LOS ANGELES – Freshman designated player Kianah Corey (above) homered and finished with a career high four RBI for the Cal Poly softball program on Sunday morning, but the Mustangs closed action at the UCLA-hosted Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament with a 7-6, eight-inning loss to Loyola Marymount at Easton Stadium.
Tied 6-6 at the end of the regulation innings and with the international tiebreaker rule in effect to begin the eighth, senior left fielder Sydney James started on second base for Cal Poly. Junior second baseman Alyssa McKiernan advanced James to second with a sacrifice bunt, but the next two Mustangs were retired to close the top half of the eighth.
Shortstop Megan Dedrick started the bottom half of the eighth on second for Loyola Marymount and, after reaching third on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Hailey Jackson, scored on the game-winning single from catcher Irma Sanchez.
Cal Poly notched Sunday's opening run in the top of the first inning through a two-out Loyola Marymount fielding error. The Lions tied the matchup in the bottom of the second before Cal Poly regained its lead in the third as Corey staked the Mustangs to a 4-1 advantage with a three-run double.
After retiring Cal Poly in order in the fourth, the Lions halved the Mustang lead with a run during the bottom half of the inning as right fielder Riley Ehlen followed left fielder Molly Grumbo's leadoff double with a run-scoring two-bagger of her own. Loyola Marymount then grabbed its first lead of the game in the fifth, scoring four times through three run-scoring hits and a steal of home by pinch runner Taylor Keinath.
Facing the 6-4 deficit, however, Cal Poly equalized at the first opportunity as Corey led off the sixth with a solo home run before senior catcher Makenna Young produced a two-out single to left field to plate McKiernan.
Corey co-led Cal Poly with two hits, alongside Young and junior first baseman Hailey Martin.
One of four Mustangs to see time in the circle, junior righthander Steffi Best suffered the loss for Cal Poly after tossing three and one-third innings and conceding Loyola Marymount's run in the eighth.
Cal Poly returns to action at the Feb. 22-24 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. The Mustangs open tournament action on Friday, Feb. 22 versus No. 5 Washington and No. 22 Texas A&M.