SAN LUIS OBISPO – Having loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning against UC Riverside on Saturday afternoon, the Cal Poly softball program received a throwing error from Highlanders second baseman Brittney Garcia to close a three-game series and walk off of Bob Janssen Field as 2-1 winners.
With the matchup knotted at 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Cal Poly (17-15, 1-2) first advanced runners to the corner bases with no outs before sophomore pinch runner Alyssa McKiernan was thrown out at home plate following a grounder by senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval. Senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar (above), however, drew a full-count walk to re-load the bases. Freshman left fielder Noellah Ramos then slapped a bounding ball to Garcia, who overthrew UC Riverside first baseman Sarah Parten and allowed junior catcher Makenna Young to score the decisive run.
Senior righthander Lindsey Chalmers (12-5) earned the victory for Cal Poly – her eighth win in the last 10 starts. Chalmers struck out five Highlanders in the complete-game, three-hitter.
As a team, Cal Poly improved to 8-2 this season in one-run games.
Held hitless through the opening two innings by UC Riverside starting righthander Tayler Misfeldt (14-7), Cal Poly was the first side to find the scoreboard Saturday. Senior second baseman Alejandra Garcia drew a full-count walk to lead off the bottom half of the third before giving way to freshman pinch runner Sarah Wulff. Sandoval followed with a sacrifice bunt to push Wulff to second base before Convissar delivered a run-scoring double down the left field line.
UC Riverside (25-12, 2-1), which saw its leadoff hitter reach in six of seven innings, eventually tied the matchup in the fifth through left fielder Seanna Garewal's run-scoring triple.
Cal Poly hits the road for the first time in Big West Conference play when visiting Hawai'i for a three-game, April 6-7 series. Action at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium gets underway on Friday, April 6 with a 9 p.m. PT matchup.