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Photo by: Mark Cooley/Sideline Studios
Nicole Spangler provided the difference in UCSD's game-one victory.
No. 22 UCSD and No. 5 Cal State Dominguez Hills Split on Day One of Series
Release: Monday 03/09/2012 
by UCSD
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 22 UC San Diego softball team downed No. 5 Cal State Dominguez Hills 1-0 on a Nicole Spangler's home run before falling to the Toros 4-3 in 10 innings in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Friday afternoon at Triton Softball Field.

UCSD moves to 18-8 overall and 12-6 in CCAA play while CSUDH sits at 25-4 and 16-2 in conference competition. The Toros and Tritons will regroup for another doubleheader on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at UCSD.

Spangler led-off the fifth inning with a home run and Camille Gaito hurled a complete game three-hit shutout in the opening game. Spangler was the only Triton to secure a hit in the game, singling in the second inning before hitting her first home run of the season to left.

"[Spangler] was great in that first game, I'd even say it was the game of her life. She was seeing the ball well at the plate, made some great plays at first and obviously that was a huge hit for us," said UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens.

Gaito (11-4) worked UCSD out of a jam in the top-half of the seventh inning to secure her 11th win and fifth shutout of the year. The Toros managed to put runners on first and second with one out after Stephanie Jimenez was hit by a pitch and Brittany Brenner singled up the middle, but Gaito forced Daisy Beltran to pop out to short and pinch-hitter Rachel Gulbrandsen into a slow roller to second to end the game.

In the second game, UCSD fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first before rallying for three runs to tie the game up in the fourth inning. The teams battled until the 10th inning, when CSUDH's Jessica Hall cracked a solo home run to provide the difference in the ballgame.

Stephanie Hua provided the Toros a two-out, three-run double down the right field line after UCSD started Michelle Escamilla walked three batters to load the bases. Escamilla settled down a bit for the remainder of her four innings of work, giving-up just a single walk while striking out three.

In the Triton half of the fourth, UCSD loaded the bases with two out on singles by Tess Granath, Kris Lesovsky and Emily McQuaid. Kirsten Willmon struck with a two-run double to left center to leave runners on second and third before Mya Romero walked to re-load the bases. After Lauren Harper (12-3) replaced CSUDH starter Stephanie Jimenez, Charly Swanberg rocketed a line-drive off Harper's shin to score McQuaid and tie it 3-3. Spangler followed with a deep fly ball, but Toro left fielder Alyssa Cruz made a finger-tip grab at the wall to end the threat.

Gaito took over for Escamilla in the fifth inning and did not allow a hit until Hall tagged her for game-winning run in the top of the 10th. The right-hander struck-out five while surrendering only a single walk and Hall's hit in six innings of relief.

UCSD went down swinging in the bottom of the 10th. Swanberg led-off with a single down the right field line and the Tritons managed to put runners on first and second with two down after Maria Sykes singled to center field. Gerckens called for Jennifer Manuel to pinch-hit for Monique Portugal, but Manuel popped out to the CSUDH catcher in foul territory to end the contest.

"Those were two very well-played games between a pair of really good teams," said Gerckens. "I'm proud that after we fell behind we were able to punch back. We hit the ball hard but we fell a bit short. I'm sure that we'll come back strong tomorrow."

Lesovsky and Swanberg went 3-for-5 in game two. UCSD out-hit CSUDH 12-4.

Saturday's doubleheader will be streamed live on UCSDtritons.com. To catch the live feed, click here.


Softball Seating Campaign (landscape)