CHICO, Calif. -
The UC San Diego softball team ended its California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season on a high note Saturday, defeating Chico State 8-2 after dropping a 3-0 decision in the day's first game.
UCSD, now 31-21 overall and 24-12 in the CCAA, will take the second seed into next week's league tournament in Stockton. The Tritons will open against third-seeded Sonoma State on May 3 at 5:30 p.m. No. 6 Humboldt State is the No. 1 seed and will play against fourth-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills.
The Tritons won the series, 3-1, against the Wildcats.
A seven-run fourth inning led UCSD to victory in game two. The Tritons led 8-0 before Chico State got on the board.
Three Tritons had multiple hits, including Taylor Sepulveda, Emily McQuaid and Nicole Spangler. Katie Saunders scored two runs while Mya Romero drove in three. Mckenna Clewett knocked in a pair of runs.
Four of UCSD's 11 hits were doubles.
Starter Kayla Hensel (11-6) picked up the win, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out one and walking a pair through five innings of work. Jennifer Manuel threw two scoreless innings to close out the game.
The Tritons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Saunders was hit by a pitch and later scored on a one-out double to left by Spangler.
The fourth-inning scoring started early as Saunders and Spangler drew walks. With one out, Clewett drove a double to left that scored both runners. Two more walks loaded the bases and a third free pass to Caitlin Brown gave UCSD a 4-0 advantage. Romero's double to left-center plated another three runs and an RBI single by McQuaid led to an 8-0 lead for the Tritons.
Chico State answered with single runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings. The fourth started off with back-to-back walks, followed by a pair of outs. Amanda Cordeiro's single scored Emily McEnaney to get the Wildcats on the board. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, Brooke Langeloh singled to drive in Kelli Keefe. Hensel got the next batter to pop up, leaving the bases full.
The Wildcats left two runners on base in both the sixth and seventh innings.
UCSD managed just four hits in the opening game, two of those coming off the bat of Callie Grant. Kirsten Willmon and Brown also had singles.
Starter Michelle Escamilla (3-11) took the loss, giving up three unearned runs on three hits through 2.2 innings. She struck out one and walked one.
Chico State did all of its scoring in the second inning. A single and an error put runners at second and third. The first run scored on a sac bunt by Cordeiro, who ended up reaching base due to another error by the Triton infield. A wild pitch then moved the runners to second and third. Following two straight outs, Keefe doubled to right field, knocking in a pair of runs to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
The Tritons, who went down in order in the first three innings, left two runners on base in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Keefe finished the game 3-for-3 for CSUC. Kayla McConnell (8-11) earned the win in a complete game effort. She struck out five and walked one.
-- UCSDtritons.com --