PALO ALTO, Calif. – Sophomore third baseman Kim Westlund (above) scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch during the bottom of the seventh inning and junior righthander Rebecca Patton struck out three James Madison hitters against zero walks to earn the victory in relief as the Cal Poly softball program opened play on Saturday evening at the Stanford-hosted Louisville Slugger Classic with a 4-3 victory against the Dukes. Cal Poly, however, dropped its second contest against San Jose State, 8-4.
During Saturday's opening contest – the Cal Poly program's first meeting against James Madison – Patton (5-4) yielded her only run during three innings of work during the top of the seventh, as the Dukes (8-11) deadlocked the matchup at 3-3 through freshman designated player Sarah Mooney's sacrifice fly that plated freshman right fielder Haley Widner.
Sophomore left fielder Jillian Andersen walked to lead off Cal Poly's half of the seventh before being cut down at third base on a Westlund double to left field. Westlund, however, advanced to third during the sequence and after sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang grounded out, scored on a wild pitch by James Madison starting righthander Reba DePriest (3-4).
Cal Poly (7-12) opened the scoring against James Madison during the bottom of the first with Westlund doubling to left field to plate senior Nora Sobczak. After the Dukes answered with a run during the top of the second, Cal Poly added a second run during the bottom half of the frame as a groundout from freshman second baseman Celina Lafrades scored junior pinch runner Whitley Gerhart.
James Madison once again tied the matchup with a run in the fourth before the Mustangs surged ahead once more in the sixth with Lafrades doubling into left field to score Gerhart for a 3-2 advantage.
Mustang freshman lefthander Chloe Wurst tossed the opening four innings for the Mustangs, scattering eight hits and striking out two Dukes.
During the nightcap against San Jose State (14-12), Cal Poly opened the scoring during the top of the first as Andersen produced a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Sobczak. San Jose State, however, countered with three runs during the bottom half of the inning before extending its lead to 5-1 with two more during the fourth.
The Mustangs closed their gap to 5-4 with a three-run effort during the top of the sixth. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Romano opened the Cal Poly rally with a two-run double that scored Westlund and Andersen before Vogelsang closed it by singling up the middle to score Romano.
San Jose State, however, answered with three runs during the bottom half of the sixth to put the game away.
Freshman lefthander Jordan Yates (0-3) suffered the loss against San Jose State for Cal Poly, which concludes Louisville Slugger Classic action on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. against No. 10 Stanford.