FULLERTON – Senior third baseman Stephanie Heyward's two-out, run-scoring double sent Sunday's finale of the Cal State Fullerton-hosted Judi Garman Classic to extra innings where the Cal Poly softball program produced a 4-3 victory versus Michigan State. Cal Poly, however, fell to Fresno State on Sunday morning, 3-2, in the continuation of matchup that was halted on Friday due to rain.
During Sunday's extra-inning victory versus Michigan State (9-7), Cal Poly (9-9) trailed the Spartans 3-2 following a two-run homer from center fielder Lea Foerster in the top of the seventh. Senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval, however, led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and, two batters later, Heyward (above) lined her double to center field to tie the matchup, 3-3.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect to begin the top of the eighth, Mustang senior righthander Lindsey Chalmers (6-3) retired Michigan State in order.
Cal Poly freshman Jackie Napoli began the bottom of the eighth on second base and, after junior right fielder Crimson Kaiser drew a full-count walk, junior designated player Megan Nordin reached on a fielding error by Michigan State second baseman Melanie Baccay. The error allowed Napoli to score for the 4-3 Mustang win.
Kaiser and Sandoval co-led Cal Poly with two hits versus Michigan State while Chalmers struck out two while allowing just two hits in three and two-thirds relief innings.
During Sunday's opening game versus Fresno State (9-9) – a matchup that was halted on Friday afternoon tied at 2-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning and resumed Sunday morning – Chalmers kept the Bulldogs to just one hit and one baserunner in scoring position during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Offensively, Cal Poly's best opportunity to push across a decisive run occurred in the top of the seventh with senior shortstop Convissar and freshman left fielder Noellah Ramos stringing together successive one-out singles. However, Fresno State reliever Danielle East forced a ground out from Heyward and fly out by Kaiser to end the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chalmers induced a pop up from Bulldog shortstop Katie Castellon to lead off before designated player Savannah Mchellon homered to left field for the 3-2 Fresno State decision.
As part of the continued game, Chalmers finished with five total strikeouts.
Cal Poly resumes action and opens its 17-game home schedule at Bob Janssen Field when hosting the 12th annual ShareSLO Mustangs Classic March 9-11. Cal Poly opens tournament play on Friday, March 9 with a 3 p.m. doubleheader versus North Dakota and Marist.