ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - Camille Gaito
and Jennifer Manuel
held Sonoma State scoreless as the UC San Diego softball team shutout SSU 1-0 and 3-0 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Saturday afternoon at Seawolf Field.
Gaito (20-6) held the Seawolves to just four hits and Charly Swanberg came through with a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to provide the difference in the opening game. Manuel (4-3) limited SSU to just two hits as the Tritons capitalized on RBI triples from Mya Romero and Kirsten Willmon in game two.
UCSD improves to 32-14 overall and 23-9 in CCAA play. SSU drops to 27-17 and 13-15 in conference. The 3-1 series win helps the Tritons jump into third place in the conference ahead of fourth-place Chico State (18-8) and fifth-place SSU with a single CCAA series remaining.
SSU pitcher Samantha Lipperd (22-10) held UCSD to just three hits in the first seven innings of game one, but Willmon and Caitlin Brown singled with two out in the top of the eighth inning to bring runners aboard. Swanberg delivered with a single through the left side for her 31st RBI of the season to make it 1-0.
Gaito retired the Seawolves in order in the bottom half of the frame, striking out Kelsi Chinen before forcing Ancia Purdy to fly out to left. The right-hander did not surrender a walk while striking out two.
Manuel's two-hitter was buoyed by the Triton defense in game two. The sophomore right-hander struck out just a single batter as her defense combined for 11 assists and no errors. In fact, UCSD did not have an error and logged 11 assists in both games.
Swanberg led off the second inning with a single and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Monique Portugal. Romero went the other way to drive in Swanberg, sending the ball into the right field corner before ending up on third. Lipperd escaped the threat by getting Manuel to foul out and striking out Annie Heskett, but the Tritons rebounded their next time at the plate.
Kris Lesovsky singled with one out and was brought home by Willmon's triple into the right center field gap. With the speedster, Willmon, standing 60 feet away, Brown laid down a squeeze bunt on the third base line and Willmon beat the throw home to make it 3-0. Lipperd then surrendered back-to-back walks to Romero and Portugal to load the bases, but struck out Manuel to escape the second inning down by three.
The Seawolves could not generate any offense off Manuel though. She faced 23 batters on the afternoon and only gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Purdy and Vanessa Currie in the fourth inning.
UCSD has next weekend off, but will end its regular season on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, at Triton Softball Field against second-place No. 9 Cal State Monterey Bay.