Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Monique Portugal cracked the first home run of her Triton career at the T.O.C. last weekend.
Tritons, Seawolves Clash in Critical CCAA Series
Release: Wednesday 04/04/2012 
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team heads to Rohnert Park to take on the red-hot Sonoma State Seawolves in a crucial CCAA four-game set.

Games 43 & 44
UC San Diego (29-13, 20-8) at Sonoma State (26-14, 12-12)
Friday, April 6 - 1:00 p.m.
Seawolf Softball Field - Rohnert Park, Calif.
Live Stats
Live Audio

Games 45 & 46
UC San Diego (29-13, 20-8) at Sonoma State (26-14, 12-12)
Saturday, April 7 - 11:00 a.m.
Seawolf Softball Field - Rohnert Park, Calif.
Live Stats
Live Audio

There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got at your fingertips, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on Twitter at and like us on Facebook at For a more visual approach, watch us on YouTube at UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens is now also on Twitter. Follow the 2011 NFCA Coach of the Year all season long for an in-depth look at her perspective on the team. Just click @PGerckensUCSDsb.

UCSD will host its final doubleheader of the season on Saturday, April 21st at 11:00 a.m. against Cal State Monterey Bay. The first 100 students with valid I.D. to arrive will receive a FREE Chipotle burrito. Delicious.

In addition to free burritos, Triton fans will get to enjoy some well-deserved recognition for four Tritons seniors before they play their last regular season home game against the Otters on Saturday, April 21. Kris Lesovsky, Camille Gaito, Tess Granath and Anne Wethe will graduate upon season's end and will be honored in a special Senior Day ceremony prior to the first pitch.

UCSD currently holds the last playoff berth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, sitting in fourth place in the league standings at 20-8 (.714) with eight conference games remaining. Sonoma State is in fifth place at 12-12 and has 12 games remaining in CCAA play. A strong showing would do the Tritons well in their chase for the CCAA Tournament; UCSD's only remaining series is against second-place Cal State Monterey Bay, while SSU has eight contests remaining against the eighth and ninth-place teams (San Francisco State, Cal State Stanislaus) after this weekend.

SSU and UCSD split their regular season series in 2011, 2-2, at Triton Softball Field, but the Seawolves topped the Tritons twice in the CCAA Tournament to take the postseason title. Right-hander Samantha Lipperd no-hit UCSD in the CCAA Championship as SSU prevailed 1-0. That loss was the final game the Tritons dropped en route to the 2011 national championship. UCSD is 32-18 (.640) all-time against SSU.

The Seawolves are coming off a 6-1 weekend at the Tournament of Champions, where they took home Platinum Bracket championship honors with a 5-0 win over Chico State on Sunday. Lipperd earned the T.O.C.'s Most Valuable Pitcher award, going 6-1 with a 0.65 earned run average and 104 strikeouts (a tournament record) while allowing just 26 hits, six runs (five earned) and 12 walks. She broke the NCAA Division II record for most strikeouts in a single game with 26 against Hawaii Pacific, threw a no-hitter on Saturday against Hawaii Hilo and has a current streak of 28 innings without giving up a run. SSU has won eight of its last nine.

UCSD mustered a 3-3 record at the Tournament of Champions last weekend, taking down Central Washington 5-0 before falling to Grand Canyon and Hawaii Hilo 4-1 and 7-3, respectively. The Tritons bounced back with a 3-2 win over Hawaii Pacific and a 2-1 victory over Notre Dame de Namur, but were eliminated from the tournament via a 1-0 loss to Western Washington on Sunday. Kris Lesovsky led the Tritons with a .364 average, while Jennifer Manuel batted .300. UCSD is 5-5 in its last 10 games.

Camille Gaito (18-6) set two UCSD records on Friday at the T.O.C. In UCSD's win over Central Washington, Gaito came on in the bottom of the sixth and retired the final six Wildcat batters in order to earn her third save of the season and ninth save of her career- a new school record. She suffered her first loss since March 9 against Grand Canyon just hours later, but struck out four batters while passing Leea Harlan's (1999-02) school record of 505 strikeouts. Gaito has now fanned 526 batters in her career.

Gaito holds three UCSD career records (wins, saves, strikeouts) and ranks second in four career categories (complete games, ERA, innings pitched and appearances) ... Kirsten Willmon leads the CCAA with 19 stolen bases, ninth-most in a single season in UCSD history ... Monique Portugal hit her first career home run in the loss to Hawaii Hilo ... Only four Tritons scored more than one run at the T.O.C. ... The Tritons were limited to two extra base hits over the six games ... Gaito struck out a season high nine batters in the 1-0 decision to Western Washington ... Michelle Escamilla (6-3) recorded her first victory since March 14 against CWU ... Maria Sykes and Caitlin Brown are tied for the team lead with 23 walks apiece, tied for seventh-most during a single season in UCSD history.

Softball Seating Campaign (landscape)