SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Freshman lefthander Chloe Wurst registered four strikeouts and allowed just one run during six and two-thirds innings of relief work, but sophomore third baseman Kim Westlund's run-scoring single counted as the Cal Poly softball team's lone run on Saturday afternoon as the Mustangs closed the 2012 season with a 2-1 loss against UC Riverside at Bob Janssen Field.
A one-out run-scoring hit from catcher Jessica Vasser during the top of the first provided UC Riverside (25-28, 8-13) a quick 1-0 lead and drove Mustang starting righthander Jordan Yates from the circle. Wurst entered the matchup and, on the second pitch, induced an inning-ending double play. The Mustangs also turned double plays during the second and third to preserve their one-run deficit.
Wurst finished the day having surrendered six hits, one of which was a solo home run to UC Riverside first baseman Jojo Mendoza with one down in the fourth.
Held to three hits during the opening three innings, the Mustangs (13-36, 5-16) opened the fourth with freshman shortstop Celina Lafrades singling up the middle before sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo drew a full-count walk. Mustang sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang then produced a deep fly ball to center field that was chased down by Highlander Kayla White. White next doubled off Lafrades at second base with a throw from the warning track. UC Riverside starting righthander Casey Suda (4-4) proceeded to force a ground out from Cal Poly senior right fielder Nicole Lund to end the Mustang threat.
The Mustangs eventually broke through against Suda and the Highlanders during the fifth with Westlund (above) singling through the right side of the infield to score senior left fielder Nora Sobczak.
Cal Poly, which stranded 11 baserunners, next mounted a challenge to tie the game during the sixth. With two outs, UC Riverside reliever Amy Lwin walked sophomore second baseman Ashley Romano and Sobczak on nine total pitches to load the bases. Mustang sophomore designated player Jillian Andersen, however, lined out to Lwin to end the inning.
During the bottom of the seventh, Westlund reached second base with one out, but Lafrades flied out and sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo popped out to end the game.
Prior to Saturday's season finale, the Mustang program honored seniors Sobczak and Lund for their four-year contributions to the program. A .275 career hitter and .976 career fielder, Sobczak – a 2011 All-Big West Conference honorable mention pick – hit .283 as a senior. Sobczak, who started 179 of a possible 196 games during her career, finished No. 10 in Cal Poly history with 576 at-bats. A three-year starter for Cal Poly, Lund appeared in 160 contests and committed just five errors.