TURLOCK, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team finished the opening day of play at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock on a high note, defeating Dominican 1-0 Friday evening.
Before earning the win over the Penguins, UCSD (21-15) dropped its first pair of games in close decisions to Cal Baptist (2-0) and No. 21 Grand Canyon (2-1).
Game One: CAL BAPTIST 2 UC SAN DIEGO 0
The Tritons opened the afternoon dropping a 2-0 decision to Cal Baptist in a pitcher's duel.
Michelle Escamilla (1-7) worked just under six innings for the Tritons, striking out four batters while showing early success as she retired the side in order in both the second and third innings.
Hannah Duarte made her first career appearance for UCSD in a relief effort, entering the game in the sixth inning. Duarte earned the final out of the inning and stopped the Lancer rally by leaving the bases loaded.
The Tritons most successful run came in the third, beginning with a single through the left side by Taylor Sepulveda. Both Mckenna Clewett and Emily McQuaid added singles, but the Tritons were unable to capitalize as the Lancers didn't allow a runner past second base.
Game Two: No. 21 GRAND CANYON 2 UC SAN DIEGO 1
Grand Canyon registered both of its runs early, with an RBI double by Lauren Regester and singles by Claire Zampini, Stephanie Pesqueira and Nicole Newbury in the first inning.
Down 2-0 through the majority of the game, UCSD rallied with three hits in the seventh inning. The Tritons' lone run came from an RBI single down the right field line by Alissa Gutierrez. Both Caitlin Brown and Nicole Spangler also registered singles.
Kayla Hensel threw the opening four innings, giving up six hits for two runs, with four walks and one strike out.
Duarte made her second appearance in a relief effort, throwing the final two innings and not allowing a hit.
Game Three: UC SAN DIEGO 1 DOMINICAN 0
The game winning run for the Tritons came in the sixth inning off an RBI single by Spangler. Emily McQuaid scored the run after reaching on a walk.
Jennifer Manuel and Duarte split time on the mound for UCSD. Manuel, who pitched the opening four innings, retired the side in order in both the second and third frames.
Duarte tossed three hitless innings with three strikeouts.
The Tritons continue play at the Tournament of Champions on Saturday, April 6 with Hawaii Hilo at 1:15 p.m. and Chaminade at 5:45 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --