No. 14 Tritons Close Out Incredible Season in Denver With Narrow Loss to Golden Rams
DENVER – The sixth-seeded University of California San Diego softball team fell to seventh seed West Chester, 7-6, at the finals of the NCAA Division II National Championship at Regency Athletic Complex on Friday evening. With the loss, UC San Diego’s impressive season comes to a close. UC San Diego moves to 37-17 to close out their season, while West Chester improves to 40-21.
The Tritons got on the scoreboard early. Leading off the game, Maddy Lewis drew a walk, her team-best 24th of the season. Danica Kazakoff then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Lewis to second. The next batter, Keila Bosinger, grounded out to the Golden Rams second baseman and Lewis advanced to third. With two outs, cleanup batter Sherriah Harrington got the job done. Her bloop single to left field brought home Lewis, and the Tritons took a 1-0 lead over the Golden Rams.
UC San Diego protected its lead in a nail-biting bottom half of the first. After a pair of errors allowed the Golden Rams to reach second and third with no outs, starting pitcher Robyn Wampler struck out Golden Rams’ batting average leader Emily Maseth. Then, the Tritons spoiled a squeeze bunt attempt by the Golden Rams, as Brittney Ross-Smith fielded it cleanly and made the toss to catcher Clarissa Reynoso, who applied the tag. A West Chester flyout concluded the inning, and the Tritons escaped the jam.
The Tritons added to their advantage in the second. Reynoso started off the inning sending a single into right field, and a sacrifice bunt by Ross-Smith moved her to second. Later in the inning, Maddy Lewis stroked a double to deep right field, and Reynoso crossed home to make it a 2-0 game.
In the fifth, one stroke of the bat greatly extended UC San Diego’s lead. After Bosinger reached on a fielder’s choice and Harrington drew a walk, Mikaila Reyes smacked a homer over the left field fence to bring the score to 5-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Golden Rams managed their first hits of the game and made it a 5-1 contest, but UC San Diego soon answered. In the top of the sixth, Lewis drew a walk and stole second, moving over to third on another well-executed sacrifice bunt by Kazakoff. Then, Bosinger drilled a double to left center to bring home Lewis.
A big sixth inning for West Chester made it a 6-5 game, and in the seventh, a pair of runs put the Golden Rams on top as the Tritons fell just short.
With the loss, UC San Diego finishes its season. The Tritons made their first trip to the National Championship since the 2012 season, when they recorded a runner-up finish.
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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