TEMPE, Ariz. – A two-out, three-run homer from San Jose State designated player Kryn Masutani helped account for the difference Saturday morning as the Cal Poly softball team fell to the Spartans 6-5 in eight innings during the program's opening game at the Arizona State-hosted Kajikawa Classic. The Mustangs also fell in their nightcap against San Diego State, 6-3.
During Saturday's opener against San Jose State, the Spartans scored twice in the top of the first inning before Cal Poly (1-3) equalized in the bottom half through a run-scoring double from senior shortstop Kim Westlund and a bases-loaded walk by senior second baseman Ashley Romano (right).
The Mustangs grabbed a faint 3-2 lead in the third as Romano followed leadoff singles by sophomore designated player Betsy Colburn and sophomore first baseman Breana West with a run-scoring base hit down the right field line.
San Jose State, however, required just another half-inning to equalize with designated player Sharon-Renae Estrada doubling with two down before reaching home through center fielder Nicole Schultz's single up the middle.
Cal Poly stranded a baserunner in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before senior right fielder Cami Brown lined into a double play to close the bottom of the seventh.
Into the eighth inning and with the international tie-breaker rule in effect, Mustang starting lefthander Chloe Wurst (1-2) intentionally walked first baseman Jessie Hufstetler to place two Spartans on base. A fly out from Jessica Garcia advanced the two Spartans into scoring position and after right fielder Jessie Meyer popped out, Masutani delivered her three-run homer to provide San Jose State a 6-3 lead.
Cal Poly, however, enjoyed one final chance to counter. With Brown beginning the bottom of the eighth on second base, senior third baseman Jillian Andersen led off the inning with a double. A groundout from senior center fielder Lauren Moreno scored Brown before Mustang junior left fielder Emily Ceccacci singled to plate Andersen. Westlund followed with a single to send Ceccacci to second base, but a fielder's choice by senior catcher Mariah Cochiolo wiped out Westlund at second. With Mustangs on the corner bases, Colburn grounded out to end the matchup.
During Saturday's second game against San Diego State, the Aztecs grabbed the lead for certain in the top of the first through a two-out homer from right fielder Patrice Jackson. The Aztecs added another run in the second and two more in the third after Jackson pounded another two-run homer.
After San Diego State tacked on their final run in the fifth, Cal Poly scored all of its runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Romano led off Cal Poly's half of the inning with a walk, sophomore first baseman Breana West picked up her first RBI of the day with a double. Two batters later, Brown reached on an error by Aztec righthanded reliever Andi Smith with the miscue allowing West to score. After Andersen singled, Moreno added a base hit of her own to bring home Brown and finalize the scoring.
Cal Poly concludes Kajikawa Classic play against Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. PT.