Friday, May 3, 2013 - 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 UC San Diego (31-21, 24-12) vs. No. 3 Sonoma State (35-17, 22-14)
Arnaiz Stadium - Stockton, Calif.
The reigning CCAA Tournament champions return to Stockton to defend their title this weekend, May 3-5. UCSD is making its fifth appearance at the CCAA Tournament and fourth in the past five years. The Tritons are 7-5 all-time at the tournament, posting their first ever tournament title last season after going 3-1 and defeating Cal State Monterey Bay in the title game.
A GLANCE BACK ON 2012
After taking down No. 1-seed Cal State Dominguez Hills and No. 3-seed Chico State on Friday and Saturday, respectively, to earn a spot in the conference championship game, the fourth-seeded Tritons fell to the second-seeded Otters, 9-5, in Sunday's opening game. However, UCSD took down CSUMB for the first time this season when it mattered most in a winner-take-all game. Camille Gaito registered a complete game five-hitter and UCSD rallied for four runs in its final two at-bats as the Tritons topped Cal State Monterey Bay, 4-1, to take the school's first-ever CCAA Softball Tournament Championship.
The Tritons and Seawolves met Feb. 22-23 for a conference series that ended with a 2-2 split. Both of UCSD's victories came in the second half of the doubleheaders. Both victories cam in walk-off fasion. The final game of the series came as a 1-0 win in favor of the Tritons. Following seven and a half scoreless innings, Taylor Sepulveda led off the bottom of the eighth by cracking a double to the gap in right-center field. The ball was mishandled and heads-up baserunning by Sepulveda got her to third. An errant throw from the outfield that found nobody on the receiving end allowed Sepulveda to cross the plate for the game-winning run.
Ali Palermo leads SSU at the plate, with a .391 batting average, 63 hits, 12 home runs and 48 RBI... Ancia Purdy has 37 runs registered this season... On the mound, Samantha Lipperd, 2013 CCAA Pitcher of the Year, holds a 1.96 ERA with a 21-9 record... Lipperd has also recorded 211 strikeouts this season... The Seawolves end the regular season at 35-17 overall, finishing third in the CCAA standings with a 22-14 mark in conference play... UCSD holds a 37-21 all-time record against Sonoma State.
NO. 1 HUMBOLDT STATE
Sophomore Dani Randall has a 13-game hitting streak. She is hitting .595 during the streak... Chrissy Stalf 's 53 career home runs are an HSU and CCAA record... Her 24 home runs this season are an HSU and CCAA record... Humboldt leads the nation with 97 home runs... Stalf was named CCAA Most Valuable Player, along with six other student-athletes receiving all-conference honors... Head Coach Frank Cheek was named CCAA Coach of the Year.
NO. 4 CAL STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS
Stephanie Jimenez has started eight of the last nine games and pitched four shutouts in that span for the Toros... CSUDH won the Tournament of Champions at Turlock in April and beat Humboldt State at that tournament, 2-1. ... Jimenez received All-CCAA first team honors while shortstop Christina Chavez and all-around Adriana Sanchez were named second team all-conference... Sanchez leads the team at the plate with a .407 batting average for 72 hits, 49 runs and 16 home runs. Chavez has a team high eight stolen bases.
UCSD remains in the mix among the top West Region programs in the third week of the NCAA's regional rankings, coming in at the eighth spot. Of the teams in this week’s poll, no one has made a move from last week’s rankings. UCSD holds a 30-18 record when playing DII In-Region opponents. The Division II National Softball Committee will make postseason selections on May 5th, with the selection show airing later that evening.
1. Humboldt State
2. Grand Canyon
3. Dixie State
4. Sonoma State
5. Saint Martin’s
6. Cal State Dominguez Hills
7. Hawaii Hilo
8. UC San Diego
9. Hawaii Pacific
10. Notre Dame de Namur
REGIONALLY SPEAKING PART II
UCSD has made an appearance in the West Region Championship Tournament four out of the last five season, posting a 12-6 record. The past two seasons, head coach Patti Gerckens has led the Tritons to Super Regional titles.
UCSD and Sonoma State placed a conference-high seven players on the CCAA All-Conference team, it was announced Wednesday by the conference. Nicole Spangler, Kirsten Willmon and Caitlin Brown all received first team honors while Emily McQuaid, Callie Grant, Taylor Sepulveda and Mya Romero were all named second team all-conference.
SINGLE SEASON STUDS
Mya Romero leads the conference in assists with 131 on the year. Romero broke into the hundreds the weekend of April 5-7 at the Mizuno Tournament of Champions. The first in the conference to reach the mark, only three others have joined Romero. She now has 420 career assists, second in school history. She owns UCSD's single season record with 177 in 2012.
Emily McQuaid ranks third in the CCAA and leads the Tritons with 21 stolen bases, showing she's a runner to keep your eye on. McQuaid had a single game-high three steals against Regis University on Feb. 17 and again at home against San Francisco State on March 29. McQuaid now sits at No. 4 on the program's career top-10 with 47 swipes.
Junior Caitlin Brown connected for her 18th career home run in game two at Humboldt State on Friday, April 19. The catcher has made moves up the program's career record list this season. Starting at the number five spot, she is now tied with Amy Mettee (2001-04) at third... Jenny Maze (2005-08) owns the program record with 35 career home runs.
There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. You've always got UCSDtritons.com at your fingertips, but our social media scene continues to grow. Get instant updates on Twitter and like us on Facebook. For a more visual approach, watch our YouTube channel. Follow the Tritons all year long on social media! Also, get the inside track on all things UCSD softball by following head coach Patti Gerckens on Twitter (@PGerckensUCSDsb)
UC San Diego Athletics is excited to announce the launch of UCSDTritonsGear.com, which provides a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products, including special event and championship gear.