Photo by: Mark Cooley/Sideline Studios
Amani Proctor and Kirsten Willmon have combined for 16 stolen bases in 2014.
No. 20 Tritons Travel to Turlock for the 13th Annual Tournament of Champions
Release: Thursday 04/03/2014 

Game 29
vs. Chaminade (7-21, 6-18 PacWest)
Friday, Apr. 4 • 11:00 a.m.
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex
Live Stats

Game 30
vs. Dominican (12-17, 6-10 PacWest)
Friday, Apr. 4 • 3:30 p.m.
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex
Live Stats

Game 31
vs. No. 2 California Baptist (32-7, 19-5 PacWest)
Friday, Apr. 4 • 5:45 p.m.
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex
Live Stats

Game 32
vs. Hawaii Pacific (13-15, 13-11 PacWest)
Saturday, Apr. 5 • 11:15 a.m.
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex
Live Stats

Game 33
vs. Notre Dame de Namur (15-19, 9-12 PacWest)
Saturday, Apr. 5 • 1:30 a.m.
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex
Live Stats

Game 34
Sunday, Apr. 6 • TBD
Tournament of Champions • Turlock
Homepage • Pedretti Sports Complex

UCSD travels to the 13th annual Tournament of Champions, presented by the Turlock Convention & Visitors Bureau, this weekend for six games. The Tritons will play three on Friday, Apr. 4, two contests on Saturday, Apr. 5 and one game on Sunday, Apr. 6. UCSD, ranked 20th nationally, is currently 22-6 overall and sits in first place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) at 17-3. The Tritons will be facing its first ranked opponent of 2014 this weekend in California Baptist (No. 2), who wasn’t ranked in the previous meeting this season. UCSD finished 3-3 at the TOC last season and won the silver bracket with a win over Hawaii Pacific.

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. 20 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II poll, released on Apr. 2. The Tritons started the year ranked No. 21 in the NFCA preseason poll. CCAA members Humboldt State (No. 8), Cal State Monterey Bay (No. 15) and Sonoma State (RV) are also found in the rankings. The entire poll can be found by clicking here.

1. UC San Diego: 17-3, 22-6
2. Cal State Monterey Bay: 16-4, 26-5
3. Humboldt State: 18-6, 28-9
4. Sonoma State: 14-10, 23-11
5. Chico State: 13-11, 17-14
6. Cal State San Bernardino: 12-12, 20-15
7. Cal State East Bay: 9-15, 14-18
8. Cal State Dominguez Hills: 9-19, 15-23
9. San Francisco State: 6-18, 10-26
10. Cal State Stanislaus: 6-22, 10-27

Among all CCAA teams, UCSD ranks:
1. AVG (.358)
1. Fewest Strikeouts (43)
1. OBP (.419)
2. Stolen Bases (50)
2. Triples (12)
2. SLG (.484)
4. Runs (179)
5. RBI (152)
6. Hits (276)
T-7. Home Runs (9)
T-6. Doubles (46)
9. Walks (65)

2. Earned Runs (72)
2. Hits (171)
3. ERA (2.70)
7. Walks (90)
T-9. Strikeouts (82)

Tritons ranked among the top 10 players in the CCAA include:
Katie Saunders
3. AVG (.346)
7. OBP (.478)
5. SLG (.723)
9. RBI (25)
McKenna Clewett
9. AVG (.402)
8. OBP (.474)
Amani Proctor
T-6. Stolen Bases (12)
T-6. Triples (2)
Kirsten Willmon
T-2. Triples (4)
Caitlin Brown
T-6. Triples (2)
Callie Grant
8. AVG (.404)
T-4. Runs (30)
Alayna Brenman
8. Strikeouts Per Game (4.03)
Alexis Edwards
1. ERA (1.69)
T-4. Wins (11)
Jennifer Manuel
5. ERA (2.39)

The Tritons rank 9th nationally in batting average (.358), 12th in triples per game (.43) and 25th in fielding percentage (.969) and stolen bases per game (1.79). Individually, Emily McQuaid ranks 14th in sacrifices per game (.36), Kirsten Willmon ranks 12th in triples (4) and Alexis Edwards ranks 45th in victories (11).

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 played six games last week at Triton Softball Field and complied a 4-2 record in the process. The Tritons hosted West Regional foe Hawaii Hilo for a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday and dropped both games to snap its five-game winning streak. Scores were 6-1 and 7-2. UCSD responded with a CCAA series sweep of Cal State Stanislaus, with three victories coming from the mercy rule variety. On Friday, Mya Romero and Caitlin Brown delivered four RBI in games one and two, respectively, to power UCSD to a pair of wins. The Tritons won the opener, 10-1, after five innings and grabbed a victory in game two, 8-0, after six innings. UCSD finished off the four-game sweep with two wins the following day behind 21 hits and strong pitching. The Tritons won game one, 9-1, after six innings before Jennifer Manuel took a no-hitter into the fifth inning to power UCSD to a win in the finale, 5-1.

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.

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.

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 16-4 at home … The Tritons have recorded four four-game sweeps (WOU, CSUEB, CSUSB, CSUS) … 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 25-12 in the first inning and 34-11 in the fourth inning … The Tritons have recorded four walk-off wins this season (2/1, 2/1, 3/28, 3/29) … When scoring in the first inning, UCSD is 11-1. The Tritons are also 17-0 when leading after the fourth inning … UCSD is 50-64 in stolen base attempts … Callie Grant and McKenna Clewett lead the Tritons with 12 multiple-hit games … Katie Saunders leads UCSD with six multiple-RBI games … Grant had an 11 game hit streak halted in the finale against CSUEB … Amani Proctor is a perfect 12-12 in stolen base attempts … Caitlin Brown currently holds a 13-game reached base streak. Brown currently sits in third on the UCSD career home runs list with 22. The senior also ranks second on the career walks list (82) … Mya Romero is currently UCSD’s all-time career leader in assists with 517… Emily McQuaid currently sits in third on the UCSD all-time career steals list with 57 … Emma Schneider blasted her first career home run against Western Oregon (2/1) … 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.

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 583-487 (.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.

Chaminade, a member of the Pacific West Conference (PacWest), enters with a 7-23 overall record and a mark of 6-20 in conference play. The Silverswords have lost 15-straight games, including four to Dixie State on Mar. 31-Apr. 1. Samantha Ford leads the ‘Swords with a .374 batting average, while Aja Keyes has recorded a team-high 15 RBI. Brett Aspel leads the pitching staff with 73.0 innings pitched to go along with a 5.75 ERA. The head coach of Chaminade, in his ninth season, is Kent Yamaguchi.

UCSD holds a 7-2 all-time series record against Chaminade. The last meeting was won by the Tritons, 4-0, at the Tournament of Champions in 2013.

Dominican, a member of the PacWest, enters with a 12-17 overall record and a 6-10 mark in conference play. The Penguins are most recently coming off a doubleheader split with Notre Dame de Namur on Mar. 28. DU fell in game one, 3-2, before salvaging a split with a win in game two, 4-2. Catlyn Cavender leads Dominican with a .381 batting average, while Kayleigh Klingberg has amassed a team-high three home runs and 16 RBI. The pitching staff is led by Ashlyn Moriarity’s 96 innings pitched, 3.17 ERA and eight wins. The head coach of the Penguins, in her third season, is Sarah Iwata.

UCSD holds a perfect 2-0 all-time record against Dominican. The last meeting was won by the Tritons, 1-0, at the Tournament of Champions in 2013.

California Baptist, ranked No. 2 in the nation, enters with a 32-7 overall record and a mark of 19-5 in PacWest play. The Lancers are most recently coming off a doubleheader sweep of Chaminade on Mar. 29 and have won 12-staright games. Krista Mann’s .465 batting average, 10 home runs and 44 RBI lead CBU. Marshean August also contributes a .397 batting average, nine home runs and 39 RBI offensively. Inside the circle, the Lancers sports two pitchers that have thrown innings this season in Belinda Renne (20-3, 2.64 ERA) and Kayla Hatch (12-3, 3.72 ERA). The head coach of CBU, in his eighth season, is Bill Baber.

UCSD hold a 13-12 all-time series record against CBU. The Tritons and Lancers clashed in a doubleheader this season on Feb. 5 and settled for a split. UCSD won game one, 2-1, before CBU salvaged a split with a win in game two, 7-4.

Hawaii Pacific, a member of the PacWest, enters with a 13-15 overall record and a 13-11 mark in conference. HPU is most recently coming off a doubleheader sweep of Chaminade on Mar. 22. The Sea Warriors are led offensively by Chandell Dacosin’s .367 batting average, while Dorian Acierto and Sharae Esprecion lead the team with 24 RBI apiece. Kristen Caskey leads the pitching staff with 96.2 innings pitched and sports a 3.98 ERA. The head coach of HPU, in his fifth season, is Bryan Nakasone.

Hawaii Pacific holds a 7-6 all-time series record over UCSD. The last meeting came in 2013, a game won by the Tritons 2-1 at the Tournament of Champions.

Notre Dame de Namur, a member of the PacWest, enters with a 15-19 overall record and a 9-12 in league play. The Argonauts are most recently coming off a doubleheader split with Dominican on Mar. 28. NDNU is led by Kayla Anderson’s .318 batting average, while Breanna Yound leads the team in RBI with 26 and homeruns with six. Jenna Bassler, who holds a 9-6 record, leads the pitching staff with a 3.85 ERA in 107.2 innings pitched. The head coach of NDNU is Steve Rianda. 

UCSD holds a 5-1 all-time series record against NDNU. The last meeting was on by UCSD, 2-1, at the Tournament of Champions in 2012.

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UCSD continues CCAA play next weekend on the road at San Francisco State. The Tritons will play a pair of doubleheaders on Friday, Apr. 11 (1 p.m.) and Saturday, Apr. 12 (11 a.m.).


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