Saturday, Apr. 12 • 11 a.m.
SFSU Softball Field • San Francisco
UC San Diego currently stands at 28-7 overall and 17-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tritons sit in first place in league play just ahead of Cal State Monterey Bay, who sits a game behind with a conference mark of 16-4. UCSD has swept the last two conference series' and travels to San Francisco to face the Gators of San Francisco State. The four-game set will consist of two doubleheaders, with the first on Friday, Apr. 11 (1 p.m.) and the second on Saturday, Apr. 12 (11 a.m.). There will be approximate 30-minute break in between games.
Saturday’s contest is San Francisco State’s annual Strikeout Cancer day. There will be a ceremonial first pitch thrown before the game. All proceeds from the contest will go towards the Susan G Komen foundation.
HOME SWEET HOME – SCHEDULE OUTLOOK
The Tritons opened the 2014 campaign with 14-straight games at Triton Softball Field. Overall, UCSD has 24 games scheduled in La Jolla with the last series listed on Apr. 25-26 against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Tritons face Sonoma State, Cal State San Bernardino, San Francisco State and Humboldt State on the road in conference play. UCSD will also travel to Turlock for the Tournament of Champions on Apr. 4-6. Postseason play will take place on the road as the CCAA has partnered with the Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau to host the 2014 conference softball championships in the city of Stockton. The 2014 CCAA softball championship will be held May 2-4 at Arnaiz Stadium.Check out the full schedule by clicking here.
UCSD is currently ranked No. 15 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II poll, released on Apr. 9. The Tritons started the year ranked No. 21 in the NFCA preseason poll. CCAA members Cal State Monterey Bay (No. 4), Humboldt State (No. 9) and Sonoma State (RV) are also found in the rankings. The entire poll can be found by clicking here.
2014 CCAA STANDINGS
1. UC San Diego: 17-3, 28-7
2. Cal State Monterey Bay: 16-4, 35-5
3. Humboldt State: 18-6, 34-10
4. Sonoma State: 14-10, 30-12
5. Chico State: 13-11, 20-18
6. Cal State San Bernardino: 12-12, 25-17
7. Cal State East Bay: 9-15, 16-23
8. Cal State Dominguez Hills: 9-19, 15-29
9. San Francisco State: 6-18, 14-27
10. Cal State Stanislaus: 6-22, 12-33
Among all CCAA teams, UCSD ranks:
1. AVG (.354)
1. Fewest Strikeouts (64)
1. OBP (.410)
2. Stolen Bases (58)
2. Triples (12)
2. SLG (.476)
4. Runs (215)
4. RBI (183)
5. Hits (340)
T-6. Doubles (57)
7. Home Runs (12)
9. Walks (76)
2. Earned Runs (89)
2. Hits (214)
4. ERA (2.65)
7. Walks (118)
8. Strikeouts (113)
Tritons ranked among the top 10 players in the CCAA include:
• Callie Grant
3. AVG (.432)
T-3. Runs (37)
6. OBP (.472)
T-7. Hits (51)
• McKenna Clewett
5. AVG (.412)
7. OBP (.470)
• Caitlin Brown
9. RBI (31)
T-6. Triples (2)
• Amani Proctor
T-10. Stolen Bases (12)
T-6. Triples (2)
• Kirsten Willmon
T-2. Triples (4)
• Alexis Edwards
1. ERA (1.33)
3. Wins (16)
10. Complete Games (9)
• Alayna Brenman
8. Strikeouts Per Game (4.42)
The Tritons rank seventh nationally in batting average (.355) and 18th in fielding percentage (.971). Individually, Callie Grant ranks 40th in batting average (.451), Kirsten Willmon stands at 15th in triples (4) and Alexis Edwards is 29th in ERA (1.33) and 17th in victories (16),
2014 CCAA PRESEASON POLL
1. Humboldt State (8) 80
2. UC San Diego 68
3. Sonoma State 60
4. Cal State Monterey Bay (2) 59
5. Chico State 56
6. Cal State Dominguez Hills 35
7. Cal State San Bernardino 28
8. San Francisco State 27
9. Cal State East Bay 21
10. Cal State Stanislaus 16
UCSD played seven games at the 13th annual Tournament of Champions in Turlock last weekend and finished 6-1, winning the Platinum bracket in the process. On day one, UCSD finished 2-1 with a pair of wins over Chaminade (9-5) and then No. 2 California Baptist 4-1. The lone loss of the tournament came in game two against Dominican, 5-4. The following day, UCSD swept action with a pair of wins over Hawaii Pacific (3-0) and Notre Dame de Namur (7-4). The Tritons finished action at the TOC with two wins on the final day over Montana State Billings (1-0) and Cal State East Bay (8-5). Callie Grant and Alexis Edwards were named to the All-Tournament Team after action concluded. Grant finished as the TOC’s Batting Champion after posting an impressive line in seven games: .542, 13-for-24, 7 Runs, 2 RBI, 14 TB, .583 Slug %, 2 BB, .577 OB%, 2 SB. The sophomore helped UCSD finish the tournament with a .342 team batting average to finish only behind Sonoma State’s .372 mark. Edwards was just as stellar inside the circle: 5-0, 0.46 ERA, 3 CG, 2 SHO, 30.1 IP, 16 H, 2 ER, 17 SO, .157 B/AVG.
Callie Grant named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Player of the Week for the week of Mar. 31-Apr. 6. Grant was named the Tournament of Champions Batting Champion after leading the Tritons in batting average (.542), on base percentage (.577), runs (7) and hits (13) this weekend. Grant was also named to the All-Tournament Team after helping UCSD finish 6-1 at the TOC and win the Platinum Bracket. Grant posted an impressive line in seven total games: .542, 13-for-24, 7 Runs, 2 RBI, 14 TB, .583 Slug %, 2 BB, .577 OB%, 2 SB. The sophomore helped UCSD finish the tournament with a .342 team batting average to finish only behind Sonoma State’s .372. It marks the first such honor for Grant. The leadoff hitter has been an absolute nightmare for opposing pitcher’s of late. In her last 11 games, Grant is hitting .590 (23-39) with 14 runs scored, an on-base percentage of .601, three stolen bases and 24 total bases. She totaled eight multi-hit games and held a nine game hitting streak at one point. UCSD was 10-1 in those 11 games.
SAUNDERS SLUGGING AT THE PLATE
Katie Saunders was named the CCAA Player of the Week for the week of Mar. 10 after leading UCSD to a four-game sweep of Cal State San Bernardino on the road. She led the Tritons in slugging percentage (.722), hits (8), RBI (9), doubles (2), home runs (1) and total bases (13) in the CCAA set. In the opener, Saunders finished with two RBI, a pair of runs and two hits. She followed with a two-run home run to open the second game and finished with three hits and four RBI. On Saturday, Saunders totaled three RBI to help the Tritons finish off the four-game sweep of Cal State San Bernardino. Overall on the weekend, the Manhattan Beach native finished eight-for-18. It marked the first such career honor for Saunders.
Alexis Edwards was named the CCAA Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 15. Edwards helped the Tritons to a 3-1 series win over Chico State by picking up a pair of victories inside the circle on Feb. 14-15. In game one of the series, Edwards finished with a complete-game win after throwing seven innings of shutout ball to power UCSD to a 2-0 victory. It was her first complete game of the year. She allowed four hits, two walks and struck out one for her third win of the year. The following day, the sophomore lefty took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before finishing with 6.1 innings pitched in the 4-0 win. She allowed four hits, two walks and recorded a strikeout for her team-leading fourth win of the season. For the weekend, Edwards led the Tritons in ERA (0.00), innings pitched (13.1), wins (2) and batting average against (.178) in the pair of starts.
WILLMON EARNS WEEKLY HONOR
Kirsten Willmon was named the CCAA Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 2. Willmon helped lead UCSD to a four-game sweep of Western Oregon at home on Feb. 1-2. She led the Tritons in hits (9), doubles (1), total bases (12), triples (1) and runs scored (5) in the four wins. The two-hole sparkplug finished the weekend with a .646 batting average, .857 slugging percentage, .646 on-base percentage, two RBI and one stolen base in 14 at-bats. Her weekend was highlighted by a three-hit performance in the opener. The senior started the sixth inning with a single and scored a few batters later to get the Tritons on the scoreboard. She capped off the game with an RBI walk-off triple to the right-center gap to give UCSD the 4-3 comeback win.
WHO’S BACK, WHO’S NOT SNAPSHOT
UCSD returns all but three players from a 2013 squad that went 33-25 overall and placed second in the CCAA with a 24-12 mark. The Tritons qualified for their seventh trip to the NCAA postseason, where they were defeated by host Humboldt State (7-1) and Grand Canyon (8-3) in the first round of the West Regional. Head coach Patti Gerckens, going into her 22nd season leading the Tritons, welcomes back the bulk of last year's starting lineup, including Daktronics All-West Region Second Team selection Caitlin Brown. The senior catcher/first basemen was an All-CCAA First Team member after hitting .327 with nine home runs, 42 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2013. The Tritons also return All-CCAA selections Kirsten Willmon (First Team), Emily McQuaid (Second Team), Callie Grant (Second Team), Taylor Sepulveda (Second Team) and Mya Romero (Second Team) in 2014. The Tritons only lose one impact player in Nicole Spangler (.347 avg.) to graduation.
UCSD is currently 16-4 at home and 6-1 on a neutral site … UCSD is riding a five-game winning streak … The Tritons have recorded four four-game sweeps (WOU, CSUEB, CSUSB, CSUS) … UCSD scored 17 runs against Cal State East Bay on Feb. 22, the most runs in a game during the Division II era … UCSD is outscoring its opponents 30-17 in the first inning and 41-13 in the fourth inning … The Tritons have recorded four walk-off wins this season (2/1, 2/1, 3/28, 3/29) … When scoring in the first inning, UCSD is 14-1. The Tritons are also 21-0 when leading after the fourth inning … UCSD is 58-77 in stolen base attempts … Callie Grant leads the Tritons with 16 multiple-hit games. Grant had an 11 game hit streak halted in the finale against CSUEB … Caitlin Brown leads UCSD with eight multiple-RBI games. Brown had a 16-game reached base streak end against HPU (4/5). Brown currently sits in third on the UCSD career home runs list with 23. The senior also ranks second on the career walks list (83) … Mya Romero is currently UCSD’s all-time career leader in assists with 534 … Emily McQuaid currently sits in third on the UCSD all-time career steals list with 60 … Emma Schneider blasted her first career home run against Western Oregon (2/1) … Chandler Geary recorded her first collegiate hit, a double against Chico State (2/15) … Alexiss Rivas recorded her first collegiate hit (2/1) in 2014, while Ashley Chestnut also has her first collegiate hit (2/1) … The Tritons have three local players on the roster: Alayna Brenman (Escondido/Poway HS), McKenna Clewett (Escondido/Orange Glen HS) and Schneider (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) … UCSD has five seniors and five freshmen on the roster.
HEAD COACH PATTI GERCKENS
Patti Gerckens is currently in her 22nd season in charge of the UC San Diego softball program in 2014. The winningest head coach in program history, Gerckens has led the Tritons to three straight NCAA postseason berths, 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 amassed an overall record of 589-488 (.545) over her 21-year career, with seven straight 30-win seasons among nine total and 14 above-.500 outputs in all. Gerckens has led UCSD softball to nine NCAA postseason appearances, with seven at the Division II level. UCSD is 21-14 (.600) in the NCAA Division II Championship. Since taking over the team in 1993, 25 of Gerckens’ players have combined for 48 All-West Region selections. Twenty-seven of her players have earned All-CCAA honors since 2001. She has also coached four All-Americans. Two of her players have earned CCAA Freshman of the Year honors and two Tritons have won CCAA Player or Pitcher of the Year during her tenure. A native of Old Tappan, N.J., Gerckens graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. She was a four-year starter at second base for the Tar Heels and also played for the New Jersey Blue Jays of the Amateur Softball Association for nine years, winning a championship in 1992.
ABOUT THE GATORS
San Francisco State enters with a 15-28 overall record and a 5-18 mark in CCAA play. SFSU finished 4-2 at the Tournament of Champions on Apr. 4-6 and is most recently coming off a mid-week split with Notre Dame de Namur on Apr. 9. The Gators took game one, 7-2, before falling to the Argonauts 7-4 in the nightcap. SFSU enters with a team batting average of .263, which ranks ninth in conference. Courtney Gravel leads the team with a .378 batting average, while Jennifer Lewis has recorded a team-high 22 RBI. The pitching staff ranks seventh in the CCAA with a 3.83 team ERA. Megan Clark leads the team with 19 starts and holds a 6-11 record with a 3.41 ERA. The head coach of the Gators is Christina Bryne, who is in her seventh season. She was a former assistant coach at UCSD in 2003-05.
UCSD holds a 38-22 all-time series advantage over San Francisco State. The Tritons swept the season series in La Jolla last season and currently hold a five-game winning streak over the Gators.
UCSD Athletics has partnered with Advanced-Online to provide a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
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THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos showing Triton spirit. Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your pics and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
UCSD stays on the road for CCAA play next week against No. 9 Humboldt State in Arcata. The four-game set is scheduled for two doubleheaders on Friday, Apr. 18 (1 p.m.) and Saturday, Apr. 19 (11 a.m.).