SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s softball team earned its first win over a ranked team in the last four years on Saturday as the Roadrunners split a road doubleheader against No. 25 Cal Poly. The ‘Runners fell in the first game, 3-0, but stormed out of the dugout in Game 2 and held on for an 11-8 victory over the Mustangs.
“We played well in both games,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, CSUB’s Head Coach. “It was great to get the win over such a quality opponent like Cal Poly.”
Four years ago to the day was the last time CSUB defeated a ranked team as Saturday’s win over Cal Poly was a big step for the growing program. On Mar. 25, 2013, the ‘Runners downed then No. 24 Oregon State at home by a score of 10-7.
Cal Poly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-RBI single by Crimson Kaiser. The Mustangs extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Ashley Tornio’s sacrifice fly plated Cal Poly’s final run of the game.
Senior Lyndsay Klimenko pitched well in the game against No. 25 Cal Poly, holding the Mustangs scoreless in the final two innings. Cal Poly’s starter, Sierra Hyland, outmatched her counterpart, shutting CSUB out while allowing just four hits and striking out 13 ‘Runners. Hyland’s strikeouts are not unique to CSUB as the senior became the Big West Conference all-time career leader when she reached 847 strikeouts on Saturday.
On the game, the ‘Runners reached base safely five times against Hyland on four hits and a walk. Selena Gonzalez, Julea Cavazos, Nicole Curry, and Megan Marcy each had a hit for CSUB. Marcy’s double was her fourth of the season, a team-high.
The second game featured live bats from the ‘Runners who, for the second time this week, scored seven runs in the first inning of the game. After putting up a seven spot on Fresno State in the midweek game, CSUB tallied four hits to rattle Cal Poly’s junior starter Lindsey Chalmers early on.
Cavazos, a junior outfielder, opened the scoring with an RBI single to plate fellow junior Kaylynn Burt. Another junior, Curry followed with a two-RBI double and Marcy, yet again a junior, walked to load the bases with only one out. Chalmers left the game in favor of Hyland, but sophomore Chris Hipa’s bases-clearing triple rendered the substitution fruitless as CSUB took a 6-0 lead. Freshman Karah Wiseman’s grounder drove in Hipa and the ‘Runners had another 7-0 lead.
Cal Poly slowly began to chip away at CSUB’s lead, scoring two runs in both the second and third innings. The ‘Runners added a pair of runs in the top of the third thanks to Hipa’s two-run homer to left. The native of Aiea, Hawai’i’s blast was a team-best fourth of the season and helped the ‘Runners hold a 9-4 lead through three complete innings.
CSUB extended its lead to 11-4 in the fifth with another pair of runs. Gonzalez’s double to the gap plated Burt before Cavazos drove in another run with another single. Cal Poly put up another run in the sixth to cut the deficit to six runs.
Down to their final three outs, the Mustangs began to rally and threaten the ‘Runner lead. Junior Stephanie Heyward drove in a run with a single down the left field line before Hyland’s sacrifice fly plated another run. Kaiser brought home the third run of the inning for Cal Poly on a single to center field, but Klimenko, who came on to relieve for the final two innings, held the Mustangs off and got the final out to preserve the ‘Runner win.
CSUB’s starter, Summer Evans, earned her fifth win of the season after pitching five innings. Evans, a transfer from Palomar College, gave up only three hits to the Mustangs but was hurt to the tune of four runs (two earned) because of seven walks. Klimenko gave up four runs on five hits and two walks while holding on for her third career save, second most in CSUB’s Division I history. Chalmers came back into the game in the second and pitched 5.1 innings while taking the loss on Saturday.
Hipa led the ‘Runner offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk while driving in five runs. The RBI total ties for the second-most in CSUB Division I single-game history and is the most since Curry had five against Grand Canyon in 2015. Hipa is now tied for the team lead with Cavazos in RBI at 12 after the game.
Three other ‘Runners, Gonzalez, Cavazos, and Curry, had two hits in the game. Cavazos and Marcy both had a pair of walks in Saturday’s second game while Curry and Cavazos each had two RBI. Cal Poly’s Kaiser and Hailey Martin each had three hits in Saturday's second game.
Tomorrow, the Roadrunners (5-18) will return home to host CSUN in an afternoon doubleheader. First pitch at the Roadrunner Softball Complex is scheduled for 1 p.m.