LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 24 UC San Diego softball team fell to No. 7 Cal State Monterey Bay 5-0 and 6-5 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Friday night at Triton Softball Field.
The pair of losses drops the Tritons out of the running for the CCAA regular season title and means the highest UCSD (23-11 CCAA, 32-16 overall) can finish in the CCAA is third place. CSUMB (25-7 CCAA, 40-10 overall) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (25-7 CCAA, 39-11 overall) are in a dead-heat for the conference title with one day of CCAA competition remaining.
UCSD is currently in fourth place behind CSUC (22-10 CCAA, 31-15 overall). UCSD can clinch the No. 3-seed with two scenarios: winning both its games on Saturday and having CSUC lose one; or win one game on Saturday and hope CSUC loses both games. CSUC plays Cal State East Bay on Saturday, as well.
Cori Reinhardt (19-3) delivered a three-hit shutout and Angelina Orozco was 3-for-4 with three runs and a pair of RBIs as CSUMB capitalized on a series of two-out rallies to take the five-run victory in the opening game. Reinhardt added nine strikeouts in the win.
After Jackie Serna's two-out RBI single put the Otters on the board in the first, UCSD's Kris Lesovsky led off the the Triton half with a single up the middle and stole second on Reinhardt's first pitch to Kirsten Willmon. Lesovsky moved to third on Willmon's sacrifice bunt, but was stranded there when Caitlin Brown struck out looking and Charly Swanberg grounded out to the right side.
Camille Gaito (20-7) made quick work of the first two batters of the top of the second inning before working a pair of strikes against Nicole Pires. However, Gaito's next delivery hit Pires on the forearm to keep the inning alive and Skyler Valdivia came aboard with a single to the left side. Orozco made the Tritons pay, delivering a triple to the right field gap to make it 3-0.
Jamie Moon brought Orozco home with a chopper over Gaito's head to put the Otters up by four.
Emily McQuaid gave the Tritons life in the bottom of the third with a one-out triple down the right field line, her first extra-base hit of the season. After Lesovsky walked to give the Tritons runners on first and third, Willmon grounded it back to Reinhardt's laces. McQuaid, who broke for home upon contact, was thrown out easily at the plate before Brown popped out to end the inning.
CSUMB added its fifth score in the fifth, as Orozco slipped a two-out bloop single off a diving Willmon in left field. Moon, who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the contest, followed with a line-drive double off the wall to bring home Orozco.
In game two, Reinhardt delivered at the plate for the Otters, cracking a three-run triple to extend CSUMB's lead to 5-1 in the top of the fifth.
UCSD came crawling back in the bottom half to tie it, taking advantage of a wild Kylie Linnane. McQuaid singled up the middle with one out and stole second base. After Lesovsky walked, Willmon singled up the middle to bring in McQuaid to make the deficit three.
Linnane threw a pitch in the dirt off the backstop, allowing Lesovsky and Willmon to move over to second and third. After Brown walked to load the bases, Linnane froze Swanberg with a third strike on the outside corner for the second out. However, UCSD would be granted another run when Linnane delivered another wild pitch to the screen to force Lesovsky in.
Down by two, Spangler, Jennifer Manuel and Mya Romero drew three consecutive walks - two from Linnane and one from Reinhardt who came on in relief - to tie it at 5-5. However, Reinhardt struck out Monique Portugal with the bases loaded to stop the bleeding for the Otters.
CSUMB got the last laugh from the Tritons in the top of the seventh. Nina Villanueva doubled to right center to bring home Moon from first to make it 6-5.
UCSD put the tying run aboard in its final at-bat, but Manuel grounded into a 1-4-3 double play to end the game.
Lesovsky was 2-for-3 with two runs in game two while Willmon went 3-for-4.
The teams will resume play tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in the final doubleheader of the regular season. Prior to first pitch, four Triton seniors - Lesovsky, Gaito, Tess Gran