SAN LUIS OBISPO – Junior righthander Lindsay Chalmers (above) tossed a complete-game, four-hitter with five strikeouts Saturday evening as the Cal Poly softball program closed its 2017 regular season home schedule at Bob Janssen Field with a 2-1, come-from-behind victory versus Hawai'i. The Mustangs, however, dropped Saturday's doubleheader opener 9-2 despite freshman righthander Steffi Best tossing five and one-third innings of relief without allowing an earned run.
With the split, Cal Poly (33-17, 9-9) matched the program's highest win total in the last eight years (the 2014 Mustangs finished 33-22) and reached the program's highest win total since the 2009 Big West Conference championship team finished 41-12.
The Mustangs also moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Big West standings alongside UC Santa Barbara (29-25, 9-9) and CSUN (29-21, 9-9) with Saturday's split.
During Saturday's second game, Chalmers (12-6) retired the first six hitters she saw and faced the minimum numbers of Hawai'i batters through the opening three innings. Hawai'i (28-21, 7-11), however, scratched out a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth as second baseman Sarah Muzik and third baseman Nicole Lopez produced successive one-hits before catcher Callee Heen gave the Rainbow Wahine the lead with an RBI single up the middle of the infield.
The Mustangs answered immediately with junior third baseman Stephanie Heyward reaching to open the bottom half of the fourth following a fielding error by Hawai'i shortstop Laura Jaquez. After senior designated player Sierra Hyland dropped down a successful sacrifice bunt, freshman first baseman Hailey Martin singled. With Mustangs at the corner bases, senior left fielder Courtney Tyler singled to score Heyward.
Cal Poly then unlocked the 1-1 tie in the fifth. Senior second baseman Ashley Tornio led off with a bunt single before senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar laid down another sacrifice bunt for Cal Poly. Two batters later, Heyward singled up the middle to produce the winning margin.
After allowing Hawai'i's lone run, Chalmers allowed just one hit and no Rainbow Wahine baserunners into scoring position the remainder of the game. She threw 71 percent of her 102 pitches for strikes and failed to walk a batter.
In her final home game, Tyler – a starter in Cal Poly's last 183 matchups – produced a game high two hits.
During Saturday's opening matchup, Hawai'i grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as catcher Callee Heen drove a one-out double into center field to bring home second baseman Sarah Muzik.
The Rainbow Wahine then ran their lead to 7-0 in the second with center fielder Danielle Garcielita and right fielder Chardonnay Pantastico each producing two-run doubles while third baseman Nicole Lopez and Heen contributed RBI singles.
Held hitless by Hawai'i starting righthander Dana Thomsen (8-7) until Heyward singled to lead off the fourth, Cal Poly picked up its first run when Hyland – the game No. 1 starter who was lifted after one and two-thirds innings – followed with a run-scoring triple.
Hawai'i, however, regained its seven-run advantage in the top of the fifth with first baseman Rachael Turner singling home catcher Heather Cameron for an 8-1 Rainbow Wahine lead.
The Rainbow Wahine then placed the scoreline in run-rule territory during the sixth, loading the bases against Best before Turner singled home Cameron once more.
Cal Poly, however, extended the matchup into the seventh as Best produced her first collegiate hit with a two-out double in the sixth that scored Hyland for the 9-2 Mustang deficit.
The Mustangs close their regular season schedule with a May 12-13, three-game series at UC Riverside. The series begins with a 3 p.m. matchup on Friday, May 12.