SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly softball freshman righthander Jordan Yates (above) allowed just one earned run through five and two-thirds innings on Sunday afternoon, but UC Davis counterpart Justine Vela struck out nine Mustangs at Bob Janssen Field as the Aggies prevailed during the final matchup of a three-game series, 3-0.
The Aggies (18-25, 8-4) jumped on Yates (3-10) during the top of the first with designated player Kylie Fan singling into left field to score shortstop Kelly Harman and deliver UC Davis a 1-0 lead before Cal Poly had the chance to bat.
Staked to the early advantage, Vela (14-10) was perfect through the opening three innings, keeping the Mustangs off the basepaths until sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund doubled to right field to lead off the fourth. Vela, however, worked out of the inning and retired Cal Poly in order during the fifth to preserve the Aggie lead.
The Aggies furthered their advantage to 3-0 during the top of the sixth. With two down, third baseman Kelly Schulze reached second base on a line drive misplayed by Mustang junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart. The next Aggie, pinch hitter Heather Zimmerman, then swatted a home run over the left field fence to finalize the scoreline.
Cal Poly (12-28, 4-8) threatened Vela's victory once more during the bottom of the seventh, with sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo reaching second to lead off the inning following a fielding error by Aggie left fielder JJ Wagoner. Cochiolo became the only Mustang to reach third base after freshman Celina Lafrades grounded out, but Vela struck out junior pinch hitter Trista Thomas on a full-count pitch before inducing a game-ending foul out from Cal Poly first baseman Madi Vogelsang.
Cal Poly opens a six-game road trip when visiting Big West Conference-leading Pacific April 28-29. The three-game set at Bill Simoni Field opens with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 28.