SAN LUIS OBISPO – Junior center fielder Chelsea Convissar's team-leading third home run of 2017 provided the Cal Poly softball program the go-ahead runs Friday evening and senior righthander Sierra Hyland struck out four Hawai'i hitters as the Mustangs opened a three-game series with a 4-2 victory at Bob Janssen Field.
Hyland (20-10), who became the first player in program history with multiple 20-win seasons (she was 26-8 as a freshman in 2014), threw her 99th complete game in Friday's win.
Cal Poly (32-16, 8-8) took Friday's opening lead in the bottom of the first inning. After junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward drew a two-out walk, Hyland dropped a single in front of Hawai'i center fielder Danielle Garcielita. Heyward raced from first base and scored as Garcielita's throw sailed wide of catcher Callee Heen.
Handed the early lead, Hyland kept Hawai'i to a pair of hits through the opening three innings before the Rainbow Wahine pushed across two runs in the top of the fourth to grab the lead. After designated player Heather Cameron singled, right fielder Chardonnay Pantastico tied the game with a double into the right center field gap. Left fielder Ulu Matagiese then reached on a Mustang error before shortstop Laura Jaquez singled down the right field line to plate Pantastico for a 2-1 Hawai'i lead.
Cal Poly, however, answered back with the decisive runs in the bottom half of the fourth. With sophomore designated player Megan Nordin stroking a leadoff double, Convissar (above) followed with a two-out homer over the center field wall. Convissar's homer was the first by a Mustang in 15 games at Bob Janssen Field this season.
The Mustangs then padded the lead as Heyward, Hyland and senior left fielder Courtney Tyler opened the bottom of the fifth with successive singles. Freshman first baseman Hailey Martin then looped a single over Hawai'i third baseman Nicole Lopez to bring home Heyward and run Cal Poly's lead to 4-2.
Cal Poly closes its regular season home schedule and the three-game series with Hawai'i with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, May 6.