UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank: 14 (NFCA)
CCAA Standing: 1st
UCSD split a two-games series against Azusa Pacific. The Tritons came from behind to walk off a winner in the first game, 4-3 before the Cougars outlasted UCSD in 12 innings in the night cap, 4-1. Kelsi Maday earned two RBI and two scarfice hits on the day. In the circle, Milana Casillas pitched 7.4 innings in relief over the two contests, allowing two earend runs, three hits and two walks. UC San Diego's doubleheader against No. 7 Adelphi orginally scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 19 was canceled due to field conditions following rain.
UC San Diego 4, Azusa Pacific 3
Azusa Pacific 4, UC San Diego 1
After not being ranked in the preseason poll, UCSD made its debut in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) national poll at No. 17 in the first edition of the regualr-season rankings. The Tritons currently sit in the No. 14 spot. To view the complete rankings, click here.
CCAA STANDINGS (2/23)
1. UC San Diego 4-0, 9-1
1. Stanislaus State 4-0, 8-2
3. Cal State Monterey Bay 3-1, 7-2
4. Cal State East Bay 2-2, 6-2
4. San Francisco State 2-2, 3-3
6. Cal State San Bernandino 1-1, 6-4
7. Sonoma State 1-3, 5-4
8. Cal State San Marcos 1-5, 1-8
9. Chico State 0-0, 5-0
9. Humboldt State 0-0, 5-0
11. Cal State Dominguez Hills 0-4, 1-8
UCSD leads the conference in triples (5), sacrifice flies (6), sacrifice hits (14), stolen bases (29) and base on balls (40).
Among all CCAA teams, UCSD ranks:
(All games, in top 3)
1. Stolen bases (29)
1. Sacrifice hits (14)
1. Triples (5)
1. Sacrifice flies (6)
1. Base on balls (40)
2. On-base percentage (.445)
2. Hits (86)
3. RBI (50)
3. Total bases (117)
1. Wins (9)
2. Saves (2)
3. Shutouts (1)
3. Strikeouts (35)
MADAY AND CASILLAS SWEEP CCAA WEEKLY HONORS
Junior outfielder Kelsi Maday and senior left-handed pitcher Milana Casillas earned CCAA Player and Pitcher of the week, respectively, for the week of Feb. 21-28. Maday helped 17th-ranked UC San Diego split a doubleheader with Azusa Pacific to improve to a 9-1 record overall. The Napa product finished the day with two RBI, two sacrifice hits, and one run. In game one, the Tritons trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh before Maday hit a two-run single to knot the game, 3-3. Maday also scored the game-winning run after sophomore Caitlin Weisner drew the walk-off walk to seal the 4-3 victory. Casillas saw two relief appearances, pitched 7.4 innings and earned her fourth win of the season. The Venice product did not allow a hit or a walk in 1.2 innings of action to secure the 4-3 win in game one. In the 12-inning nightcap, Casillas pitched 6.2 innings in relief allowing two earned runs, three hits and two walks. She collected one strikeout and was credited with her first loss of the season. This marks Maday’s second time receiving the weekly honor, she earned it once last season (for the week of Feb. 9). Casillas earned the weekly honor for the first time in her career.
LAUREN BROWN NAMED CCAA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Lauren Brown was named the CCAA Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 14-21. Brown helped UC San Diego sweep Cal State San Marcos in a four-game series to open CCAA play with a perfect 4-0 record. After the weekend, UCSD also moved to 8-0 on the season. The San Diego product started two games on the mound for the Tritons, she pitched 13 innings including one complete game and picked up two wins in the process. Brown only gave up two earned runs, one walk and eight hits. On Friday against CSUSM, she pitched all seven innings, tallied five strikeouts and only allowed three hits as UCSD won 5-1. This marks Brown’s second time receiving the weekly honor, she earned it once last season (for the week of Feb. 9).
ABOUT THE COYOTES
CSUSB is 6-4 overall and 1-1 in CCAA play, splitting a two-game series with Cal State San Marcos. Cassandra Williams is the Coyotes' best pitcher with a 4-4 record and 1.15 ERA. Jessica Brown has played in all 10 games and is hitting .370 with five homeruns, one double and 13 RBI. Morgan Ratliff leads the team in doubles (6) and stolen bases (4). Jim Maier is in his third season at the helm for CSUSB.
The Tritons hold a 59-47 advantage over the Coyotes in the all-time series. The two teams split a four-game series last season, 2-2. UCSD dropped the first game, 3-2, before winning the second and third games, 8-3 and 13-3 (5 inn.), respectively. The Coyotes shut out UCSD in game four, winning 4-0.
WHO’S BACK. WHO’S NOT
UC San Diego is coming off a 37-21 overall season and finished fourth in the CCAA with a 23-15 record. The Tritons won the CCAA Tournament with a 3-0 swept and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA West Regionals, where they fell to Central Washington in the second elimination game.
Head coach Patti Gerckens, in her milestone 25th season, welcomes back three all-conference players, and two All-West Region honorees, including the CCAA Freshman of the Year, Maddy Lewis. Lewis, a first team all-conference and second team all-region selection, will return for her sophomore year as an infielder for the Tritons. The Alameda product finished sixth in the CCAA in batting average (.367), with 47 hits, 33 RBI and 16 stolen bases. She also led the conference in sacrifice flies (5) and played in 49 games. First team All-CCAA and second team All-Region honoree, Kelsi Maday, will enter her junior year after starting all 58 games in the outfield last season. In 2016, Maday set a single-season school record with 37 stolen bases and tied a single-season Triton record with 54 runs. The Napa product also finished with a .368 batting average, 40 RBI and 64 hits. Junior Lauren Sanders also returns after finishing the season as an All-CCAA second team selection. Sanders finished the season with 37 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
The Tritons lost Lexi Edwards, a three-time All-CCAA pitcher. Edwards capped her senior season after starting 26 games, with a 1.96 ERA, 16-9 record and 80 strikeouts. She also paced the CCAA in saves with eight. UCSD also lost key players in Taylor Abeyta (52 hits, 18 RBI, 17 stolen bases) and Emma Schneider (29 hits, 11 doubles, 13 runs, 21 RBI).
Since 2006, UCSD is 8-3 in season openers and 7-4 in home openers ... Last season, the Tritons opened 9-1, including 8-0 at home ... Lauren Brown is the returning leader in the pitching staff in wins (12), innings pitched (105.2) and strikeouts (56) ... Milana Casillas returns as the leader in ERA (1.74) and opposing batting average (.292) ... Kelsi Maday was UCSD’s best hitter last season, topping the roster in batting average (.368), runs (54), doubles (12), RBI (40), slugging percentage (.552) and homeruns (6) ... Maday was also the top base stealer in 2016, swiping 37 bags ... In the field, Lauren Sanders posted a team-high 237 putouts in 2015 ... Maddy Lewis will be the returning leader in assists after totaling 109 last season and triples (4) ... Rachel Phillips returns after posting the highest fielding percentage (.992) in 2016 ... Maday sits on the individual career top-ten in several categories including batting average (.345), homeruns (10) and steals (52) … Lewis currently sits sixth on the career all-time list with a .356 batting average.
The Tritons welcome seven newcomers to the 2017 squad ... UCSD has 16 California natives on its roster, with Kendall Baker (Berthoud, Colo.) and freshman Alanna Phillips (Utica, N.Y.) being the only players out of state ... The Tritons have two local products on the roster: Mikaila Reyes (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) and Lauren Brown (San Diego/Academy of Our Lady of Peace).
KALABA, SILVA AND MITCHELL ADDED TO COACHING STAFF
UCSD has added Carissa Kalaba, Liz Silva and Carly Mitchell as the newest members to its coaching staff. Kalaba has 10 years of head coaching experience and was most recently the head coach of Utah State from 2009-13, where she coached one All-American and seven all-conference players. Prior to Utah State, Kalaba was the head coach at Biola University from 2004-09, where she compiled a 143-94 record as the all-time winningest coach in program history. She played softball collegiately at UCLA, helping the team win the 1999 NCAA and Pac-10 titles, as well as served as an undergraduate assistant coach for the Bruins in 2000.
Silva arrives in La Jolla after spending two years as the assistant coach (2015) and head coach (2016) of the varsity softball team at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista. She guided her team to two Metro-Pacific League titles and a semifinal berth in the CIF Division III Championship. She played softball collegiately for Oklahoma State, primarily as a catcher and second baseman for the Cowgirls. She was an All-Big XII selection and a member of the 1998 Oklahoma State team that finished third in the Women’s College World Series. Mitchell played softball at Cal State Dominguez Hills from 2014-15, after transferring from San Diego Mesa College.
HEAD COACH PATTI GERCKENS
Patti Gerckens is in her milestone 25th season in charge of the UC San Diego softball program. She has amassed an overall record of 655-545 (.546) over her 24-year career, with eight straight 30-win seasons among 11 total, including 2016’s 37 wins. The Tritons have gone 511-381 (.573) in 16 years since Gerckens guided the team’s transition from Division III to Division II in 2001, including 307-224 (.578) as a member of the ultra-competitive CCAA, widely considered the best Division II conference in the country. The winningest coach in program history, Gerckens led the Tritons to four straight NCAA postseason berths from 2011-14, beginning with back-to-back school-record 45-win seasons and appearances in the Division II championship game, the first of which brought UCSD its first softball title in 2011. The Tritons finished as national runners-up in her 20th campaign in 2012. Gerckens has led UCSD to 11 NCAA postseason appearances, with nine at the Division II level. UCSD is 22-18 (.55) in the NCAA Division II Championship. A native of Old Tappan, N.J., Gerckens graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. She was a four-year starter at second base for the Tar Heels and also played for the New Jersey Blue Jays of the Amateur Softball Association for nine years, winning a championship in 1992.
2017 CCAA PRESEASON POLL
The Tritons were picked to finish third in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) based on a preseason poll of the league’s coaches. Last season, UCSD won the CCAA Tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA West Regional Tournament. Humboldt State was picked to repast as the league champion after finishing as the 2016 national runner-up.
2017 CCAA SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
1. Humboldt State, 99 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Chico State, 87 (2)
3. UC San Diego, 80
4. Sonoma State, 74
5. Cal State San Bernardino, 62
6. San Francisco State, 54
7. Cal State Monterey Bay, 45
8. Stanislaus State, 38
9. Cal State East Bay, 34
10. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 19
11. Cal State San Marcos, 13
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UCSD Athletics' online partner, Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UC San Diego home athletic events, and much more!
After making its first appearance during the Spring 2016 NCAA Division I Referendum campaign, the slogan “All For One” stays front and center as UC San Diego Athletics continues its journey to become a full-fledged member of NCAA Division I. The phrase also speaks to the long-standing culture of unity among the 23 Triton intercollegiate teams as well as the commitment to the University’s principles of diversity and inclusion. When the topic is UC San Diego Athletics, Triton fans can join the conversation by using the hashtag #AllForOne.
SOCIAL MEDIA- #AllForOne
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The Tritons host San Francisco for a four-game CCAA series March 3-4. The Gators travel to Triton Softball Field for a doubleheader slated to start at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 3. On Saturday, March 4, UCSD and SF State will play a doubleheader set to start at 11:00 a.m.