LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 2 UC San Diego softball team swept a pair of games against Western Oregon Saturday at Triton Softball Field, winning the first by a score of 10-8 before taking the nightcap in shutout fashion, 7-0.
The Tritons improve to a 3-1 overall record while the Wolves drop to 1-3 on the young season. The wins gave the four-game series to UCSD.
"We saw a lot of good things happening, and we saw some things we need to work on. Overall it was a series win against a competitive team," said head coach Patti Gerckens.
UCSD scored early in the first game with Caitlin Brown driving in Callie Grant and Nicole Spangler on a double down the left field line with two outs in the first inning.
The Tritons held the 2-0 lead until Western Oregon loaded the bases early in the third inning and eventually scored two runs to even it up.
In the bottom half of the third, Brown collected her third RBI of the game, knocking in Taylor Sepulveda. Mckenna Clewett took home on a double steal, giving the Tritons a two-run lead again at 4-2.
WOU came right back and tallied a single run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. However, UCSD retaliated with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sepulveda and Grant scored off Spangler's double to left field just before Brown homered to bring her RBI total to five.
Western Oregon tied the game at 8-8 with three runs in the sixth. In UCSD's half, Grant knocked in the eventual game-winning run with a single and scored an insurance run herself on a sacrifice fly by Spangler.
Kayla Hensel took her second win of the season after pitching the final 1.1 innings in a relief role.
"Our offense is producing and that's definitely what kept us in the first game," said Gerckens. "We just need to work on our defense. That's what we expect; to put up a lot of runs this year."
The Tritons' offensive strength continued in the second game. UCSD totaled four runs in the first inning, two in the fourth and another in the fifth.
Spangler finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Grant had the game's lone extra base hit, a double in the first inning.
Hensel tossed a complete game, scattering four hits and striking out three to earn her third straight victory.
UCSD returns to Triton Softball Field Wednesday, Feb. 6, to open its California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) campaign against Cal State San Bernardino. The first game of the doubleheader gets underway at 1 p.m.
"San Bernardino is going to come here and be ready to play," said Gerckens. "They always bring a good team and we have to be ready for that."
-- UCSDtritons.com --