LA JOLLA, Calif. – Freshman Alayna Brenman fired a complete-game win, 2-1, in game one to propel the 21st-ranked UC San Diego softball team to a mid-week split with California Baptist (3-1) Wednesday. The Tritons dropped game two at Triton Softball Field, 7-4, despite recording 13 hits as a team.
UCSD, who now sits at 5-1, is proving to be a team mixed with veteran leadership and young talent after earning wins in numerous ways in 2014. After recording a comeback walk-off win and another on an offensive outburst in the opening series against Western Oregon, the Tritons proved today they could win the close one.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth of a tight pitchers dual, redshirt-freshman Emma Schneider (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) delivered a two-RBI double to right center to score senior Kirsten Willmon and Amani Proctor, who was pinch-running for senior Caitlin Brown at first base. Willmon, who’s coming off being named CCAA Player of the Week, was the first to reach with a single to center that was followed with a steal of second. Brown followed with a hit-by-pitch to set up the game-winning double.
Brenman handled the rest and nailed down the Lancers in order to earn her first collegiate- and complete-game win, 2-1. She finished with a full-seven frames and allowed four hits and recorded seven strikeouts. The only blemish came in the sixth on a solo homerun from Marshean August.
Schneider, Callie Grant, Willmon and Brown finished with one hit apiece in the win. Schneider tacked on two more RBI to her season total of 10 in six games. Grant, Willmon, Katie Saunders and McKenna Clewett all recorded a steal in the win.
In final game of the doubleheader, UCSD couldn’t overcome four runs from the Lancers in the opening frame. CBU plated the runs on three hits and three walks to jump out to a quick lead.
UCSD cut the deficit to three, 4-1, after Saunders recorded her second-career homerun with a solo shot to center field in the second inning.
In search of a shutout inning after jumping on the scoreboard, the Tritons surrendered two runs in the top of the third to trail 6-1 after three innings.
UCSD tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth after Saunders singled and scored on a Lancer error. Once again, however, the Tritons couldn’t record the shutout inning and allowed a Lancer run in the fifth to extend the deficit back to five, 7-2.
UCSD mounted a comeback in the seventh as Brown led off with a double and was brought home on an RBI groundout from Schneider. Clewett followed with a single and reached third on an error combined with a wild pitch, before Taylor Sepulveda brought her home with a sac-fly to center. The Tritons comeback effort fell short, however, as Saunders flew out to center to end the game in favor of the Lancers, 7-4.
The Tritons smashed 13 hits in the losing effort, but left nine runners on base. Saunders, Schneider, Brown and Grant finished with two hits apiece. Schneider, Sepulveda and Saunders each recorded an RBI, while Willmon and Proctor recorded a steal each.
Jennifer Manuel (1-1) was tagged with the loss, while Kayla Hatch (2-0) was credited with the win after throwing a complete game. She allowed two earned runs on 13 hits.
The Lancers were led offensively by two hits and a pair of RBI from Ashley DeVaere, respectively, and one RBI from August, Krista Mann and Rachel Meyer apiece in the win.
As part of the 18-game homestand to start the year, the Tritons begin CCAA play with a four-game series with Chico State. Games one and two will be on Friday, Feb. 14 with a start time of 1:00 p.m. On Saturday at Triton Softball Field, the series will conclude with a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m.