Photo by: Mark Cooley/Sideline Studios
Caitlin Brown has accounted for nine of UCSD's 14 home runs this season.
Tritons Prepped for West Regional, No. 5 Jacks
Release: Wednesday 05/08/2013 

2013 NCAA Division II West 1 Regional
HSU Softball Field • Arcata, Calif.

Friday, May 10
Game 1 - No. 4 Grand Canyon vs. No.  5 Saint Martin's, 1:30 p.m.
Game 2 - No. 1 Humboldt State vs. No. 8 UC San Diego, 4 p.m.
Live Video • Live AudioLive Stats

Saturday, May 11

Game 3 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 11 a.m.

Game 4 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (loser eliminated), 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 (loser eliminated), 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 12

Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, Noon

Game 7 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 (if remaining teams each have one loss), 2:30 p.m.
Live Video • Live Stats

UCSD will be making its seventh NCAA Division II Championship appearance when it takes the field Friday in Arcata. The Tritons have earned their way to the West Regional six out of the last seven seasons, the lone exception being 2010. In the two years since, UCSD has taken the West crown. In 2011, the Tritons won their first national championship. They advanced to the title game again a season ago, finishing as the national runners-up to top-ranked Valdosta State. UCSD’s all-time record at the NCAA Division II tourney is 21-12.

This week incredibly marks the sixth straight during which the travel-weary Tritons are heading to the Northern portion of the state. In order since the first weekend in April, UCSD has traveled to Turlock (Tournament of Champions), Turlock again, Arcata, Chico, Stockton (CCAA Championship), and now back to Arcata for the NCAA West 1 Regional. The Tritons have played 22 straight games outside of La Jolla, going 12-10 during this stretch. They are 21-19 away from home on the year.

The Tritons are hitting .301 when facing the Lumberjacks, while their season average is .290. HSU (47-12) holds a 5-0 record over the Tritons on the season, most recently producing a 6-2 win in the finals of the CCAA Championship as the Lumberjacks added the tournament title to their regular-season crown. Chrissy Stalf, the 2013 CCAA Most Valuable Player, leads the nation with 26 home runs and is seventh with a .891 slugging percentage. Fellow senior Courtney Hiatt is currently on an 11-game hitting streak. On the mound, CCAA Freshman of the Year Katie Obbema holds a 26-3 record with a 2.10 ERA. The Jacks as a team lead the nation with 103 home runs.

For the third time in the last four years, Grand Canyon has qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship. GCU (39-17) enters the tourney as the fourth seed, after finishing the PacWest fourth with a 22-10 record in league. Claire Zampini leads GCU at the plate, batting .441 while Kayla Henry has compiled a team-high 47 runs and 89 hits, with three doubles. Henry also leads the team with 27 steals on 29 attempts. On the mound, Kiki Sepulveda holds a team-best 1.69 ERA with a 13-4 record, while Stephanie Pesqueira is 20-10 with a 1.74 ERA and a team-high 121 strikeouts.

This marks the 17th-ranked Saints’ first-ever NCAA postseason berth since the program joined Division II in 1998. Saint Martin’s clinched the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular-season title, and this past weekend won its first conference tournament championship after defeating Simon Fraser, 7-4 and 6-1. Sam Munger leads the Saints at the plate with a .434 batting average and a team-high 79 hits. Lacey McGladrey has eight home runs and 18 stolen bases. Taylor Bakos and Munger are the Saints’ top two arms, posting 15-7 and 22-7 records, respectively. Bakos holds a 2.58 ERA while Munger has 105 strikeouts.

Dixie State (37-12) is the No. 2 seed and will host the West 2 Regional, May 10-12, in St. George, Utah. Joining Dixie State will be No. 3 Sonoma State (36-19), No. 6 Cal State Dominguez Hills (34-21), and No. 7 Hawai’i-Hilo (39-17).

UCSD placed seven players on All-CCAA teams, sharing the conference high with Sonoma State. Nicole Spangler, Kirsten Willmon and Caitlin Brown garnered first-team recognition, while Emily McQuaid, Callie Grant, Taylor Sepulveda and Mya Romero were named to the second team. McQuaid, Sepulveda, Romero and Brown received CCAA Championship All-Tournament Team honors last weekend.

Mya Romero leads the conference in assists with 143 on the year, and now has 432 for her career, 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 22 stolen bases. The junior had a single-game high of three steals against Regis on Feb. 17, and again at home against San Francisco State on Mar. 29. McQuaid now sits at No. 4 on the program’s career list with 48 swipes.

Caitlin Brown launched two home runs over the weekend, bringing her career total to 20. The junior connected in games with Cal State Dominguez Hills and Sonoma State at the CCAA Championship. The catcher has moved from fifth up to third on the program’s career list this season. Jenny Maze (2005-08) owns the program record with 35 career home runs.

There are more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. You’ve always got at your fingertips. Get updates on Twitter (@UCSDtritons) and like us on Facebook. For a more visual approach, watch our YouTube channel. Also, get the inside track of all things UCSD softball by following head coach Patti Gerckens on Twitter (@PGerckensUCSDsb).

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