SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart (above) homered and the Cal Poly softball program collected 10 hits, but in a Big West Conference opening game delayed an hour by rain on the central coast, the Mustangs fell against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday afternoon at Bob Janssen Field, 10-2, in six innings.
With the second game of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader washed away due to extended afternoon rain, the Mustangs will complete their three-game series against Cal State Fullerton with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Sunday, April 1. Play-by-play commentary with Dave Grant and live stats of the doubleheader can be found HERE.
During Saturday's affair, Cal State Fullerton (13-16, 1-0) loaded the bases with one out during the top of the first before Titan first baseman Anissa Young produced a sacrifice fly to plate center fielder Ashley Carter. The next Titan batter, right fielder Tiffany Sheffler, then tripled to score designated player Eliza Crawford and third baseman Nicole Johnson for a 3-0 lead.
The Titans increased their advantage to 4-0 during the second through a one-out sacrifice fly from Carter that scored left fielder Leesa Harris.
Cal Poly returned during the bottom of the second to collect three hits – including a leadoff triple by third baseman Celina Lafrades, a sequence which ultimately ended with the freshman getting thrown out at home plate trying to advance on an overthrown ball – but failed to score.
The Titans took advantage of Cal Poly's squandered opportunity as Johnson sent the first pitch of the third inning over the fence in left center field to increase the Titan lead to 5-0.
The Mustangs (7-21, 0-1) eventually broke through against Cal State Fullerton starting lefthander Desiree Ybarra (8-9) during the bottom of the third with sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang producing a two-out double to center field that scored sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund.
The Titans, however, added another run during the top of the fourth following a Mustang error and, after an hour break in action, went up 10-1 with a four-run sixth inning highlighted by a three-run double from Johnson.
Junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart salvaged a run for the Mustangs during the bottom of the sixth with her second homer of the year, but Cal Poly ultimately fell with the eight-run rule in effect.
Mustang freshman lefthander Chloe Wurst (2-11), who struck out the Titan side during the third, suffered the loss.