THIS WEEK'S EVENTS:
Thu., June 2---Men's Crew---UCSD at IRA National Championships---7:00 AM
Thu., June 2---Athletics Recognition Dinner---7:00 PM
Fri., June 3---Men's Crew---UCSD at IRA National Championships---7:00 AM
Sat., June 4---Men's Crew---UCSD at IRA National Championships---7:00 AM
SOFTBALL TEAM THUNDERS TO FIRST NATIONAL TITLE IN VIRGINIA
Coach Patti Gerckens' Softball team completed a perfect nine-game run through the NCAA Division II tournament with a resounding, 10-3, victory over No. 1-ranked Alabama-Huntsville to win its first-ever national title Monday in Salem, VA...The Tritons, already the winningest softball team in school history, used a combination of dominant pitching, solid defense and timely hitting to sweep through the final four games in Salem...They finished up 45-14 after adding the NCAA trophy to the CCAA and Regional crowns already in their possession.
The Tritons made their NCAA Championship debut in high fashion last Thursday, disposing of East Regional champ C.W. Post, 7-0...An authoritative, two-hit pitching performance by junior Camille Gaito, coupled with seven C.W. Post errors made it an easy afternoon for UCSD...Gaito fanned eight and allowed just three baserunners while racking up her 32nd win of the year and school record 62nd of her career...The Tritons, who had seven hits on the day, got their first marker in the second inning when senior Katrin Gabriel steamed home from second on an infield error by the Pioneers...Two more Pioneer miscues got UCSD a second unearned run in the third frame...The Tritons blew it open in the fifth when four more fielding mistakes by C.W. Post led to three UCSD runs and a five-run margin...The Tritons closed out the scoring with two more in the seventh, opening the inning with five consecutive singles...Second baseman Jenn DeFazio was the hitting star, going 3-for-3, scoring twice and driving in one.
In Friday's winner's bracket match-up, UCSD fell behind early but rebounded for a 4-2 triumph over Minnesota State-Mankato...The Mavericks touched up Gaito for two third inning runs but the Tritons wasted no time in responding---striking for four runs of their own in the top of the fourth...DeFazio kick-started the offensive outburst with a lead-off double and moved to third on Caitlin Brown's sacrifice bunt...After freshmen Esther Strom and Mya Romero worked Maverick starter Kendra Huettl for walks, Gerckens went to the bench, pinch-hitting with another freshman Jennifer Manuel...Manuel promptly punched the first pitch to right field for a two-run single and senior center fielder Kris Lesovsky followed that with a double to the gap in right center, plating two more...Gaito cruised through the next three innings but had to survive some anxious moments in the bottom of the seventh...With one out, Minnesota State loaded the bases on two singles and a fielder's choice but third baseman Sarah Woofter fielded a grounder, nailed the lead runner at home for the second out and Romero gloved a pop up to end the contest.
The Tritons reached the title game, again riding the sturdy right arm of Gaito, by outlasting fellow first-time NCAA Championship participant Saginaw Valley State, 2-1, Sunday...DeFazio broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth when she launched a leadoff home run over the left field wall...UCSD, which tagged 31-game winner Jade Fulton for nine hits, upped its lead to two runs in the sixth when Strom plated classmate Charly Swanberg with a double to deep center...Gaito, in complete command through six, again had to battle through some seventh inning drama...SVSU's first batter, senior Jillian Peterson, cut the Tritons' lead in half with a dinger to right field...With one out, Gaito issued her second free pass of the afternoon and after getting out number two, plunked the next batter to put the potential game-winning run on base... But the redoubtable Gaito refused to be rattled, registering her 12th strikeout when she got Jessica McKeith looking to end the ballgame...Three freshmen--Swanberg, Strom and Sepulveda--each had two hits...Swanberg, making her first start of the tournament behind the plate, threw out a runner stealing and picked off another.
Although Gaito was again in control in Monday's title showdown against Alabama-Huntsville, it was the Triton offense that took center stage, stunning Charger starter Whitney Toler, who came in 21-2, with a nine-run blitz in the first two innings...UCSD stung the UAH staff for 12 hits in its 10-3 triumph, Woofter leading the way with a 3-for-3 afternoon...In all, five players had multi-hit games including the 6-7-8 trio of Tess Granath, Esther Strom and Katrin Gabriel who combined for six hits, scored three runs and drove in seven...Gaito, who pitched every inning of the post-season for the Tritons, escaped a bases loaded jam in the first inning and shut out UAB for six frames before surrendering three markers in the bottom of the seventh...UCSD's all-time wins leader finished the season 35-4 and was named MVP of the Championships...She was joined on the all-tournament team by DeFazio and Sepulveda.
See Monday's post-game interview with Head Coach Patti Gerckens.
See Monday's post-game interview with senior Sarah Woofter.
See Monday's post-game interview with senior Jenn DeFazio.
See Monday's post-game interview with senior Kris Lesovsky.
See Monday's post-game interview with junior Camille Gaito.
WOMEN FIFTH AT NCAA TRACK & FIELD; HOWE TAKES SECOND TITLE
Junior Nick Howe won his second consecutive national title in the javelin and four different competitors scored points as the UCSD women finished fifth in the team standings at last weekend's NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Turlock...Howe, who uncorked his school record-breaking heave of 231-3 on his first attempt, finished six feet better than his closest competitor...His mark was nine feet beyond his winning distance from a year ago...The 10 points Howe earned for his gold medal effort put the UCSD men in 28th place.
Seniors Stephanie LeFever and Kelly Fogarty concluded their UCSD careers with All-American performances in two events each...LeFever recorded a pair of school records that both resulted in runner-up finishes...Thursday, she topped her own UCSD mark in the long jump, hitting 20-3.5 in a competition where she had the second, third and fourth best marks...LeFever came back Friday to snap former teammate Linda Rainwater's heptathlon standard, compiling 5,835 points, just 129 behind winner Lindsay Lettow of Central Missouri but more than 500 above Rainwater's previous best...Fogarty posted top four finishes in both sprints...She was fourth in the 100, clocking 11.58 and came back to place one spot higher in the 200 (23.55)...The time in the 200 matched the school record she had set in the previous day's prelims.
Also hitting the scoreboard for the Tritons were senior Danielle Thu and sophomore Jessica Miklaski...On the first day of the meet, Thu, the 2009 national champion in the hammer throw, unloaded a toss of 182-9, which left her in fourth place...While Thu's point-scoring efforts were expected, the biggest surprise of the weekend for the Tritons came from Miklaski whose toss of 143-2 in the javelin was nearly six feet further than her previous best and rewarded her with sixth place... Teammate Theresa Richards, the two-time defending CCAA champion in the event, had an off day and finished 13th...In all, the Triton women accounted for 35 points, allowing them to finish fifth, 11 places better than last spring.
Also qualifying but not reaching the finals were Caitlin Meagher (400 hurdles), Jesse Morrill (3,000 steeplechase) and the 4x400 relay team...The latter squad, comprised of Deyna Roberson, Lauren Irish, Jacqueline Rose and Meagher, missed earning a spot in the top eight by just one place...Fogarty was slated to be part of the unit in the finals.
MEN'S CREW TAKES ON COLLEGIATE POWERS AT IRA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Coach Zach Johnson's Men's Crew departed yesterday for Cherry Hill, NJ, outside of Camden, and the International Rowing Assn. (IRA) Championships at Cooper Lake...The Tritons, who won the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Assn. (WIRA) Championships in their last outing, will enter varsity eight, JV eight and novice eight boats at the IRA event... Eighteen teams are in the field and three heats of six will take to the line Thursday morning...The winner of each heat will advance directly to Friday's semi-finals with the remaining 15 dropping into an afternoon repochage from which eight boats will join the heat winners in the semis...The top three boats in each semi-final heat will duke it out in the grand final Saturday.
With the nation's top Division I boats, including Washington, Cal, Wisconsin, Harvard and Princeton, all competing in the varsity eight, any finish in the top 15 by Johnson's non-scholarship charges would be a major accomplishment...In the premier race, the Tritons will be sending out a slightly altered lineup from the one that represented at WIRA...Sophomore Bryce Worley has been brought up from the JV eight to fill the fifth seat and incumbent Benton Sparks has moved back to the four.
NEWS & NOTES
This week's edition of Triton Talk, UCSD's online radio show with host Craig Elsten, is scheduled to feature interviews with Softball Head Coach Patti Gerckens, NCAA MVP Camille Gaito and NCAA javelin champion Nick Howe...The show will be posted Wednesday afternoon at ucsdtritons.com.
UCSD spring athletes continued to rake in the post-season hardware last week...Softball junior Camille Gaito, UCSD's winningest all-time hurler was named second team NFCA All-American and Daktronics West Region Pitcher of the Year.
Meanwhile, senior Baseball star Tim Shibuya, like Gaito a Triton career win leader, was also tabbed as the Daktronics West Region Pitcher of the Year...He was joined on the All-West Region first team by Danny Susdorf, Evan Kehoe and Blake Tagmyer...Guido Knudson, Elias Tuma and Nick LaFace garnered second team honors...Senior catcher Kellen Lee and senior second baseman Matt Hubbard earned ABCA Gold Gloves for defensive prowess at their positions.
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...For more information on foursomes or sponsorships click here or call (858) 534-8460.
Triton alumni athletes are reminded that Homecoming 2011 is scheduled for the weekend of Saturday, October 22...A detailed listing of events will be posted on the UCSD Athletic website in the near future.
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