TURLOCK, Calif. -
The UC San Diego softball team continued play in the Mizuno Tournament of Champions Saturday by splitting a pair of games at Pedretti Park. UCSD downed Chaminade, 4-0, in the nightcap after dropping a 4-3 decision to Hawaii Hilo.
The Tritons (23-16) advanced to the Silver Bracket and will take on the winner of the Cal State Monterey Bay/Hawaii Pacific game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Against Chaminade, UCSD got out to an early 2-0 lead with single runs in each of the first two innings.
In the opening frame, Taylor Sepulveda got aboard with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by Callie Grant. A base hit by Caitlin Brown knocked in Sepulveda, giving the catcher her team-leading 28th RBI of the season.
Mya Romero walked and, with two outs, came around to secore on an error by the Silversword infield to put UCSD up 2-0 in the second inning.
UCSD tacked on its third run in the fourth. Kirsten Willmon led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Romero and crossed the plate on a two-out base hit by Maria Sykes.
The Tritons' final run came in the sixth inning, which opened with back-to-back singles up the middle by Willmon and Monique Portugal. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Willmon scored on a sacrifice by Sykes.
Jennifer Manuel (8-1) earned the victory on the mound with her shutout performance. She went five innings, surrendering just two hits while striking out two and walking a pair. Hannah Duarte tossed the final two innings to earn her first career save.
At the plate, Brown, Grant and Willmon all had two hits each for UCSD, which totaled nine in the game.
Four different players accounted for Chaminade's four hits. Starter Kaitlyn Watanabe (10-6) went just two innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on two hits. Brett Aspel came in and pitched the final four frames.
In the day's first game against Hawaii Hilo, the Tritons found themselves down 4-0 after four innings of play. The Vulcans struck for single runs in the first and fourth innings and plated two in the second stanza.
UCSD got on the board in the fifth. Grant was hit by a pitch to lead off and moved over to third via sacrifices by Romero and Sykes. Sepulveda drove a double to left-center that scored Grant, cutting the deficit to three runs.
The Tritons plated two more runs in the sixth. Brown drew a leadoff walk and Nicole Spangler followed with a double down the left field line. Brown scored on a ground out by Willmon and Dyanna Imoto, who had come in as a pinch runner for Spangler, crossed on a single by Monique Portugal.
Trailing by just a run going into the bottom of the seventh, the Tritons went down in order to end the game.
Spangler had two of UCSD's five hits. Starter Michelle Escamilla (2-8) took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits over 1.2 innings.
-- UCSDtritons.com --