Kazakoff's Grand Slam Seals Series Sweep for No. 17 Tritons
TURLOCK, Calif. – The No. 17 University of California San Diego softball team swept the Stanislaus State Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The Tritons improve to 13-2 on the season and 11-1 in CCAA play with their victories, while the Warriors fall to 4-13 overall and 1-11 in conference action. The series was highlighted by Danica Kazakoff’s grand slam in game four, which sealed a 10-1 victory for the Tritons.
Game three: UC San Diego 4, Stanislaus State 3
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Tritons struck back in the second. Sherriah Harrington reached base on a fielder’s choice, and moved to second when Clarissa Reynoso singled to the Warrior shortstop. Harrington then stole third, which proved to be crucial as she was able to later score on a passed ball by the Stanislaus State catcher.
UC San Diego tacked on another run to take the lead in the third inning. A familiar theme from the series continued as the Tritons were able to capitalize off of the Warriors’ mistakes. Isabel Lavrov reached based on a fielding error by the Stanislaus State center fielder, and advanced to second. The sophomore stole third, and eventually scored when Maddy Lewis sent a single up the middle.
The Warriors were able to tie things up in the bottom of the third, but the Tritons scored once again in the fifth. Danielle Stedman ripped a triple to center field to start the inning, and gave UC San Diego a 3-2 lead when Kazakoff stroked a double down the left field line.
The back-and-forth affair continued when the Warriors tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, but the Tritons answered once again in the sixth. Clarissa Reynoso launched a solo shot over the Warrior Softball Field fence to grab a 4-3 lead for UC San Diego. The lead held through the remainder of the contest, and the Tritons came away with the win in game three.
Robyn Wampler earned the complete-game win, pitching all seven innings and surrendering three earned runs. The sophomore struck out five Warrior batters.
Game four: UC San Diego 10, Stanislaus State 1 (5 innings)
The Tritons took an early lead in game four. Lavrov led off the contest by drawing a walk, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kazakoff. With Lewis at the plate, Lavrov then stole third. Lewis drew a walk as well, and also took advantage on the base paths by stealing second. The next batter, Reyes, knocked a single into right field to score both Lavrov and Lewis.
After a quiet next few innings, UC San Diego extended its lead in the fourth. Stolen bases again played a key role. Reynoso reached base on a Warrior error, stole second, and moved to third on a single by Alyssa Wing. Wing proceeded to steal second, putting two runners in scoring position for Stedman. After Stedman was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded for Lavrov. Lavrov came through with a clutch single through the right side, driving in Reynoso and Wing.
The Tritons piled on in the fifth. Lavrov drove in yet another run to bring the score to 6-1. Then, with the bases loaded, Kazakoff brought the fireworks. With one swing of her bat, Kazakoff smacked a grand slam and secured a 10-1 victory for the Tritons. The slam was Kazakoff’s first career home run.
"I got behind early in the count and I was just telling myself to be on time with the change and foul off the rest," Kazakoff said about the at bat. "It felt like a good swing but I was surprised it went out and stayed fair. After the hit, I wasn't really thinking anything. I was just trying to enjoy the moment with my teammates."
“It was great to have Danica's first home run be a grand slam, and it really broke the game open and that fueled us,” said Head Coach Patti Gerckens. “It was a great way to end the weekend and prepare us for Humboldt State. We wanted to end the series on a high note and that happened. Alanna pitched a nice game and it was great to have Dom get in there too. Overall, I was happy with our wins.”
The Tritons return to action on March 1 and 2, hosting Humboldt State for a pair of CCAA doubleheaders at Triton Softball Field. First pitch for Friday is slated for 1 p.m., while Saturday is set for 11 a.m. Saturday will also be Girls and Women in Sports Day, with vendors and community organizations on hand as UC San Diego celebrates girls and women in sports.
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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