CATHEDRAL CITY – Senior righthander Lindsey Chalmers struck out four UAB hitters and senior third baseman Stephanie Heyward (above) and junior left fielder Sydney James each enjoyed a two-RBI game as the Cal Poly softball program closed opening-day action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Saturday with a 7-4 victory versus the Blazers. Cal Poly, however, opened play at Big League Dreams Sports Park with a 4-1 loss to Sacramento State.
During Saturday's victory versus UAB (1-6), the Blazers grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning after right fielder Madison Millsaps produced a three-run homer.
Cal Poly (4-3), however, struck back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. With two Mustangs in scoring position and no outs, Heyward singled through the right side of the infield to bring home senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar and freshman center fielder Noellah Ramos. Later in the inning, James singled up the middle to plate Heyward and junior right fielder Crimson Kaiser for a 4-3 Mustang lead.
Cal Poly added another run in the second through a Heyward sacrifice fly and two more in the third after a Convissar fielders choice brought home junior first baseman Megan Nordin and a Ramos single plated James.
After conceding the three runs to UAB in the first, Chalmers (2-1) allowed just three Blazers hits between the second and sixth innings. UAB added their final run in the seventh with Millsaps producing a run-scoring double.
During Saturday's opening matchup versus Sacramento State (2-3), the Hornets produced five hits against Mustang starting righthander Dakota Casper before breaking through during the top of the sixth versus righthanded reliever Steffi Best (1-1). With two Hornets on base and one down, catcher Jessica Scott singled into left field where an error by Mustang left fielder Jillian Pluschkell allowed both designated player Sydnee Strong and shortstop Sydney Rasmussen to reach home for a 2-0 Hornet advantage.
Held hitless by Hornets starting righthander Celina Matthias (2-1) through the opening five innings, Cal Poly halved Sacramento State's lead during the bottom half of the sixth. Ramos led off with Cal Poly's first hit of the afternoon and, three batters later and with two down, junior designated player Noa Yakir produced a run-scoring single to center field.
The Hornets, however, tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh for the final scoreline.
Casper, in just her fourth career start, walked only two Hornets.
Cal Poly continues Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic action on Sunday, Feb. 18 versus No. 21 Utah (9:30 a.m.) and No. 23 California (12:30 p.m.).