TURLOCK, Calif. – The UC San Diego softball team completed a four-game sweep of Cal State Stanislaus Saturday with 9-3 and 6-3 wins in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play at Warrior Softball Field.
With its sixth consecutive victory, UCSD improved to a 28-16 overall and 21-7 in CCAA play. Losers of 10 straight, CSUS dropped to 13-31 on the year and 6-22 in the conference. With two series remaining in the regular season, the Tritons sit in second place in the CCAA.
Taylor Sepulveda continued her solid play in the series, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a triple and an RBI in the day's first game. Callie Grant matched her with two hits, three runs and an RBI, while Nicole Spangler doubled and drove in three runs. Kirsten Willmon finished with a pair of RBI.
Starter Michelle Escamilla (3-8) got the win for the Tritons, tossing four complete innings and surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out one and walking one.
UCSD scored two runs in each of the first, second and fourth innings and tacked on three more in the sixth to ice the victory. The Warriors had two runs in the third and one more in the bottom of the seventh.
Sepulveda scored the game's first run when she drew a leadoff walk, took second on a Grant base hit, stole third and came in on a fielder's choice by Caitlin Brown. Grant scored on a sacrifice fly by Spangler.
In the second inning, Sepulveda cracked a one-out triple to right field, scoring Emily McQuaid. Sepulveda put UCSD up 4-0 when she crossed the plate on a ground ball by Grant.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the third inning, Kristan Burns singled to drive in two runs and get the Warriors back in the game.
However, the Tritons answered right back in the top of the fourth with two unearned runs. McQuaid led off by reaching on an infield error. Grant and Spangler both walked to load the bases with two outs. Willmon singled to right field, scoring McQuaid and Grant to give UCSD a 6-2 advantage.
Sepulveda and Grant started off the sixth with back-to-back singles. After a fly out, Spangler's double down the left field line scored both runners. The final Triton run came when Monique Portugal's two-out double plated Juliana Jordan, who had come in to pinch run for Spangler.
In the seventh, Warrior pinch hitter Nicole Jenkins singled. Brittney Rickles re-entered for Jenkins and moved up two bases on a double by Ghianna Falconi. A sacrifice fly by Sarah Locarnini allowed Jenkins to score the game's last run.
Both teams finished with seven hits and three stolen bases and each squad stranded seven runners on base.
UCSD kept the hits coming in game two, totaling 11 as Sepulveda, Willmon, Brown and McQuaid all had two apiece.
The fourth proved to be the game-changing inning for the Tritons. With the score tied 1-1, singles by McQuaid, Mya Romero and Sepulveda loaded the bases with one out. Following a fielder's choice by Grant, Willmon cleared the bags with an inside the park grand slam, her first career home run.
UCSD took an early lead in the game when a single by Brown scored Grant in the top of the first inning. The Warriors evened it up in the second when Rickles' infield single allowed Courtney Sartin to come in.
After UCSD's huge fourth inning, Cal State Stanislaus scored two in the fifth to get back within a pair of runs. Mia Ramirez walked to lead off the frame. Following a ground ball out, Locarnini singled and both runners moved up on a passed ball. An infield single by Ciarrah Mullins scored Ramirez and Locarnini came in on a sac fly by Burns, making the score 5-3 in favor of UCSD.
The final run of the day went to the Tritons in the top of the seventh inning. McQuaid singled to lead off, stole second base and took third on a passed ball. Alissa Gutierrez came to the plate and knocked McQuaid in with a single to right field. The Tritons proceeded to load the bases, but did not push any more runs across.
Hannah Duarte (2-0) picked up the win for UCSD in a relief role. She threw five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out one. Starter Alexis Edwards went just two innings.
The Tritons' run total could have been significantly higher, but they left 13 runners on base in the game.
UC San Diego also won both ends of Friday’s doubleheader, 11-1 and 11-3, both in five-inning run rule fashion. It was the second series sweep of the season for UCSD as the Tritons took four games from San Francisco State in late March.
UCSD continues CCAA play on the road as it heads to first place Humboldt State for a four-game set April 19-20.
-- UCSDtritons.com --