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February 26, 2012

Patton Pitches Cal Poly to Sunday Split at Cathedral City Classic

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Junior righthander Rebecca Patton (above) matched a career high with 11 strikeouts on Sunday afternoon as the Cal Poly softball program completed play at the Cathedral City Classic with a 4-2 triumph versus New Mexico at the Big League Dreams Sports Park. The Mustangs, however, fell during the opening game of their Sunday doubleheader against No. 19 Oregon, 11-1, in six innings.

During Saturday's closing game versus New Mexico (13-2), the Lobos notched a run during the top of the first through senior catcher Jessica Garcia's two-out, run-scoring single before the Mustangs (3-7) struck back during the bottom half of the inning as sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund drove home senior center fielder Nora Sobczak with a base hit.

Two Mustangs later, sophomore second baseman Ashley Romano struck the decisive blow with a double down the left field line that plated freshman designated player Emily Ceccacci and Westlund for a 3-1 Cal Poly lead.

Cal Poly added its final run during the second with Ceccacci singling down the right field line to score Sobczak.

Patton (2-4), meanwhile, allowed just one New Mexico hit between the second and fourth innings and, after the Lobos loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, struck out senior right fielder Shenise Cox and senior left fielder Kerry Hodgins to preserve the Mustang advantage.

Both Westlund and Romano finished with two hits for Cal Poly. Patton failed to allow a walk in the complete-game victory.

During Sunday's opener versus Oregon (8-2), the Ducks grabbed the game's only lead during the top of the first as senior shortstop Kelsey Chambers sent a solo home run over the center field fence. Cal Poly quickly tied the matchup during the second as Romano, tagging up to third on a sacrifice by sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo, scored on an error by Oregon sophomore third baseman Courtney Ceo.

The Ducks, however, added three runs during the third, one in the fourth and, highlighted by two-run hits from freshman designated player Hannah Melick and Chambers, completed the shortened game with a six-run sixth inning.

Mustang freshman second baseman Celina Lafrades collected a career-high two hits against Oregon. Freshman righthander Jordan Yates (0-1) suffered the loss for Cal Poly.

Including a 14-7 triumph against No. 22 Nebraska on Saturday, Cal Poly finished Cathedral City Classic play with a 2-3 record.

The Mustangs return to the diamond at the March 2-4 San Diego Classic, jointly hosted by San Diego and San Diego State. Cal Poly opens tournament play on Friday, Feb. 2 versus Charlotte (1:30 p.m.) and St. Joseph's (6:30 p.m.).