Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
The conferences top-two teams get ready for four-game series beginning Thursday.

No. 22 UC San Diego Gets Set for Showdown with No. 5 Chico State in Four-Game Home Series Starting Thursday

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THE SCHEDULE
Game 24
vs. Chico State (23-2, 18-2 CCAA)
Thursday, March 15 • 4 p.m.
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
Live VideoLive Stats

Game 25
vs. Chico State (23-2, 18-2 CCAA)
Thursday, March 15 • 6 p.m.
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
Live VideoLive Stats

Game 26
vs. Chico State (23-2, 18-2 CCAA)
Friday, March 16 • 11 a.m.
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
Live VideoLive Stats

Game 27
vs. Chico State (23-2, 18-2 CCAA)
Friday, March 16 • 1 p.m.
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
Live VideoLive Stats

NO. 5 CHICO STATE AND NO. 22 UC SAN DIEGO SIT ATOP CCAA STANDINGS
The Wildcats and Tritons currently place a stake in first and second place, respectively, in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings. Both teams enter this huge four-game series on win streaks, with UC San Diego riding a ten-game streak and Chico State on a five-gamer. UCSD's streak is the team's longest since the 2015 season when it won 11 consecutive games in February of that season. Chico State opened this season winning its first 17 games. 

PITCHERS HALEY GILHAM (CHICO) AND ROBYN WAMPLER (UCSD)
Haley Gilham, the program's all-time leader in wins (67), leads the pitching staff for the Wildcats and has been the best pitcher in the CCAA thus far this season. Gilham leads the conference in several categories ERA (1.04), strikeouts (77), innings pitched (87.2), complete games (11), shutouts (7) and second in wins (11). 

The senior from Norco, Calif. threw a no-hitter on Friday, March 9 against Cal State Monterey Bay. She walked two batters and struck out 10 in the win over CSUMB. She was recognized on Tuesday, March 13 as the CCAA Pitcher of the Week for already the third time this season. 

Robyn Wampler has been arguably the second-best pitcher in the conference behind only Gilham in just her freshman season. Wampler ranks first in the conference in wins (13) and second in ERA (1.23), strikeouts (61), innings pitched (85.1) and third in complete games (7) and shutouts (2). 

Wampler currently owns a five-game winning streak, surrendering just two earned-runs in her last 33.1 innings pitched.

MATCHUP FEATURES NO. 1 OFFENSE AGAINST NO. 1 PITCHING
UC San Diego boasts the 1st-ranked offense in the conference including top ranks in runs, average, on-base percentage and stolen bases. Chico State presents the number one pitching staff in the conference holding top ranks in ERA, strikeouts, opponent batting-average and shutouts. 

Both teams are strong on opposite facets as well, as the Tritons rank second in pitching and Chico State second in offense. 

ABOUT CHICO STATE
Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Overall: 23-2
• CCAA: 18-2
• Home: 12-0
• Away: 6-2
• Neutral: 5-0
• Highest National Ranking: 5th
• CCAA Standing: 1st out of 11 teams

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS

Head Coach Angel Shamblin (9th season)
Career Record at Chico State  278-166
UCSD All-Time Record vs. 45-27 (.625)
UCSD Streak vs. L2
UCSD Last Meeting vs. April 15, 2017, L, 2-0

TEAM LEADERS

Avg. K. Worley (.397) Wins H. Gilham (11)
Hits A. Marsh (31) | ERA

H. Gilham (1.04)

HR B. Akins (8) | SO H. Gilham (77)
RBI A. Marsh (23) | IP H. Gilham (87.2)

CHICO STATE LAST TIME OUT...
The Wildcats swept a four-game series from Cal State Monterey Bay this past Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10. On Friday, Chico State won game one of the doubleheader 4-0 behind Gilham's no-hitter, and took game two 6-5 with the help of home runs from Wendy Cardinali and Bailey Akins.

A complete game shutout from Gilham in game 1 on Saturday led to a 7-0 Chico State victory, while Cardineli hit her second home run of the series and drove in four runs in game 2 en route to a 7-5 win. 

ABOUT UC SAN DIEGO
Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Overall: 19-4
• CCAA: 12-4
• Home: 10-2
• Away: 4-2
• Neutral: 5-0

• Highest National Ranking (NFCA): 22
• Against Nationally-Ranked Teams: 2-2
• NFCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll: NR
• CCAA Standings: 2nd of 11 teams

TEAM LEADERS

Avg. K. Maday (.424) | Wins R. Wampler (13)
Hits 2 Tied (25) | ERA R. Wampler (1.23)
HR B. Aguirre (6) | SO R. Wampler (61)
RBI B. Aguirre (29) | IP R. Wampler (85.1)

WHO'S BACK?
UC San Diego is coming off a 30-22 overall mark in 2017 and sixth-place finish in the 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.

HEAD COACH PATTI GERCKENS EARNS HER 700TH CAREER VICTORY
Patti Gerckens is in her 26th season at the helm of the UC San Diego softball program in 2018 and with the two victories at Azusa Pacific on March 1, has now amassed 700 for her career. Gerckens has amassed an overall record of 704-573 (.551) over her 25-plus-year career, with 10 30-win seasons in the last 11 years. The Tritons have gone 562-409 (.578) in 17 years since Gerckens guided the team's transition from Division III to Division II in 2001, including 336-245 (.578) as a member of the ultra-competitive 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 (.550) in the NCAA Division II Championship. For Gerckens' complete bio, click here.

FRESHMAN BOBBI AGUIRRE CONTINUES TO SWING A HOT BAT
Aguirre has been a terror at the plate in just her first season playing collegiate ball. That did not stop when she went 5-for-11 with two home runs, nine RBI, a double, two walks and two runs scored in the Tritons four-game sweep of Cal State East Bay. The Chino Hills, Calif. native hit a three-run home run in game 1, a solo home run in game 2 and a key two-run double to deep center field in the fourht and final game of the series. 

TRITONS WHO RANK IN THE TOP-FIVE IN THE CCAA
Kelsi Maday ranks first in the conference in batting average (.424) and third in on-base percentage (.530), runs (22) and stolen bases (16). Bobbi Aguirre ranks first in RBI (29) and second in home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.738). Robyn Wampler ranks first in wins (13), second in ERA (1.23), innings pitched (85.1), strikeouts (61), opponent batting-average (.195) and third in complete games (6). 

CCAA SOFTBALL WEEKLY AWARDS THIS SEASON
1. Kelsi Maday (Player of the Week, Feb. 12-18)
2. Bobbi Aguirre (Player of the Week, Feb. 19-25)
3. Robyn Wampler (Pitcher of the Week, Feb. 19-25)

2018 CCAA STANDINGS
(through 3/13)
1. Chico State, 18-2
2. UC San Diego, 12-4
3. Sonoma State, 13-5 
4. Stanislaus State, 8-6
4. Stanislaus State, 8-6
6. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 7-9
7. Cal State San Bernardino, 6-8
8. Cal State Monterey Bay, 6-9
9. San Francisco State, 5-10
10. Cal State East Bay, 5-15
11. Cal State San Marcos, 3-17

NFCA TOP 25 COACHES POLL (RELEASED MARCH 14)
UC San Diego remains in the top 25 for the second straight week on Wednesday, coming in at No. 22 in the latest poll. Undefeated Colorado Mesa is No. 1 this week for the second consecutive week as well. UC San Diego remains ranked with its CCAA counterparts Chico State (No. 5) and Sonoma State (No. 14) in this week's poll. 

1. Colorado Mesa (12 first-place votes)
2. North Georgia (2)
3. Dixie State (2) 
4. Angelo State 
5. Chico State 
6. North Alabama
7. Winona State
8. Southern Arkansas
9. Saint Leo
10. Minnesota State
11. Texas A&M Commerce
12. Lenoir Rhyne
13. Palm Beach Atlantic
14. Sonoma State
15. West Texas A&M
16. Indianapolis 
17. Concordia Irvine
18. Harding
19. Queens
20. Southern New Hampshire
21. West Florida 
22. UC San Diego
23. Grand Valley State
24. Merrimack
25. California Baptist

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. Local media personality Miles Himmel (@mileshimmel) is back this season as the primary play-by-play voice. 

GOING LIVE
Live stats are available for all Triton softball games. Follow the play-by-play action by clicking here.

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.

GEAR UP
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UC San Diego Athletics' online partner, Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.

FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UC San Diego home athletic events, and much more!

SOCIAL MEDIA- #BigWestBound
UCSD Athletics on Facebook (UCSDtritons)
UCSD Softball on Facebook (/UCSDsoftball)
UCSD Athletics on Instagram (@UCSDtritons)
UCSD Softball on Instagram (@UCSDsoftball)
UCSD Athletics on Twitter(@UCSDtritons)
Coach Gerckens on Twitter (@UCSDCoachG)
UCSD Softball on Twitter (@ucsdsoftball)
UCSD Athletics on YouTube(UCSDAthletics)

UP NEXT
Following this week's action, UC San Diego remains home for a doubleheader against non-conference opponent and 17th-ranked Concordia Irvine with the twin bill set for Tuesday, March 27. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 4 p.m.

#BigWestBound

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