SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – No. 20 UC San Diego took both games of the twin bill Saturday at Softball Park to complete a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) sweep of Cal State San Bernardino. The Tritons used a strong pitching performance from Alexis Edwards and timely hitting from Bianca Devoto to win the opener, 2-1, before closing out the set with 19 hits in a 13-4 win in the finale.
The Tritons were led by three RBI apiece from Devoto, Katie Saunders, Caitlin Brown and Amani Proctor on the day, while Edwards picked up her fifth complete game of the year in 10 total innings between the pair of games.
UCSD improves to 18-4 overall and 13-3 in the CCAA to strengthen its grip of first place in the conference, while CSUSB falls to 16-13 overall and 10-10 in league play.
With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh, head coach Patti Gerckens inserted Devoto as a pinch hitter with two outs and a runner on third. The result proved to be the game winning knock to right field to score Callie Grant, who had singled through the left side, moved to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on Mya Romero groundout. The clutch single to right came on a 2-0 pitch as the freshman showed no nerves to give the Tritons the lead.
Edwards came out in the bottom half of the inning and retired the Coyotes after allowing a single with one out to seal the 2-1 victory.
UCSD scored its first run in the second inning after Proctor stole three bases after reaching on an error. She stole second and third on consecutive pitches before stealing home on a double steal with Taylor Sepulveda, who walked.
The victory for Edwards marked her ninth of the season as she continues to build a new career high for victories each week. She finished with a full seven frames and allowed four hits, three walks and struck out four.
The offense was led by Devoto’s RBI and two hits from Grant.
The loss was tagged to Stephanie Luhman after throwing a complete game with no earned runs allowed. The Coyote offense was led by a hit and an RBI from Mary Menicucci.
The series finale proved to be a slugfest, as the Tritons recorded a season high 19 hits and scored double-digit runs for the fourth time of 2014. The 19 hits mark the most since 2007 as UCSD finished with the same amount in a 12-4 win over Cal State Monterey Bay.
The offense didn’t waste any time jumping on the scoreboard and plated three in the opening frame on three hits. Grant started the rally with a single up the middle and Mya Romero followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop. McKenna Clewett advanced the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Saunders recorded an RBI infield single. Devoto followed with an RBI single to continue her hot day at the plate and Brown capped off the inning with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze to make the score 3-0.
The Tritons continued the offensive onslaught in the second inning and threw up a six spot on the scoreboard on five hits. Kirsten Willmon led things off with a single through the right side before Emily McQuaid and Grant reached on Coyote errors. Clewett brought the first run of the inning home on a sacrifice fly to right field for an RBI. Saunders continued her strong series with a two RBI single to left field before Brown doubled for an RBI. Proctor finished off the inning with a single to center field to plate a pair of runs to give the Tritons a 9-0 advantage.
After allowing four runs in the bottom of the third, the Tritons added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth, and two in the seventh. Proctor tripled home Devoto in the fourth, Romero doubled home McQuaid in the fifth and Devoto and Brown brought home runs in the seventh on a walk and single, respectively.
UCSD closed out the win with a quick seventh to make the final 13-4.
The offense was led by three RBI apiece from Saunders, Brown and Proctor, while Devoto finished with two RBI and Romero and Clewett finished with one RBI apiece. Saunders, Devoto and Brown all delivered three hits in the game, while Romero and Proctor finished with two each.
Alayna Brenman was credited with the win after tossing 1.2 innings in relief of Jennifer Manuel. Brenman allowed two hits, no runs and a recorded a strikeout. Edwards finished out the game with three innings and allowed two hits and struck out one.
The loss was given to Luhman, while the Coyote offense was led by three hits from Nicole Nobbe.
UCSD is back at home on Tuesday, Mar. 25 after taking off next week. The Tritons host Hawaii Hilo in a non-conference doubleheader, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.