ARCATA, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team was unable to keep up with the hot hitting of No. 6 Humboldt State Saturday, dropping a pair of games, 11-3 (5) and 5-3, in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play.
The Lumberjacks took both ends of Friday's doubleheader, 11-3 in six innings and 8-5, to earn the series sweep.
With just one week remaining in the CCAA regular season, the Tritons now hold a 28-20 overall record and 21-11 in league. HSU extends to 40-12 and 27-5 in conference play.
Emily McQuaid and Mya Romero led the Tritons at the plate, each posting three hits on the afternoon.
After a scoreless opening inning in game one, the Tritons produced three runs in the second. Romero led off with a bunt single, and Dyanna Imoto followed with a single of her own to left field. Both advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Monique Portugal, before Mckenna Clewett's home run to left center put UCSD up, 3-0.
Humboldt State answered quickly in the home half, posting its second five-run inning of the series. Hannah Williams began the rally with a solo home run, and Serena Aragones scored on a single to third base by Andrea Chavez. The Lumberjacks then grabbed the lead, 5-3, on a three-run triple by Dani Randall.
The Tritons went three and out in the third and fifth innings, making it difficult for any sort of comeback.
HSU posted another two runs in the third, and sealed the run-rule victory with four more in the bottom of the fifth off five hits.
Kayla Hensel (9-6) pitched the first three innings, giving up seven runs on five hits and four walks. Jennifer Manuel took over for the remainder of the contest.
UCSD was on the board first again to begin a close game two, McQuaid scoring on a single up the middle by Nicole Spangler.
UCSD’s second run came in the fifth, as Romero opened with a double down the left field line. The junior shortstop advanced to third on Alissa Gutierrez’s sacrifice and tied the game at 2-2 on Portugal's single through the left side.
Down 5-2 heading into the final frame, Imoto scored what would be the Tritons' final run of the game. The senior entered the game as a pinch-runner for Gutierrez, who had reached base after being hit by a pitch. Imoto advanced to second on a groundout and came home on Taylor Sepulveda’s single to center field.
The Lumberjacks posted two runs in the third, and took the lead for good with a three-run sixth, two of those runs coming on a single by Randall, and the other from the following at-bat, a double down the left field line by Courtney Hiatt.
Manuel then came on in relief of Michelle Escamilla to get the final out of the sixth. Escamilla (3-10) allowed all five runs on nine hits and six walks over the first 5.2 innings, striking out four.
The Tritons conclude the regular-season schedule with a series at Chico State, Apr. 26-27. Friday’s doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. UCSD will need a single win to guarantee a spot in the CCAA Championship Tournament, set for May 3-5 in Stockton, Calif.
-- UCSDtritons.com --