No. 11 Tritons Come From Behind to Top Simon Fraser, Finish Tournament of Champions a Perfect 5-0
TURLOCK, Calif. – The No. 11 University of California San Diego softball team scored late to capture a come-from-behind 9-5 victory over Simon Fraser at the Pedretti Sports Complex this afternoon. The Tritons improve to 25-6 on the season with the victory, while the Clan falls to 6-19 overall. The 5-0 performance at the tournament is the Tritons’ best since at least the 2006 season, and they were one of just three teams to finish this year's tournament undefeated.
For their efforts, Brittney Ross-Smith and Robyn Wampler earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. Ross-Smith batted a team-best .588 (10-for-17) while starting all five games. Wampler allowed just a single run across 15.1 innings, for a minuscule 0.46 ERA, while also picking up three wins.
Game Five: UC San Diego 9, Simon Fraser 5
In the final game of the tournament, the Triton bats heated up late. Down 5-0 heading into the sixth inning, the Tritons began their comeback. Back-to-back singles through the left side by Keila Bosinger and Danica Kazakoff opened the inning, and Maddy Lewis drew a walk to load the bases with no outs for Sherriah Harrington. Harrington came through with a single to left field, sending home Kazakoff and Bosinger to put the Tritons on the scoreboard.
The parade of singles continued as Ross-Smith contributed to the comeback with a single of her own. The bases were loaded once again, still without any outs, and Clarissa Reynoso came up to bat. Reynoso’s sacrifice fly to center field brought Lewis home, cutting the deficit to two.
Later in the inning, with two outs, Isabel Lavrov drilled a double to left field, sending Harrington and pinch runner Brittney Baisden across home plate and tying the game.
In the seventh inning, the Tritons picked up where they left off. Kazakoff, who reached on a fielder’s choice, took advantage of the Clan pitcher’s shaky control, advancing to second and third on a pair of wild pitches. At the plate, Lewis also capitalized on the control issues, drawing a walk. Lewis then stole second, putting two runners in scoring position.
When Ross-Smith came to bat, she slapped a single up the middle to drive home both Lewis and Kazakoff. On the throw home, the Valencia native was able to advance to second.
Walks plagued the Simon Fraser pitching staff throughout the inning. After Reynoso drew a walk, Mikaila Reyes reached on an error and Ross-Smith was able to come home to make it an 8-5 ballgame. Back-to-back walks to Lavrov and Stedman then put the Tritons’ final run on the scoreboard, and they held a 9-5 advantage heading into the bottom of the inning.
Wampler, who entered during the middle of the sixth, recorded three quick outs in the final frame to seal the victory. Wampler came away with the win to improve to 13-4 on the season. Dominique Acosta also pitched in relief, tossing 2.1 innings while allowing just one hit to the Clan. Starting pitcher Alanna Phillips saw 3.1 innings of work, allowing five earned runs while striking out three Simon Fraser batters.
UC San Diego was perfect defensively once again, recording three straight games without an error.
Head Coach Patti Gerckens was pleased with her hitters’ performances late in the contest.
“I think it was great to see them finally make adjustments in the later innings, which was key because we were making it easy for them in the first five,” said Gerckens. “Finally we started waiting on [the Simon Fraser pitcher]. We sat back and waited and hit the ball down. We had some clutch hits from several players and that was nice to see. It was great to see a comeback because we didn’t die; we fought.”
Next, the Tritons will return to California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action. UC San Diego will face conference foe Cal State East Bay for a pair of doubleheaders, slated to begin at 1 p.m. on April 5 and 11 a.m. on April 6.
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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