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Mustang Softball Salvages Doubleheader Split versus UC Davis

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Freshman lefthander Chloe Wurst (above) walked just one UC Davis hitter during a complete-game effort on Saturday afternoon as the Cal Poly softball team secured a doubleheader split against UC Davis at Bob Janssen Field with a 7-2 triumph. After collecting just three hits in game No. 1, however, the Mustangs dropped Saturday's opening contest, 4-0.

During Saturday's second game, Cal Poly (12-27, 4-7) staked Wurst (4-12) to a 2-0 advantage during the bottom of the first as sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo produced a one-out single up the middle to score senior left fielder Nora Sobczak before freshman third baseman Celina Lafrades dumped a base hit into right field to plate junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart.

Wurst retired the opening seven Aggie hitters she faced until UC Davis first baseman Amy Nunez and second baseman Chandler Wagner strung together successive singles with one out during the third. Two batters later, UC Davis right fielder Cassandra Ginnis halved Cal Poly's lead by singling up the middle to score Wagner.  

Wurst resumed action by stranding two Aggie baserunners during the fourth before retiring UC Davis in order in the fifth. During the bottom half of the inning, Mustang senior designated player Nicole Lund increased Cal Poly's lead to 4-1 by hammering a two-run double into right center field to score Cochiolo and Gerhart.

UC Davis (17-25, 7-4), however, mounted a final assault during the top half of the sixth. After Aggie pinch hitter Heather Zimmerman deposited a one-out, run-scoring single through the left side of the infield, the bases remained loaded for first baseman Amy Nunez. Wurst, however, induced a ground ball to third base from Nunez that Lafrades turned into an inning-ending double play.

During the bottom half of the sixth, Cal Poly sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund followed sophomore right fielder Cami Brown's leadoff single with a run-scoring triple. The Mustangs completed their scoring with a one-out, run-scoring base hit from Cochiolo before Lafrades plated senior left fielder Nora Sobczak with a sacrifice fly.

Wurst tossed 67 percent of her 97 pitches for strikes in earning the victory.

During Saturday's opening contest, UC Davis jumped on Mustang starting righthander Jordan Yates (3-9) immediately with catcher Rachel Miller producing a one-out sacrifice fly to score left fielder Megan Guzman before designated player Kylie Fan doubled down the left field line to plate Ginnis for a 2-0 lead.

After a disruptive first, however, Yates allowed just one UC Davis hit between the second and fourth innings. Miller, though, returned in the fifth to help put the game out of reach for UC Davis by mashing a two-run double to left center.  

Out of the other dugout, Aggie starting righthander Justine Vela (13-10) retired the first nine Mustangs she faced and struck out seven Cal Poly hitters during the opening four innings. Held hitless until Lafrades singled with two down in the fifth, Cal Poly's chief chance to break through against Vela – who finished with 10 strikeouts – occurred during the sixth. Westlund drew a one-out walk before advancing to second through a Sobczak single. Vela, however, struck out Mustang sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang before forcing Gerhart into an inning-ending pop out.

Cal Poly and UC Davis close the three-game series with a 12 noon matchup on Sunday, April 22.