LA JOLLA, Calif. – Jennifer Manuel tossed a gem inside the circle in game two as UC San Diego finished off the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) series sweep of Cal State Stanislaus Saturday at Triton Softball Field. The Tritons earned a win in the opener, 9-1, behind 11 hits from the offense before Manuel took a no-hitter into the fifth in the nightcap to lead UCSD to a 5-1 win.
The Tritons improve their hold on first place in the CCAA with their third league sweep of the season, fourth overall, and moves to 17-3 in conference and 22-6 overall. Cal State Stanislaus falls to 10-27 overall and 6-20 in league action.
UCSD was led by six hits, five runs and a stolen base from Callie Grant on the day. Katie Saunders finished with four hits and a pair of RBI, Caitlin Brown totaled three RBI and Amani Proctor produced three hits as well for the Tritons. The pitching staff only allowed two earned runs on the day, led by Manuel’s six strong innings.
UCSD continued right where they left off from yesterday’s action in the opener, as the Tritons pounded out 11 hits to mercy-rule the Warriors 9-1 in six innings.
Grant led off the game with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second and stole third before head coach Patti Gerckens called a suicide-squeeze with Brown at bat. Brown laid down a perfect bunt to score the speedy Grant for an RBI. The final run of the inning scored on a McKenna Clewett RBI single to center field with two outs.
The Tritons added four more in the second on three hits to lead 6-0 after two. The inning was highlighted by a Kirsten Willmon triple, her team-leading fourth of the season, to lead off the inning and a two-RBI single from Proctor.
After allowing a Warrior run in the third, the Tritons responded with a pair of runs in the fifth to extend the lead to 8-1. Chandler Geary delivered a pinch-hit two-RBI single through the right side to plate the pair of runs.
UCSD finished off the victory in walk-off fashion on a Saunders double to left center to score Grant, who led off with a single up the middle.
The offense was led by three hits and three runs from Grant, while Brown and Geary delivered two RBI apiece.
Alexis Edwards improved her record to 11-2 after throwing four innings, giving up four hits and one earned run and recording three strikeouts. Her team-leading ERA now stands at 1.69, good for second in the CCAA. Alyana Brenman threw the final two innings without allowing a hit.
Manuel was the difference maker in the finale of the series and picked up her fourth win of the season after tossing a quality start of six scoreless innings. The senior retired 11 straight Warriors to open the game before allowing a walk in the fourth with two outs.
Manuel carried a no-hitter into the fifth as a two-out knock on a 1-0 pitch to Jessica Varady broke up the no-hit attempt. She escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, after an error and a pair of walks put runners on, with a great defensive play from Emily McQuaid at third to force an out at home and a running catch from Mya Romero in foul ground to end the threat.
The offense backed Manuel’s performance with five runs on 10 hits. The double-digit hit performance marked the 16th time this season and third consecutive game UCSD has produced 10 or more hits as a team.
The Tritons scored once in the third on a wild pitch and twice in the third on two hits. Grant singled and scored before Saunders produced an RBI single through the left side to score Proctor, who reached on an error.
The final two runs came in the sixth on four hits. Brown and Clewett brought home the runs on RBI singles to make the score 6-0 as the final inning approached.
Hannah Duarte finished off the win with an inning of work in the circle. She allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout.
Grant finished with three hits for UCSD, while Saunders amassed a pair of knocks in the win. Proctor scored twice and stole her 12th base of the year to stay a perfect 12-12 in stolen base attempts.
UCSD heads to the Tournament of Champions in Turlock next weekend, Apr. 4-6. The Tritons will play three games Friday against Chaminade (11 a.m.), Dominican (3:30 p.m.) and California Baptist (5:45 p.m.) and two contests Saturday versus Hawaii Pacific (11:15 a.m.) and Notre Dame de Namur (1:30 p.m.). The rest of the schedule will be determined after pool play for Sunday’s action.