Release: Sunday 05/22/2011 
The Softball team plays in its first-ever NCAA Championship Tournament this week.
The Softball team plays in its first-ever NCAA...
Courtesy: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics


Thu., May 26---Track & Field---UCSD at NCAA Championships---All Day
Thu., May 26---Softball---UCSD at NCAA Championships---9:00 AM

Fri., May 27---Track & Field---UCSD at NCAA Championships---All Day
Fri., May 27---Softball---UCSD at NCAA Championships---TBD

Sat., May 28---Track & Field---UCSD at NCAA Championships---All Day
Sat., May 28---Softball---UCSD at NCAA Championships---TBD

Sun., May 29---Softball---UCSD at NCAA Championships---TBD

For the first time in school history, the Softball team will be heading to the NCAA Division II Championships after taking the best two-out-of-three NCAA Super Regionals from Cal State San Bernardino on its home field last weekend...It took Coach Patti Gerkcens' club just two games, both 3-1 victories, to eliminate the Coyotes and lift the Tritons' season record to an all-time best 40-13...UCSD will now travel to Salem, VA for the eight-team, double elimination national championships which start Thursday and runs through next Monday...The Tritons will open against East Region kingpin C.W. Post (41-14) at 9:00 AM Pacific time...For a complete bracket and further NCAA Championship information, click here.

A three-run third inning and the five-hit pitching of Camille Gaito powered the Tritons to a 3-1 win over Cal State San Bernardino in game one of the NCAA Super Regional Friday afternoon...The victory made Gaito UCSD's first-ever 30-win pitcher and pushed her career total to 60, just one short of Melissa Ward's all-time mark...The junior right hander struck out eight, the last K ending the game...The Tritons mustered just three hits off Coyote starter Cassidy Lee who was victimized by one bad inning...With two out and nobody on in the third, senior Kris Lesovsky reached first after being hit by a pitch...She advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when freshman Taylor Sepulveda got aboard on an error by CSUSB first baseman Alyssa Flores...Sepulveda then scampered home when a Sarah Woofter line drive was misplayed in right field and Woofter raced to the plate on catcher Charley Swanberg's single to left.

Saturday afternoon, it looked like the two adversaries were targeted for a deciding third game...San Bernardino led, 1-0, after six innings and southpaw Lee was cruising along with a one-hitter having faced the minimum 18 batters...But that's when the top of Gerckens' order conjured up one last dose of magic...Lesovsky worked Lee for a leadoff walk...Sepulveda then laid down a perfect bunt to put runners at first and second... Woofter followed with a hit and run grounder to second that put both runners in scoring position with one out...Gerckens then called on No. 2 pitcher Tess Granath to pinch hit for freshman Swanberg and the junior delivered-poking a two-run single up the right field line...Senior Jenn DeFazio then smacked another single to right, providing Gaito with a two-run margin entering the bottom of the seventh...The right hander from San Rafael did the rest, becoming UCSD's all-time wins leader while punching the Tritons' ticket to Salem...Gaito gave up six hits on the day and didn't walk a batter...Sepulveda wound up with two of the Tritons' four hits.

Watch Saturday's post-game interview with Head Coach Patti Gerckens.
Watch Saturday's post-game interview with senior Kris Lesovsky.
Watch Saturday's post-game interview with senior Jenn DeFazio.
Watch Saturday's post-game interview with junior Tess Granath.
Watch Friday's post-game interview with junior Camille Gaito.

Another incredible Baseball season came to an unexpected conclusion Saturday as UCSD was knocked out of the NCAA Division II West Regional at its home park by conference rival Cal Poly Pomona...Coach Dan O'Brien's outfit, which finished with a sterling 42-15 ledger and captured its third consecutive CCAA regular season and tournament titles, was the second team eliminated from the four-team Regional field...The 2011 club includes 14 seniors, seven who were four-year letter winners and leave with a cumulative record of 180-56 (.763).

The Regional got off to a rocky start Thursday night as the Tritons were shut out, 4-0, by Sonoma State right hander Kenny Arnerich...It was the first time UCSD has been blanked in more than three years...UCSD had its chances but left nine runners on base and saw the Seawolves turn in several sterling plays with their gloves...Sonoma State put the Tritons on their heels early, touching up losing pitcher Tim Shibuya (11-4) for a run in each of the first two innings...The visitors took control in the fourth, scoring two more runs after Shibuya had retired the first two men he faced...The Tritons punched seven hits on the game with senior outfielders Kyle Saul and Aaron Bauman accounting for two each.

O'Brien's club stayed alive in the double elimination tourney by eliminating Western Oregon, 6-3, Friday afternoon...Senior righty Guido Knudson gave up five hits and three earned runs in the first three innings but then steadied out to go the distance fanning five and allowing just a single hit the rest of the way...Down, 3-2, the Tritons grabbed the lead for good in the third inning, parlaying three hits and a Western Oregon error into two runs...An Evan Kehoe single plated Saul with the first and then Blake Tagmyer came in on a fielder's choice...UCSD tagged WOU pitching for 10 hits...Bauman had three, including a solo home run in the seventh that closed out the scoring.

The Tritons' hopes for a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II College World Series were dashed Saturday afternoon when tenacious Cal Poly Pomona, a team UCSD had defeated five of the seven previous times they met this year, pulled off a 6-5 upset... In a match-up of two heavyweights, the Broncos got in the last punch...UCSD was up, 1-0, courtesy of a run-scoring second inning double by DH Michael Benton, when CPP, the home team in this one, rocked starter Greg Selarz for four runs in the bottom of the fourth...The Tritons, keyed by singles from Kehoe, Lee and freshman Garrett Tuck, charged back to tie the game at four in the top of the seventh...The Broncos reclaimed the lead with the help of a Triton error in the bottom of the frame...In the top of the eighth, Kehoe walked and scored when Lee smoked a double to left center, bringing UCSD even again...But Cal Poly responded once more, getting a run of its own in the bottom of the eighth to retake the lead and this time UCSD had no answer...Seniors Lee, Kehoe and Kyle Saul each had two hits in their final collegiate outings.

Listen to Saturday's post-game comments from Head Coach Dan O'Brien.
Listen to Friday's post-game comments from senior catcher Kellen Lee.

When the final qualifying list was released last Tuesday, Coaches Tony Salerno and Darcy Ahner learned that they will have nine women and two men representing UC San Diego at this week's NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Turlock, CA...The meet will be held at the Al Brenda Track Complex on the campus of Cal State Stanislaus (site of the recent CCAA Championships), May 26-28.

Leading the parade for the Triton women will be seniors Kelly Fogarty and Stephanie LeFever who will be competing in three events each...Fogarty, the school record holder in the 100 and 200, will enter both of those events and also team wtih Lauren Irish, Jacqueline Rose, Deyna Roberson and Caitlin in the 4x400 relay...Fogarty earned All-American status by placing sixth in the 100 and seventh in the 200 in 2010...LeFever, meanwhile, will take her best shot in the heptathlon, long jump and triple jump...Meagher has also qualified in the 400 hurdles...Those six will be joined by a trio of throwers--2009 NCAA hammer champion Danielle Thu and javelin standouts Theresa Richards and Jessica Miklaski...Richards, a senior, was ninth last year in her specialty...Thu redshirted last season after winning the hammer title as a junior.

Speaking of titles, junior Nick Howe will be aiming for back-to-back NCAA crowns in the javelin...UCSD's school record holder, he cleared the rest of the field by more than five feet in claiming the first-ever NCAA D-II individual championship in the men's division last May in Charlotte, NC...He will be joined by senior Jesse Morrill, making his first trip to the nationals where he will run in the 3,000 steeplechase.


Senior Keith Okasaki, UCSD's lone representative, finished tied for 83rd at the NCAA Division II Golf Championships last week in Florence, AL...The Sacramento native, making his third NCAA appearance but first in the national championship tourney, posted a 54-hole total of 237 over the 7,150-yd., par 72 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals (Fighting Joe Course)...That left him 25 strokes behind the dual medalists Kyle Souza of Chico State and Daniel Young of Lynn...Okasaki's best round was a 76 on his second 18...He earned a spot in the 104-man field as an individual with a sixth place finish at the NCAA West/Central Regional.

This week's edition of Triton Talk, UCSD's online radio show with host Craig Elsten, will feature interviews with Softball Coach Patti Gerckens, senior Softball All-American Kristyn Lesovsky and junior hurdler Caitlin Meagher from the Track & Field squad...The show will be posted Monday afternoon at ucsdtritons.com.

The annual Athletics Recognition Dinner, honoring UCSD student-athletes, coaches and supporters, will be held Thursday, June 2 in the Price Center Ballroom...For more information, call (858) 534-4211.

UC San Diego Athletics offers a plethora of summer camp opportunities for every level of young athletes...For more information on this year's sports camp offerings, click here.

The 18th annual Triton Athletic Associates Golf Tournament is slated for Monday, June 13 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe...Fomore information on foursomes or sponsorships click here or call (858) 534-8460.

Send questions and comments to tritons@ucsd.edu.

For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com.


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