vs. Hawaii Hilo (15-13, 9-8 PacWest)
Tuesday, Mar. 25 • 4:00 p.m. (DH)
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
vs. Cal State Stanislaus (10-23, 6-18 CCAA)
Friday, Mar. 28 • 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Triton Softball Field • La Jolla
UCSD returns to La Jolla this week for six games at Triton Softball Field. The Tritons host Hawaii Hilo on Tuesday, Mar. 25 in a non-conference doubleheader. Game one begins at 4 p.m. There will be an approximate 30-minute break in between games. The Tritons, who sit in first place in conference, then entertain Cal State Stanislaus in a four-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) series. The four-game set with CSUS will consist of two doubleheaders, the first on Friday, Mar. 28, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. The series will conclude with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. the following day on Saturday, Mar. 29. There will be an approximate 30-minute break in between games as well.
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. 19 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II poll, released on Mar. 19. The Tritons started the year ranked No. 21 in the NFCA preseason poll. Humboldt State, a member of the CCAA, is currently ranked No. 6 and conference foe Cal State Monterey Bay is ranked No. 14. The entire poll can be found by clicking here.
2014 CCAA STANDINGS
1. UC San Diego: 13-3, 18-4
T-2. Humboldt State: 18-6, 28-9
T-2. Cal State Monterey Bay: 12-4, 22-5
4. Sonoma State: 14-10, 23-11
5. Chico State: 11-9, 15-12
6. Cal State San Bernardino: 10-10, 16-13
7. Cal State Dominguez Hills: 8-16, 14-20
T-8. Cal State East Bay: 6-14, 11-17
T-8. San Francisco State: 6-14, 10-21
10. Cal State Stanislaus: 6-18, 10-23
Among all CCAA teams, UCSD ranks:
1. AVG (.356)
1. Fewest Strikeouts (35)
1. OBP (.414)
T-2. Stolen Bases (44)
T-2. Triples (9)
2. SLG (.489)
5. Runs (144)
6. RBI (122)
7. Hits (217)
8. Home Runs (8)
8. Doubles (39)
10. Walks (51)
2. Earned Runs (58)
2. Hits (142)
3. Walks (65)
3. ERA (2.72)
10. Strikeouts (66)
Tritons ranked among the top 10 players in the CCAA include:
• McKenna Clewett
4. AVG (.439)
6. OBP (.493)
• Kirsten Willmon
T-5. Triples (2)
• Caitlin Brown
T-5. Triples (2)
• Callie Grant
T-9. Runs (23)
• Alayna Brenman
8. Strikeouts Per Game (3.86)
• Alexis Edwards
1. ERA (1.48)
T-4. Wins (9)
The Tritons rank 11th nationally in batting average (.356) and 15th in stolen bases per game (2.00). Individually, Emily McQuaid ranks 20th in sacrifices per game and Alexis Edwards ranks 33rd in victories (9).
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 improved to 18-4 overall and strengthened its grip on first place in the CCAA by moving its conference record to 13-3 following a sweep of Cal State San Bernardino on Mar. 14-15. On Friday, the Tritons received a complete game win from Alexis Edwards in the opener to win 8-3, before the offense pounded out 18 hits in the second game to comeback and defeat the Coyotes 15-10 in a thriller. UCSD received a fourth complete game from Edwards inside in the circle and managed 10 hits to win game one 8-3. The offense was led by two hits, a pair of runs and two RBI from Katie Saunders, while Amani Proctor finished with two hits, a pair of runs and an RBI in the win. In the nightcap with the score 10-7 and the Tritons down to their final three outs, UCSD erased the three run deficit and plated five more runners to win 15-10. The offense, which totaled 18 hits for the second time this season and most since 2007, was led by three hits apiece from Saunders and McKenna Clewett. Mya Romero brought home five runs, while Saunders finished with four RBI. Callie Grant touched the plate three times for UCSD and Saunders and Emily McQuaid also scored twice in the win. On Saturday, The Tritons used another strong pitching performance from Edwards and timely hitting from Bianca Devoto to win the opener, 2-1, before closing out the set with 19 hits in a 13-4 win in the finale. UCSD was led by three RBI apiece from Devoto, Saunders, Caitlin Brown and Proctor on the day, while Edwards picked up her fifth complete game of the year in 10 total innings between the pair of games. In the first game with the score tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh, head coach Patti Gerckens inserted Devoto as a pinch hitter with two outs and a runner on third. The result proved to be the game-winning knock to right field to score Grant. The series finale proved to be a slugfest, as the Tritons recorded a season high 19 hits and scored double-digit runs for the fourth time of 2014. The 19 hits mark the most since 2007 as UCSD finished with the same amount in a 12-4 win over Cal State Monterey Bay. The offense was led by three RBI apiece from Saunders, Brown and Proctor, while Devoto finished with two RBI and Romero and Clewett finished with one RBI apiece. Saunders, Devoto and Brown all delivered three hits in the game, while Romero and Proctor finished with two each.
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 to up her team leading batting average to .457. The nine RBI also raised total to 20 RBI, also a team high. 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. The Oxnard native is currently 4-0 on the year with a 0.88 ERA in 24 innings pitched.
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 12-2 at home … The Tritons have recorded three four-game sweeps (WOU, CSUEB, CSUSB) … 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 21-12 in the first inning and 22-12 in the sixth inning … The Tritons have recorded two walk-off wins this season (2/1, 2/1) … When scoring in the first inning, UCSD is 9-0. The Tritons are also 13-0 when leading after the fourth inning … UCSD is 44-54 in stolen base attempts … McKenna Clewett leads the Tritons with 10 multiple hit games … Katie Saunders leads UCSD with six multiple RBI games … Callie Grant currently holds a five game hitting streak and an eight game reached base streak. Grant had an 11 game hit streak halted in the finale against CSUEB … Emma Schneider blasted her first career home run against Western Oregon (2/1) … Caitlin Brown currently sits in third on the UCSD career home runs list with 21. The senior also ranks second on the career walks list (80) … Mya Romero is currently UCSD’s all-time career leader in assists with 501… Emily McQuaid currently sits in third on the UCSD all-time career steals list with 57 … 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 579-485 (.544) 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 VULCANS
Hawaii Hilo, a member of the Pacific West conference, enters with a 15-13 overall record and a 9-8 mark in the PacWest. The Vulcans are currently in the middle of a 10-game mainland road trip. Most recently, UHH was swept at Dixie State University in St. George, UT. on Mar. 22-23. The Vulcans are hitting .342 as a team with 16 home runs. Rebecca Lee leads the charge at the plate with a .558 batting average to go along with seven home runs, 12 stolen bases and 37 RBI. Emily Greene (.438, 29 RBI) and Colleen Aubrey (.400) also sport batting averages above the .400 mark for the UHH offense. Inside the circle, the Vulcans hold a 3.84 team ERA. Ashley Nelson has made 13 starts on the season and sports a 9-7 record with a 2.77 ERA. The head coach of the Vulcans is Jaime Wallin.
Hawaii Hilo holds a 11-6 all-time series record against UCSD. The last meeting came at the Tournament of Champions last season as the Vulcans won the game, 4-3.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS
Cal State Stanislaus enters with a 10-23 overall record and a mark of 6-18 in CCAA play. The Warriors have lost eight straight games, including four at Sonoma State last weekend (Mar. 21-22) in Rohnert Park. CSUS ranks ninth in the conference in team batting average at .267 and ninth in team ERA at 4.09. Brianna Nicholson leads the team in batting average with a .322 mark, while Amy Droege has a team-high 21 RBI on the season. The pitching staff is led by Karina Callazo, who holds a 2-2 record and a 2.35 ERA. The head coach of the Warriors is Jan Schekfowitz, who currently in her 17th season.
UCSD currently holds a 44-28 all-time series record against Cal State Stanislaus. Last season, the Tritons swept the Warriors in Turlock at Warrior Softball Field. Scores were 11-1, 11-3, 9-3 and 6-3.
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.
SOCIAL SERVICES - #TritonsRising
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)
Head Coach Patti Gerckens on Twitter (@UCSDCoachG)
UCSD Softball on Twitter (@ucsdsoftball)
UCSD Athletics on YouTube (UCSDAthletics)
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 heads to the Tournament of Champions in Turlock next weekend, Apr. 4-6. The Tritons will play three games Friday against Chaminade (11 a.m.), Dominican (3:30 p.m.) and California Baptist (5:45 p.m.) and two contests Saturday versus Hawaii Pacific (11:15 a.m.) and Notre Dame de Namur (1:30 p.m.). The rest of the schedule will be determined after pool play for Sunday’s action.