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Mustang Softball Drops Narrow Decisions at Long Beach State

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang (above) produced run-scoring hits during both ends of a Friday afternoon doubleheader against Long Beach State, but the Cal Poly softball program saw an early lead overturned during game No. 1 and a late rally stopped in game No. 2 as the Mustangs fell at 49er Softball Complex, 4-1 and 3-2.

During Friday's opening contest, Mustang freshman lefthander Chloe Wurst (2-12) faced just one Long Beach State hitter over the minimum through the opening three innings, but Cal Poly (8-24, 1-4) was unable to capitalize until Vogelsang led off the top of the fourth with a double down the left field line. Mustang sophomore Ashley Romano, pinch running for Vogelsang, advanced to third base through a sacrifice by freshman shortstop Celina Lafrades before scoring on junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart's single up the middle.

Wurst returned in the fourth to keep Long Beach State (15-20, 3-2) off the scoreboard, but the 49ers finally wrested control of the game during the fifth. With the Long Beach State bases loaded and one down, a throwing error to home plate by Lafrades brought home 49er shortstop Shayna Kimbrough and pinch runner Emily Gregorio. Two batters later, Long Beach State center fielder Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi produced a sacrifice fly that plated left fielder Megan Denio for a 3-1 lead. Mustang freshman righthander Jordan Yates took over for Wurst and, with the bases reloaded, promptly plunked right fielder Nalani St. Germain to force home pinch runner Brianna Stephan and hand the 49ers their 4-1 lead.

The Mustangs collected one hit after scoring during the fourth and failed to advance a runner past first base against Long Beach State senior righthander Taylor Petty (2-1) the remainder of the game.

During Friday's second matchup, Long Beach State struck the opening blow during the bottom of the first with first baseman Jennifer Madigan producing a two-out base hit to right center field that plated Gregorio from third. Designated player Alisha Rosen then doubled the 49er lead with a fielder's choice that scored second baseman Cya Neal.

Yates (1-6), Cal Poly's game No. 2 starter, retired the Long Beach State side during the second before the 49ers loaded the bases with none out during the third through a pair of hits and a throwing error from Mustang sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo. St Germain then increased Long Beach State's lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to plate Neal.

Out of the opposite dugout, Long Beach State sophomore righthander Erin Jones-Wesley (13-10) faced just three Cal Poly batters over the minimum during the opening five innings without allowing a Mustang past first.

The Mustangs eventually broke through against Jones-Wesley with two out in the sixth as Vogelsang followed sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund's walk with a run-scoring double off the base of the center field wall. Cochiolo then sliced Long Beach State's lead to 3-2 by singling up the middle to score Vogelsang.

Cal Poly resumed its momentum into the seventh as Gerhart doubled into right center field with one down. Jones-Wesley, however, struck out Lafrades before inducing a game-ending ground out from senior left fielder Nora Sobczak.

Cal Poly completes its three-game set against the 49ers on Saturday, April 7 at 1 p.m. Live stats for that game are available HERE.