SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The No. 21 University of California San Diego softball team split two games in Friday afternoon’s doubleheader at Cal State San Bernardino, dropping Game 1 to the Coyotes, 8-0, in five innings to start the day before rebounding for a convincing victory in Game 2, 13-6.
Freshman Sherriah Harrington (Chula Vista/Eastlake HS) homered and collected four hits total on Friday for UC San Diego (24-11, 17-11 CCAA), while junior third baseman Maddy Lewis finished the day with three hits.
However, it was three defensive errors over two games that caught the attention of UC San Diego head coach Patti Gerckens.
“Our defense has to be better,” said Gerckens. “If we want to win games, we have to be consistent defensively.
“We started hitting in the second game, which was good to see, but our defense wasn’t as strong as it should have been. You can’t make those mistakes against good teams.”
Freshman pitcher Robyn Wampler had a rough beginning to the series, allowing eight runs — five earned — on eight hits in 2.1 innings pitched to start Game 1. It was the most runs, earned runs and hits allowed this season by the Berkeley, Calif., native.
Wampler retired the Coyotes in order in the first inning, but ran into trouble in the second.
It began with a Dominique Walker walk, before Sydney Kreimann followed with a single up the middle and Jamiana Gateb’s single to center put Cal State San Bernardino on the scoreboard.
A two-RBI single up the middle by Monica Maddox made it 3-0, and Samantha Vacko’s RBI single to short pushed the lead to four en route to a six-run inning for CSUSB (21-13, 12-12).
RBI singles by Gateb and Maddox in the third extended the Coyotes’ lead to 8-0, while the Tritons tallied just four hits total in the five-inning contest.
UC San Diego’s bats came alive in Game 2, as Harrington led the way going 3-for-4 with a solo home run, three runs scored and two RBI.
Senior Kelsi Maday hit a two-run homer in the first to put the Tritons ahead, 3-0, while Lewis finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore Dominique Acosta earned the win in the pitcher’s circle despite throwing just 0.2 innings, and Wampler picked up her third save of the season allowing zero earned runs on four hits in three innings pitched.
Tied 4-4 after four innings, the Tritons took control by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth. After Harrington’s solo homer, freshman catcher Bobbi Aguirre hit a two-run double to left to extend the lead to 7-4.
The four-game weekend series concludes on Saturday, with Game 1 of the doubleheader set to begin at 12 p.m.
“We’ve seen all of (CSUSB’s) pitchers now,” said Gerckens. “Hopefully we’ll go into attack mode (Saturday) and win a couple more games.”