Tritons Play Host to Sonoma State in Home Openers This Weekend
TRITON SOFTBALL ON UCSDTRITONS.TV
UC San Diego Athletics and local technology giant ViaSat once again in 2018 bring you Triton Softball on UCSDtritons.tv, an online streaming platform. All broadcasts are in high definition, and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets. Viewing is subscription-based, though it is free from UCSD campus IP addresses. The single-day fee is $5.99, meaning doubleheaders are two-for-one. Events are archived. This week, Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader is unable to be broadcast. There will be no play-by-play commentary for Game 1, so there will be no fee to watch. Local media personality Miles Himmel (@mileshimmel) is back this season as the primary play-by-play voice, and he will call both games on Saturday.
Live stats are available for all Triton softball games. Follow the play-by-play action by clicking here.
HOME SWEET HOME
UC San Diego has 22 scheduled home games for the 2018 season, including a 10-game homestand beginning on March 9 with a doubleheader against Cal State East Bay and finishing with a doubleheader against Concordia Irvine on March 27. The Tritons begin their home schedule with a doubleheader against Sonoma State on Feb. 9, and conclude their home slate with a doubleheader against Stanislaus State on April 14. Check out UC San Diego’s complete 2018 schedule here. Admission is once again free for all in 2018. Parking is free only on weekends.
BIG (WEST) NEWS FOR UC SAN DIEGO ATHLETICS
On Nov. 27, UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020. They will play a full Big West schedule that season and will be eligible for NCAA Championships in men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and fencing. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. Read the full press release here.
2018 CCAA PRESEASON POLL
The Tritons were picked to finish sixth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) based on a preseason poll of the league’s coaches. UC San Diego earned 54 points in the poll to finish ahead of Cal State East Bay (53 points) and behind Sonoma State (69). The Tritons finished sixth in last season’s final CCAA standings with a 30-22 overall record and 21-19 mark in conference play.
1. Cal State Monterey Bay, 96 points (6 first-place votes)
2. Chico State, 88 (3)
3. Humboldt State, 78 (2)
4. Cal State San Bernardino, 72
5. Sonoma State, 69
6. UC San Diego, 54
7. Cal State East Bay, 53
8. Stanislaus State, 35
9. San Francisco State, 27
10. Cal State San Marcos, 22
11. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 13
WHO’S BACK, WHO’S NOT
UC San Diego is coming off a 30-22 overall mark in 2017 and sixth-place finish in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings with a 21-19 record. The Tritons concluded conference play winning seven of their last eight games. UC San Diego welcomes back two all-conference selections in seniors Kelsi Maday and Kendall Baker.
Maday was a first-team All-CCAA honoree for the second-consecutive season, while also garnering All-West Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as well as the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA). The senior started all 52 games in the outfield in 2017, finishing the season batting .395 with 13 doubles and 42 stolen bases. In addition, Maday led the Tritons with 44 runs scored, 37 RBI and a .468 on-base percentage. The Napa native has already set UC San Diego’s single-season record for stolen bases in a season (42) and for a career (94).
Baker was named to the All-CCAA second team in 2017 for the second-straight season, as she led UC San Diego with 66 hits and three triples. A native of Berthoud, Colo., Baker finished second on the team behind Maday with 36 stolen bases, which ranks second all-time for the program in a single season. In addition, the second baseman/outfielder led the Tritons with 43 runs scored, putting her fifth all-time for a single season. Baker was also an Academic All-District 8 selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for her combined performance on the field and in the classroom.
The Tritons lost left-handed pitcher Milana Casillas and first baseman Ashley Chestnut to graduation following the 2017 season. Casillas appeared in 28 games with eight starts, compiling a record of 9-5 with three saves and a 3.08 ERA. Meanwhile, Chestnut started 48 games for the Tritons, recording a .289 batting average with 39 hits, 21 RBI, 14 runs scored and three home runs.
- The Tritons have won their last two home openers, defeating Saint Martin’s, 5-4, to begin the 2017 season and knocking off Azusa Pacific, 6-1, in the 2016 home opener.
- UC San Diego has won 11-consecutive games overall dating back to last season.
- The Tritons took third place in the Desert Stinger Classic last weekend with a 5-0 record.
- Freshman pitcher Robyn Wampler, freshman utility Sherriah Harrington and sophomore first baseman Brittney Ross-Smith were each named to the Desert Stinger Classic All-Tournament team.
- Freshman pitcher Robyn Wampler recorded four wins and a save in the pitcher’s circle during last weekend’s five-game tournament. The Berkeley native pitched 21 2/3 innings with a 1.29 ERA, 18 strikeouts and held the opposition to a .182 batting average. Her best performance came in the season-opening victory over Concordia (Ore.), where Wampler pitched a complete game allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out three.
- Freshman Sherriah Harrington (Chula Vista/Eastlake HS) went 7-for-12 (.583) at the plate with two home runs, two doubles, eight RBI and three stolen bases. Her 1.250 slugging percentage ranked second among all players in the tournament. Harrington hit a two-run home run in her first-career start as the Tritons defeated Academy of Art, and also hit a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the sixth inning of UC San Diego’s win over Saint Martin’s.
- Sophomore first baseman Brittney Ross-Smith had the second-highest batting average (.636) of all players in the three-day tournament, going 7-for-11 with four RBI and two runs scored. Ross-Smith went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored in the Tritons’ season-opening victory over Concordia (Ore.). The Valencia native also went 2-for-2 with two RBI in the win against Fort Lewis College.
- Sophomore pitcher Alanna Phillips earned her first-career victory over the weekend, pitching 4 2/3 innings allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out two against Academy of Art. Senior Kendall Woken made her first-career appearance in the pitcher’s circle, getting the start in UC San Diego’s victory over Saint Martin’s.
- Senior Kelsi Maday leads the Tritons with six runs scored, while also recording a home run and driving in four runs at the Desert Stinger Classic.
- UC San Diego is 20-of-23 in stolen base attempts this season, while its opposition is just 8-for-10.
HEAD COACH PATTI GERCKENS
Patti Gerckens is currently in her 26th season at the helm of the UC San Diego softball program in 2018. Gerckens has amassed an overall record of 685-567 (.574) over her 25-year career, with 10 30-win seasons in the last 11 years. The Tritons have gone 541-403 (.573) in 17 years since Gerckens guided the team’s transition from Division III to Division II in 2001, including 328-243 (.574) as a member of the ultra-competitive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), widely considered the best Division II conference in the country. The winningest coach in program history, Gerckens led the Tritons to four straight NCAA postseason berths from 2011-14, beginning with back-to-back school-record 45-win seasons and appearances in the Division II championship game, the first of which brought UCSD its first softball title in 2011. The Tritons finished as national runners-up in her milestone 20th campaign in 2012. Gerckens has led UCSD softball to 11 NCAA postseason appearances, with nine at the Division II level. UCSD is 22-18 (.55) in the NCAA Division II Championship. For Gerckens’ complete bio, click here.
GRIFFITH, HENNESSEY ADDED TO COACHING STAFF
UC San Diego has added Megan Griffith and Nicole Hennessey to its coaching staff. Griffith comes to La Jolla after previously serving as an assistant coach at Whittier College, and was formerly the head coach of the club team Lakewood Firecrackers. A collegiate infielder at Middle Tennessee State University, Griffith earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Scholar-Athlete honors and was also named to the Dean’s List. Griffith played her first collegiate season at McNeese State before playing one season at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.
Hennessey arrives in La Jolla after spending one year as head coach of the Firecrackers travel ball team. She also interned at 108 Performance Academy in Riverside, where Hennessey worked with athlete ranging from six to 26-years-old to help improve throwing, hitting and overall performance. A collegiate outfielder, Hennessey played three seasons at California Baptist University after spending her freshman season at Azusa Pacific. She led the Lancers to a PacWest championship and earned NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors.
ABOUT THE SEAWOLVES
Sonoma State also competed in the Desert Stinger Classic last weekend, going 3-2 in the five-game tournament. The Seawolves defeated Saint Martin’s, 5-4, lost to Western Oregon, 4-3, topped Northwest Nazarene, 5-4, knocked off Western Washington, 9-2, and dropped its final game of the tournament to Hawaii Hilo, 12-2. Senior catcher Sarah Langley went 7-of-15 in the tournament with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore outfielder Alee Balanon hit two home runs and drove in five runs, while sophomore Teresa Danenberg earned two victories in the pitcher’s circle allowing five earned runs on 19 hits while striking out 12 in 16 innings pitched.
UC San Diego is 45-31 (.592) all-time against Sonoma State, with the Seawolves winning three of four meetings last season.
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FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
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Following this weekend’s action, UC San Diego hits the road to face fifth-ranked reigning CCAA Tournament champion Humboldt State for four games beginning Friday, Feb. 16 at noon.