LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 21st-ranked UC San Diego softball team completed the four-game sweep of Western Oregon Sunday at Triton Softball Field. The Tritons earned a 6-2 win in the opening game behind a quality start from Alexis Edwards, and drilled 14 hits in the second game to win 9-5.
The Tritons improve to 4-0 on the year with the season-opening sweep, while the Wolves drop to 0-4. UCSD last opened up a season 4-0 in 2012.
Emma Schneider (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) continued her strong start to the year with three hits in seven at-bats and recorded four RBI between the two games. She now has seven RBI through the opening four games. Kirsten Willmon also kept the offense rolling in her strong start to 2014 with four hits in seven at-bats. She also scored three runs on the afternoon. The pitching staff was sharp in the pair of wins and totaled 11 strikeouts in 14 innings.
In the opening game of the day, UCSD wasted no time jumping on the scoreboard after Caitlin Brown singled home Willmon to give the Tritons an early 1-0 lead. Western Oregon responded in the next half inning with an Emma Alfonso RBI single to knot the game at one.
The Tritons took control of the game in the third by scoring a trio of runs to lead 4-1 after three frames. The inning was started with a Willmon double to left-center, who was brought home after a deep-fly ball of the bat from Brown was dropped by the Wolves. Schneider followed with an RBI single before a string of singles brought her to third before scoring on a wild pitch.
UCSD tacked on a run in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, on RBI singles from Schneider and Callie Grant to put the game out of reach. The Tritons received two scoreless frames from Alayna Brenman to seal the victory and win 6-2.
Wilmon finished with two hits and a pair of runs scored in the game, while Grant tallied one hit, run, RBI and stolen base from the leadoff spot. Schneider knocked in a pair of runs on two hits and Brown recorded the final RBI on one hit.
Edwards (2-0) was credited with the win from the circle after finishing with five innings thrown, six hits allowed, two earned runs and three strikeouts. Brenman threw two perfect innings in relief with three strikeouts.
The Wolves were led by two hits from Jourdan Williams offensively. Williams was also tagged with the loss after allowing five runs in four innings from the circle.
Grant, Schneider and Katie Saunders each tallied a pair of RBI in the second game to propel UCSD to the 9-5 win.
The Tritons put a two-spot on the scoreboard in the first to grab a quick 2-0 lead. After two bunt singles and a sacrifice bunt from Brown to move the runners into scoring position, Schneider followed with a two RBI single to score Grant and Willmon.
Hannah Duarte got the start in game two and recorded three straight shutout innings before running into some trouble in the fourth. Western Oregon scored four times, three earned, to grab a 4-2 lead after four and half frames.
The Tritons responded, however, with a four-spot of their own the next half inning to grab the lead right back. After Taylor Sepulveda reached on a bunt single, Sunders launched a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Alexiss Rivas, who was called on to pinch-hit, followed with an RBI single before Grant delivered a two RBI single a few batters later. Grant later scored on a passed ball to make the score 6-4 after four frames.
UCSD would score three runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach and win 9-4.
Duarte (1-0) was awarded the win after throwing four innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out five. Brenman, for the second straight game, entered in relief to throw three innings of shutout ball while only allowing one hit. She was credited with her first save of the season after entering with the score 6-4 in the fifth.
McKenna Clewett recorded three hits, one RBI and scored a run for the Tritons offensively. Grant, Willmon, Sepulveda and Saunders all recorded two hits in the win. UCSD finished with 14 hits as a team in the game, giving them 27 total in four games.
WOU was led by one hit and three RBI from Ashley Cashin in the loss. Eryka Brill was tagged with the loss for the Wolves after surrendering five earned runs on 10 hits in just 3.1 innings.
As part of their 18-game homestand to start the year, the Tritons host California Baptist on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in a doubleheader at Triton Softball Field. The non-conference match-up is slated for a 3 p.m. start.