HAYWARD, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team split a doubleheader against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opponent Cal State East Bay Saturday at Pioneer Softball Field to take the series by a 3-1 count.
UCSD dropped the first game, 2-1, before coming back to post an 11-2 victory to close out the four-game series. The Tritons moved to 15-11 overall and 11-5 in the CCAA, while CSUEB sits at 7-14 and 5-10 in conference play.
In the second game, the Tritons plated three runs in the first inning and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way. They added two more runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings and wrapped up the offensive explosion with four more in the seventh.
Mya Romero, Maria Sykes, Kirsten Willmon and Taylor Sepulveda all had two hit each for UCSD, which totaled 10 in the game. Romero and Sepulveda each had two RBI. Caitlin Brown recorded her third home run of the series, a three-run shot in the opening inning.
Michelle Escamilla (2-6) earned the win in a relief role. She threw 3.1 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and walking two. Starter Jennifer Manuel went 3.2 innings, giving up the two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out one.
The Tritons started off the game with Callie Grant and Emily McQuaid drawing back-to-back walks off East Bay pitcher Andi Andersen (1-5). That set the table for Brown, who blasted her team-leading fifth long ball of the season.
CSUEB scored its two runs in the bottom of the third. A lead-off double and two straight singles brought the first across, while the second scored on another base hit. Sepulveda kept the damage to two runs as she threw a runner out at home from center field.
Sepulveda was involved in both of UCSD's runs in the fouth inning. Her base hit drove in Willmon and she later crossed the plate on a double steal.
Romero had a two-run double in the Triton half of the fifth.
UCSD sealed the win in the seventh inning. Spangler led off with a double down the left field line. With two away, Sykes, Willmon and Sepulveda all singled to bring in two runs. An infield error by the Pioneers allowed two more runs to score.
Cal State East Bay started the scoring in the first game, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth. The Pioneers quickly loaded the bases as Chelsie Kakela doubled and Sara Holdridge and Sara Pacioni were walked by Triton starter Alexis Edwards. Reliever Kayla Hensel got the next two batters to pop up before Lauren Vestal singled to get East Bay on the board.
UCSD knotted the game at 1-1 in the sixth inning. Spangler led off with a single and Sepulveda followed with a double, driving in pinch runner Willmon. The Tritons would leave a pair of runners stranded.
Pacioni proved to be the difference in the bottom of the sixth as her one-out solo home run was the eventual game-winner.
Hensel fell to 8-4, while Lauren Zweigle tossed a complete game, striking out six to improve to 6-8 on the year.
UCSD continues road play with a four-game CCAA series at Cal State Dominguez Hills March 15-16.
-- UCSDtritons.com --