LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Dartmouth softball team came within two runs of notching its first victory of the season, but fell to Cal Poly, 2-1 in the final game of the LMU Tournament on Sunday evening.
With the loss, the Big Green are now 0-12-1, while the Mustangs improve to 23-7.
Dartmouth faced Cal Poly for the second time on the west coast swing. The contest quickly became a pitcher’s dual as both hurlers pitched a scoreless gem until the sixth inning. For the Big Green, it was Breanna Ethridge who went to the circle where she pitched a complete seven innings, allowing just two runs with two strikeouts.
After a scoreless first, Dartmouth threatened to take an early lead by loading the bases and chasing the Mustangs original starting pitcher, Steffi Best from the game. Sierra Hyland came into the game and managed to get Morgan Martinelli to fly out to preserve the shutout.
The next scoring opportunity for either squad came in the sixth when Cal Poly’s Amanda Sandoval led off with a single to right-center field. Two batters later with just one swing, Stephanie Heyward gave the Mustangs a 2-0 lead when she hit her second home run of the season.
The Big Green responded in the bottom half of the inning when Calista Almer led off with a double down the left field line. Maddie Damore then grounded out to the shortstop, advancing Almer to third. This brought up freshman Micah Schroder, who hit a sacrifice fly to left, plating Almer. This would be the only run Dartmouth would get back as Karen Chaw grounded out to end the inning.
Ethridge shut down Cal Poly in the seventh which gave the Big Green one last chance to tie or walk off with a win. Lourlin Lara reached on a single and advanced to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Chloe Madill. Unfortunately, Dartmouth could not get Lara home, as Claire Bird lined into a double play to end the ball game.
The Big Green will remain on the west coast for a pair of games against Loyola Marymount on Tuesday.