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Best Fires One-Hitter to Help Cal Poly to Split at UC Davis

Best Fires One-Hitter to Help Cal Poly to Split at UC Davis

DAVIS – Junior righthander Steffi Best (above) tossed her first career one-hitter in a complete-game shutout and a sixth-inning single from junior pinch hitter Shelby Jeffries accounted for the scoring difference as the Cal Poly softball program opened a Saturday doubleheader versus UC Davis and a three-game series at La Rue Field with a 1-0 victory. Cal Poly, however, dropped game No. 2, 7-0, after committing four errors.

During Saturday's opening matchup, Cal Poly was held hitless until freshman Maddie Amos doubled to lead off the third, but UC Davis starting righthander Brooke Yanez (19-3) retired the next three Mustangs to keep the game scoreless. The Mustangs then stranded two more baserunners to close the tops of the fourth and fifth.

Best, meanwhile, retired UC Davis in order to close the second and fourth innings, holding the Aggies to just three baserunners over the minimum until first baseman Maddie Rojas singled to start the bottom half of the fifth. Best walked Aggie shortstop Isabella Leon with two down, but forced an inning-ending flyout from left fielder Alyse Rojas to keep matters scoreless.

Cal Poly then broke through with the game's only run in the top of the sixth. After Kaiser drew a one-out walk and junior first baseman Hailey Martin singled, Yanez unfurled a wild pitch to move both Mustangs into scoring position. Jeffries then grounded a single through the left side of the infield to plate Kaiser for the 1-0 Cal Poly lead.

Handed the lead, Best – who allowed just one Aggie baserunner as far as third – retired the final six UC Davis hitters faced to complete the one-hit shutout.

During Saturday's second matchup, UC Davis starting righthander Katie Kibby (9-5) retired the Mustangs in order in the top of the first and the Aggies (30-8, 5-3) posted a three-run bottom, highlighted by a two-run double from right fielder Marisa Given.

Freshman lefthander Krystyna Allman took over for Cal Poly starter Dakota Casper (1-7) with one down in the first and retired six of the next eight Aggies. In the third, however, two Mustang fielding errors led to four more UC Davis runs as the Aggies closed the inning with a 7-0 lead.

At the plate, Cal Poly (8-30, 2-6) was held hitless until senior third baseman Noa Yakir led off the fourth with a single to right field. Freshman left fielder Lily Amos added a one-out single and senior catcher Makenna Young drew a two-out walk, but the Mustangs stranded three in their best scoring opportunity.

Cal Poly and UC Davis close their three-game series with a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday, April 14.