her first collegiate road victory.

Fresno State (27-16) starting righthander Michelle Moses (17-11) retired the Mustangs in order during the first, second, fourth and fifth innings and allowed just two hits until Cal Poly opened the scoring during the top of the sixth. Junior third baseman Shea Williams opened the inning with a single through the left side of the infield and, with sophomore Ashley Romano on as a pinch runner, sophomore right fielder Cami Brown slapped a grounder that Bulldog third baseman Vonnie Martin sailed over the head of Fresno State first baseman Stesha Brazil. The miscue sent both Mustangs into scoring position and senior left fielder Nora Sobczak promptly handed the Mustangs a 1-0 lead by singling through the left side to score Romano.

Fresno State's riposte was quick as Brazil led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer that clanged off the left field foul pole. Martin followed by reaching on a fielding error by Mustang sophomore second baseman Jillian Andersen before Bulldog left fielder Andrea Ortega drew a five-pitch walk. Freshman pinch hitter Kelly Megee then produced her first college hit with a two-run single into left field that provided Fresno State a 3-1 advantage.

Similarly, the Mustangs answered right back during the top of the seventh. With one out, junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart drew a nine-pitch walk and, two pitches later, Cochiolo laced her second homer of the season over the left field fence to deadlock the scoreline.

The Mustangs were retired in order during the eighth and threatened during the ninth through a one-out double from freshman designated player Celina Lafrades. Brown, however, produced a one-out single during the top of the 10th before moving to second on a two-out walk from Andersen. Westlund then delivered the game-winning blow with a single to left center field and Brown, racing from second, slid successfully under the tag of Bulldog catcher Kaitlin Griffin.

Yates, meanwhile, stranded a Bulldog baserunner during both the eighth and ninth. After Fresno State shortstop Maria Sio doubled with one out during the bottom of the 10th, Yates induced a line out and pop out to preserve victory.

Cal Poly returns to Big West Conference play when hosting Cal State Northridge for a three-game April 14-15 set. The series opens with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday at Bob Janssen Field.