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April 29, 2012

Mustang Softball Drops Series Finale at Big West Leader Pacific

STOCKTON, Calif. – Sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo (above) swatted her third home run of the season on Sunday afternoon, but Big West Conference-leading Pacific finalized a three-game sweep of the Cal Poly softball program as the Mustangs dropped an 8-3 decision at Bill Simoni Field on Sunday afternoon.

Pacific starting righthander Nikki Armagost (11-6) retired Cal Poly (12-31, 4-11) in order to begin Sunday's matchup and the Tigers (32-16, 11-4) grabbed the game's only lead during the bottom of the first. Center fielder Megan Hom's leadoff walk was followed by a single up the middle from Armagost. Mustang starting lefthander Chloe Wurst (4-13) next intentionally walked shortstop Nicole Matson – a .353 hitter entering play – to load the bases for Kelsey Rodriguez, who subsequently drew a full-count walk to help Pacific to a 1-0 advantage. Right fielder Taylor Petty then doubled Pacific's lead by producing a sacrifice fly that plated Armagost.

Cochiolo earned a run back for the Mustangs during the second by lofting her homer over the right field fence. Wurst stranded the Pacific bases loaded to end the inning, but the Tigers extended their lead to 3-1 during the third as Petty socked a solo homer to right field.

Cal Poly's attempts to battle back during the top of the fourth were killed off by Pacific as Mustang freshman third baseman Celina Lafrades had a deep fly ball caught up against the fence by left fielder Megan Foglesong before a sprawling catch by Hom in center field cancelled out a potential gap double by Cochiolo.

Pacific, in turn, capitalized upon Cal Poly's missed attempts during the bottom half of the fourth as Armagost doubled home Hom before scoring herself on a two-out single up the middle from Rodriguez that furthered the Tiger lead to 5-1.

Highlighted by run-scoring singles from Petty and catcher Amy Moore off of Mustang righthanded reliever Jordan Yates, Pacific added three additional runs during the sixth.

The Mustangs mounted one final rally during the top of the seventh with Lafrades drawing a leadoff walk before Cochiolo and Vogelsang produced successive hits to load the bases. Andersen then drew a full-count walk to force home Lafrades before freshman pinch hitter Emily Ceccacci helped cap the scoring with a sacrifice fly that plated Cochiolo.

Cal Poly completes a six-game swing and the road portion of its 2012 schedule when visiting UC Santa Barbara for a three-game May 5-6 series.