LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the second straight day, the UC San Diego softball split a doubleheader against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opponent Sonoma State at Triton Softball Field. UCSD dropped the first game, 11-1, before striking for a 1-0 extra inning victory in the series finalé.
UCSD moved to 9-9 overall and 5-3 in the CCAA, while 19th-ranked Sonoma State is 10-5 and also 5-3 in league play. The two squads split Friday's opening doubleheader as well.
Like Friday's win, Saturday's victory also came in walk-off fashion for the Tritons. Following seven and a half scoreless innings, Taylor Sepulveda led off the bottom of the eighth by cracking a double to the gap in right-center field. The ball was mishandled and heads-up baserunning by Sepulveda got her to third. An errant throw from the outfield that found nobody on the receiving end allowed Sepulveda to cross the plate for the game-winning run. Two errors were charged on the play.
UCSD starting pitcher Jennifer Manuel tossed a complete game, two-hitter. She struck out one and walked three to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Sepulveda had two of UCSD's seven hits in the game. Five other Tritons each had singles.
For the Seawolves, freshman Amanda Llerena (4-3) struck out two over seven innings of work. Hollie Brown and Vanessa Currie each had base hits.
UCSD had at least one runner on base in every inning. The Tritons had a solid chance to strike first in the sixth as Sepulveda and Nicole Spangler had back-to-back bunt singles with no outs. However, the next three batters were retired to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.
In the first game, UCSD got out to a 1-0 lead in the opening inning. Callie Grant drew a leadoff walk and stole second. She came around to score on a single to center by Caitlin Brown.
However, Sonoma struck for four runs in the third, two more in the fourth and another five in the seventh.
Megan Konieczka finished a double short of hitting for the cycle. She singled in the third inning, tripled in the fourth and cranked a two-run home run in the seventh. Konieczka scored three runs in the game.
Ancia Purdy also finished with three hits for the Seawolves. She scored a pair of runs and drove in another.
Sonoma State totaled 13 hits.
Samantha Lipperd improved to 6-2 as she scattered just two hits and struck out six in a complete game effort.
Michelle Escamilla (1-6) suffered the loss in a relief role. After taking over in the third inning, she allowed five runs on six hits over 1.1 innings.
UCSD's second hit of the game came in the form of a one out bunt single by Mckenna Clewett in the fourth inning.
The Tritons take to the road for their next three CCAA sets. The road swing begins at Cal State Monterey Bay March 1-2, continues at Cal State East Bay March 8-9 and wraps up at Cal State Dominguez Hills March 15-16.
-- UCSDtritons.com --