SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.-- A seventh-inning rally by host Cal Poly spoiled what could have been a North Dakota sweep Sunday. UND dumped Santa Clara, 7-3, in the opener then scored two runs in the seventh to tie Cal Poly in game two before the Mustangs walked it off in the bottom of the inning.
North Dakota 7, Santa Clara 3
Lexi Mayhood homered and Natalie Gerber hit a two-single as North Dakota scored in four of the six innings en route to the 7-3 victory. It started after UND trailed 1-0 in the second as Marina Marzolino singled to open the frame. She advanced on a Lexi Mayhood walk, a stolen base then scooted home on an RBI grounder by Victoria Minor. Mayhood followed her home on a wild pitch to give North Dakota the lead.
Two innings later, the Fighting Hawks added to their advantage, posting two more runs. Mayhood hit a solo homer-- her second dinger of the season-- before Minor made it 4-1 as she walked and later scored.
Hannah Bergh improved to 6-6 on the season by throwing a complete game for the win. She allowed just five hits and one earned and issued just one free pass.
Kaylin VanDomelen tallied a pair of hits to pace the UND offense.
Cal Poly 4, North Dakota 3
The Mustangs broke two ties in a tight game, the final in a seventh-inning rally that helped the home team take a 4-3 decision.
UND garnered the early advantage with a run in the first inning on the help of the Cal Poly defense. Back-to-back errors by the Mustangs' second baseman set the table then Romero laced a single down the leftfield line to score one.
Cal Poly would get one back in the bottom of that inning and it would remain 1-1 until the sixth. In that frame, the Mustangs were aided by three Fighting Hawks errors to plate two unearned for a 3-1 lead.
In the visitor's seventh, however, North Dakota would answer. The first two runners got aboard as Mayhood singled and Minor walked. After VanDomelen advanced the runners with a sacrifice, Taylor Nadler cashed one in, then Romero tallied her third hit of the game to tie the game. Cal Poly got out of the inning without further damage though, and was able to scratch across a run in the seventh to win it.
VanDomelen took the loss in the circle, throwing 6.1 innings with two earned runs on seven hits and four strikeouts. Romero had four hits on the afternoon in five at bats and drove in three.
North Dakota will stay on the road and will head to Hawaii for seven games at the Rainbow Wahine Classic. It starts Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. Central game against Tennessee before a midnight start with host Hawaii. Tennessee was ranked fourth in the latest USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 poll.