LA JOLLA, Calif. — Junior first baseman Sharona Mataele hit two home runs in her first-career start, as the University of California San Diego softball team split its doubleheader with Sonoma State on Saturday afternoon.
The Tritons fell to the Seawolves in the first game of the day, 4-2, before Mataele powered UC San Diego (7-2, 2-2 CCAA) to a victory in the second game, 8-5.
Freshman Michele Ota went 2-for-3 with a run scored, but it wasn’t enough as the Tritons dropped game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Senior Kendall Baker finished 1-for-4 with an RBI, while senior Kelsi Maday, sophomore Mikaila Reyes, sophomore Danica Kazakoff and freshman Bobbi Aguirre also recorded a hit for UC San Diego. Freshman pitcher Robyn Wampler allowed three earned runs on five hits in four innings pitched.
The Tritons fell behind 4-0 in the fourth but cut the deficit in half when Baker’s RBI single up the middle scored Maday and allowed Ota to score on a throwing error.
Mataele exploded in the second game of the doubleheader going 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored in her first start in a Tritons uniform to lift UC San Diego over Sonoma State, 8-5. Ota and fellow freshman Isabel Lavrov also had one RBI apiece, while Wampler improved her record to 6-0 on the young season after allowing two earned runs on four hits in four innings pitched.
The Tritons jumped out to a big lead in the first inning, as Mataele’s first homer of the game drove in three to make it 4-0. Ota followed with an RBI double to center to score junior Maddy Lewis, and Lavrov’s RBI single made it 6-0.
Sonoma State (5-4, 2-2) pulled within one in the fifth, but Mataele hit her second home run in the bottom of the sixth — a two-run shot — giving UC San Diego some breathing room and an 8-5 advantage.
The Tritons continue CCAA play on the road next weekend, as UC San Diego takes on Humboldt State. Friday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at noon, while Saturday’s games are set to start at 2 p.m.