STANFORD – A two-run double by senior left fielder Sydney James (above) provided the Cal Poly softball program the initial lead versus Northwestern on Friday at the Stanford Invitational, but the Wildcats struck for a five-run sixth inning to outdistance the Mustangs, 6-2. Cal Poly also dropped Friday's opening matchup to North Dakota State, 8-0.
During Friday's second game against Northwestern (12-3), Cal Poly (3-12) produced single hits during each of the opening three innings before breaking onto the scoreboard in the fourth. Senior right fielder Crimson Kaiser opened the inning with a single and, two batters later, freshman shortstop Maddie Amos reached on a Northwestern error. Kaiser and Amos then both advanced into scoring positon through a passed ball by Wildcats catcher Jordyn Rudd before James doubled to right center to hand Cal Poly the 2-0 lead.
Cal Poly freshman starting lefthander Krystyna Allman limited Northwestern to just one hit and two baserunners through the opening four innings before the Wildcats scratched out their initial run in the bottom half of the fifth through a leadoff homer from left fielder Morgan Nelson.
The Wildcats then returned in the sixth with the five-run effort, highlighted by a one-out, two-run double from pinch hitter Danielle Williams.
Cal Poly was retired in order in the top of the seventh to close the game.
James and senior third baseman Noa Yakir co-led Cal Poly with two hits versus Northwestern.
During Friday's opening matchup versus North Dakota State (8-6), the Bison notched what would stand as the winning run in the top of the first inning following a fielding error by Amos at shortstop.
North Dakota State then added two runs in the third through a two-run homer from catcher Maddie Hansen before increasing the lead to 6-0 with a three-run fourth inning helped by a two-run groundout by second baseman Zoe Stavrou. The Bison capped the scoring with single runs in the fifth and seventh.
Offensively, Cal Poly was held to one hit through the opening four innings by Bison starting righthander KK Leddy (6-4). The Mustangs produced solitary hits during the fifth and sixth innings, but failed to advance a runner past first base the entirety of the morning.
Despite striking out a career high five hitters, junior righthander Steffi Best (1-9) took the loss for Cal Poly.
Cal Poly resumes Stanford Invitational action on Saturday, March 2 with a 10 a.m. rematch against Northwestern before facing Montana at 12:15 p.m.