SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – No. 20 UC San Diego scored eight runs in the seventh inning of the nightcap to earn a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) doubleheader sweep of Cal State San Bernardino at Softball Park Friday.
The Tritons received a complete game win from Alexis Edwards in the opener to win 8-3, before the offense pounded out 18 hits in the second game to comeback and defeat the Coyotes 15-10 in a thriller.
Katie Saunders led the charge offensively on the day and finished with five hits, four runs and six RBI to raise her average to a team leading .486, while Mya Romero finished with two hits, a run and five RBI.
UCSD improves its record to 16-4 overall and 11-3 in the CCAA to sit alone in first place, while CSUSB falls to 16-11 and 10-8 in league play.
UCSD received a fourth complete game from Edwards inside in the circle and managed 10 hits to win game one 8-3.
The Tritons were the first to jump on the scoreboard in the top of the second with three runs. The rally was started with a double to right center from Saunders, who was sacrificed to third by McKenna Clewett with a well-executed bunt. Amani Proctor brought Saunders home with an infield single before two errors plated a pair of runs for UCSD to make the score 3-0 early.
After the Coyotes answered with a run in the bottom half, the Tritons responded with an RBI double to left center from Emma Schneider in the third to keep the advantage at three, 4-1. CSUSB scored another in the bottom half, but the Tritons responded once again with a two spot the following inning. Saunders was at it again, this time a two RBI double to center field to put UCSD ahead 6-2.
Emily McQuaid added to the Triton lead in the fifth with an RBI double and Caitlin Brown brought home the final Triton run in the sixth. The Coyotes managed one late run to make the final 8-3 in favor of UCSD.
Edwards earned her eighth victory of the season after throwing seven full frames, with six hits allowed, five strikeouts and two earned runs given up. Cassandra Williams was tagged with the loss to fall to 9-6 for CSUSB.
The offense was led by two hits, a pair of runs and two RBI from Saunders, while Proctor finished with two hits, a pair of runs and an RBI in the win.
With the score 10-7 and the Tritons down to their final three outs, UCSD erased the three run deficit and plated five more runners to win 15-10 in the nightcap.
Both offensives were firing early, as Saunders continued her scorching hot day at the plate with a bomb to right center to make the score 2-0. It marked her team leading fifth homer of the season.
The Coyotes responded with three in the bottom half, highlighted by Tiffany McIntosh’s conference leading 11th homerun of the year to make the score 3-2 at the end of one.
After UCSD plated a run on a Bianca Devoto RBI groundout, Cal State San Bernardino managed six runs on five hits in the bottom of the third to lead 9-3.
The Tritons cut into the lead in the fourth with a three run homerun from Romero to left center. The homer was Romero’s first of the season and fifth of her career to make the score 9-6. The fifth inning saw another Triton run cross the plate, this one manufactured on an Alissa Gutierrez RBI double to left to bring the game within two at 9-7.
After CSUSB added a would-be insurance run, the Tritons followed with the late heroics to come back and take control of the game in the seventh. UCSD plated eight runs on seven hits with one Coyote error. The rally was started with back-to-back singles from McQuaid and Grant before Brown loaded the bases with a walk. Saunders followed with her final two RBI of the afternoon with a single up the middle to cut the lead to 10-9. After a Clewett single, Devoto hit a grounder up the middle that was muffed by the second baseman. The error allowed Saunders and Kirsten Willmon, who was pinch running for Brown, to score and put UCSD ahead 11-10. McQuaid added an RBI single before Romero capped off the late rally with a two RBI single to center to make the final 15-10 after a clean bottom half.
Jennifer Manuel was credited with the win to improve to 3-3 on the year. She threw 4.1 innings in relief and allowed five hits and two earned runs to go along with two strikeouts. Williams was handed the loss for CSUSB after allowing six runs, none earned, in 0.2 innings of relief.
The offense, which totaled 18 hits for the second time this season and most since 2007, was led by three hits apiece from Saunders and Clewett. Romero brought home five runs, while Saunders finished with four RBI. Grant touched the plate three times for UCSD and Saunders and McQuaid also scored twice in the win.
The 15 runs marked the second highest total in 2014 and the third double-digit performance.
The set concludes tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. in San Bernardino.