Super Regional Bound! No. 14 Tritons Top CCAA Rival No. 22 Chico State Twice to Advance
LA JOLLA, Calif. – The No. 14 University of California San Diego softball team will advance to the NCAA Division II West Super Regional following two thrilling victories today over California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rival Chico State on Saturday. In the first game of the day, UC San Diego topped Chico, 5-4, and in game two, the Tritons defeated the Wildcats, 2-1.
Game One: UC San Diego 5, Chico State 4
After Chico State grabbed a narrow 1-0 lead in the first inning of the early game, UC San Diego answered loudly in the second. First, leadoff batter Alyssa Wing reached base when she was hit by a pitch. Then, Kinley Kyro reached on a bunt, moving Wing over to second as well. The small ball continued for the Tritons, as Brittney Ross-Smith bunted both the runners into scoring position.
Chico State starting pitcher Brooke Larsen then struggled with her control. Danica Kazakoff drew a walk, and then Keila Bosinger was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Isabel Lavrov. In the high-pressure situation, Lavrov drilled a single into right field, and three runs ultimately came around to score on the Wildcat’s errant throw. It was a crucial inning for the Tritons, as they grabbed a 5-1 lead over Chico State.
Triton starting pitcher Robyn Wampler cruised during the first six innings, but the Wildcats attempted a late comeback. Wampler ultimately tossed 6.1 innings pitched to earn the win, surrendering four earned runs while racking up six strikeouts.
Fellow Triton pitcher Alanna Phillips came in in relief, entering in a crucial situation. After Chico State pulled within a run with a runner on second, Phillips got the final two outs to secure the victory and earn the save.
Game Two: UC San Diego 2, Chico State 1
The Tritons forced a second game with their victory, which turned into the ultimate pitchers’ duel. The only scoring of the game for either team occurred in the third inning.
Chico State struck first with a run in the third, but UC San Diego responded in the bottom half of the inning. With Chico State’s Larsen pitching once again, Stedman drew a walk to start things off. Lewis then reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing Stedman to second. Errors plagued the Wildcats once again, as Kazakoff laid down a sacrifice bunt, and a throwing miscue allowed both Lewis and Stedman to score.
That was the difference maker in the game, as UC San Diego came away with the 2-1 win. Two runs were all that the Tritons needed behind stellar Wampler, who tossed a three-hitter. The sophomore was in top form, only allowing a single earned run over all seven innings. Wampler picked up three strikeouts along the way. The Berkeley native’s gem earned her her 22nd win of the season.
UC San Diego’s victories secured them a spot in the West Region Super Regional. The region’s second-seeded Tritons will soon head to Irvine to face top-seeded Concordia Irvine at Eagles Field in Irvine. The Tritons and Eagles will face off at noon on both Thursday and Friday, with a game to follow at 2:30 p.m. on Friday if necessary. The victor will travel to Denver to participate in the championship's final games from May 23-27.
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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