LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Highlighted by back-to-back home runs from junior right fielder Nicole Lund and freshman second baseman Ashley Romano and a complete-game victory from sophomore righthander Rebecca Patton, the Cal Poly softball program earned its first victory at the UNLV-hosted Louisville Slugger Desert Classic on Saturday afternoon by downing Utah State, 5-2. The Mustangs, however, dropped their opening game of the day at Eller Media Stadium versus Boise State, 7-5.
During Saturday's nightcap against Utah State (2-6), Cal Poly (2-7) notched all of its runs before the Aggies had the chance to bat. Freshman shortstop Kim Westlund opened the game with an infield single before freshman center fielder Cami Brown reached on a throwing error by Utah State catcher Tina Ferguson. The next Mustang, senior catcher Stephanie Correia, took advantage of the miscue by producing a two-run double. Two batters laters, Lund lashed her third homer of the season over the left field wall before Romano finalized the onslaught with her first collegiate homer, also to left field.
The Aggies responded off of Patton (1-4) during the bottom half of the inning as first baseman Ashley Ventura singled up the middle with one out to score pinch runner Megan McDonald. Patton (above), however, struck out five Aggies against two walks and scattered six hits to earn her first victory of 2011.
During the first meeting between Cal Poly and Boise State (2-5), the Broncos grabbed the early lead during the top of the first as starting righthander Allie Crump swatted a two-run homer off of Cal Poly starting lefthander Anna Cahn (1-3).
The Mustangs were retired in order during the bottom half of the inning, but struck back during the second by scoring four times with two outs. Correia opened Cal Poly's spree by doubling down the left field line to score Romano before sophomore center fielder Whitley Gerhart recorded her second RBI of 2011 by ripping a base hit through the left side of the infield to plate Correia. Brown followed with a run-scoring single to send Gerhart home before Westlund registered Cal Poly's first triple of the season, a strike that plated Brown to provide the Mustangs a 4-2 advantage.
Boise State, however, struck Cahn (1-3) for three runs during the fourth to assume a 5-4 advantage. Correia would score on throwing error by Boise State catcher Megan Harvey during the bottom half of the fourth to allow Cal Poly to deadlock the scoreline.
However, a run-scoring double by Boise State center fielder Tazz Weatherly during the top half of the seventh off of Patton handed the Broncos the winning advantage. Crump later plated Weatherly with a sacrifice fly to finalize the scoring as Cal Poly was retired in order to end the game.
Cal Poly completes Louisville Slugger Desert Classic action on Sunday, Feb. 20 versus Portland State at 9 a.m.