Bats Hot and Phillips in Control as No. 23 Tritons Finish Desert Stinger with a Win
LAS VEGAS – The No. 23 University of California San Diego softball team concluded the Desert Stinger Softball Tournament with a dominant 10-2 win over the University of Mary on Saunday afternoon. With the victory, the Tritons improve to 2-1 early on in the season, while the Marauders fall to 0-3.
For the third consecutive game, the Tritons took an early lead in the first inning. With two outs in the inning, Maddy Lewis was hit by a pitch and awarded first. Lewis then moved to second on a single through the left side by Mikaila Reyes. The next batter, Brittney Ross-Smith, stroked a double to left field to send Lewis home and Reyes to third.
Isabel Lavrov kept the inning alive and added to the Tritons’ lead by smacking a single to right field. Ross-Smith crossed home plate to give UC San Diego a 2-0 advantage.
The Marauders evened things up with a two-run home run in the second, but the Tritons responded in a big way in the next inning.
The same Tritons were at it again in the third. This time, Lewis got on base with a single to the Mary second baseman. UC San Diego was then able to capitalize off of an error by the Marauder pitcher, with Reyes reaching first and Lewis advancing to second.
A double steal by the pair put both of them in scoring position for Ross-Smith. The junior came through with a clutch single to left, giving the Tritons the lead once again.
Lavrov also recorded her second RBI of the games, slicing a double into left center to score Reyes.
With Lavrov and Ross-Smith on base, junior transfer Alyssa Wing rocketed a home run over the left field fence to extend the Tritons’ lead to 7-2.
The Tritons’ momentum continued into the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and an 0-2 count, freshman Clarissa Reynoso sent a single into left field to add two more runs to UC San Diego’s lead.
UC San Diego sealed the deal in the fifth inning, with a solo home run by Sherriah Harrington that made it a 10-2 game.
On the mound, Alanna Phillips struck out seven Marauder batters across five innings of work. Phillips surrendered just two runs during the game, on a two-run homer in the second inning. That was the only extra-base hit that Phillips allowed, as the Marauders’ recorded just four other hits throughout the five innings that were all singles.
Head Coach Patti Gerckens was pleased with the Tritons’ performances both on the mound and at the plate.
“Alanna was unbelievable,” Gerckens said about the Triton pitcher. “Her pitches were moving and she was really keeping the hitters off balance. I’m very proud of how hard she’s worked.”
Phillips earned more than enough run support from the Triton batters, who Gerckens was impressed with as well.
“We’ve been working on getting the barrel to the ball,” Gerckens said. “They did a great job of laying off the high pitches and being patient to find their pitches. It was great to see them being smart with their pitch selection.”
Ross-Smith, for the second year in the row, earned a spot on the Desert Stinger All-Tournament Team. She went 5-for-7 across the three games, and drove in five runs.
Next, UC San Diego will return to La Jolla. The Tritons will host their home opener at 1 p.m. on Feb. 8, as they face CCAA foe CSU Dominguez Hills for a doubleheader.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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