SAN LUIS OBISPO – Senior righthander Sierra Hyland tossed a complete game, but the Cal Poly softball program couldn't overcome a two-run homer from Long Beach State shortstop Nicole Fry in the top of the first inning as the Mustangs dropped their series finale versus the 49ers at Bob Janssen Field, 2-0.
Hyland (17-8) opened Saturday's matchup by conceding a leadoff double to Long Beach State center fielder Sammi Gyerman and after recording two successive outs, she allowed Fry's two-run shot.
Facing a deficit from the onset, Cal Poly responded with junior shortstop Chelsea Convissar (above) producing a leadoff double herself before Long Beach State starting righthander Cielo Meza (3-0) struck junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval. Junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward, however, lined into a double play with Sandoval caught off first base before Meza ended the threat by forcing a fly out from senior left fielder Courtney Tyler.
Hyland returned to retire Long Beach State in order during the second and third innings, but Cal Poly – after receiving consecutive singles from Convissar and Sandoval to lead off the third – stranded the bases loaded.
Hyland kept the Cal Poly deficit at 2-0 by retiring 12 straight hitters until 49ers left fielder Hannah Cookson doubled with two down in the fifth. Hyland, however, didn't allow a 49er baserunner past first during the final six innings.
Cal Poly failed to contribute a hit between the fourth and sixth innings before mounting a final rally in the seventh. With one down, freshman designated player Shelby Jeffries drew a full-count walk before sophomore pinch hitter Megan Nordin singled. Cielo, however, forced a pop up from Convissar before striking out Sandoval to finish the day.
Cal Poly plays three of its final four Big West Conference series on the road, beginning with an April 22-23 set at CSUN. The three-game series gets underway with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 22.