SEASIDE, Calif. - The UC San Diego softball team earned a Saturday afternoon two-game sweep over Cal State Monterey Bay at the Otter Sports Complex to take the league series three games to one.
UCSD won the first game, 2-1, and took game two, 5-3, in extra innings.
The Tritons improved their overall record to 12-10 overall and 8-4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play. CSUMB is now 11-10 overall and sits at 6-6 in the CCAA.
In game one, Alexis Edwards and Kayla Hensel split pitching duties for the Tritons. Edwards started in the circle and went 3.2 innings, giving up the one run on five hits while striking out four and walking two. Hensel replaced Edwards in the fourth and gave up just one hit the rest of the way, improving to 7-3 with the victory.
UCSD got on the board early, posting its first run of the day in the opening inning. Otter pitcher Corey Reinhardt retired the first two batters of the game, but walked the next three that she faced. With the bases full of Tritons, Callie Grant singled to left field to score Nicole Spangler. Reinhardt struck out the next batter to get out of the jam without any further damage.
The Tritons took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Caitlin Brown smacked a one-out home run to left, her second round-tripper of the season.
Monterey Bay plated its lone run of the game in the fourth inning. Following a single by Mariah Nisbet, pinch runner Stacey Campos was sacrificed to second and stole third. Edwards struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning, but gave up an RBI single to Lauren Ermitano and then walked Lindsey Clarkson. Triton head coach Patti Gerckens brought in Hensel, who promptly induced a ground out to get out of the inning.
The Otters left at least one runner on base in every inning, stranding nine for the game. The Tritons matched that number, leaving multiple runners on in the first and sixth innings.
Emily McQuaid went 3-for-3 at the plate for UCSD, while Nicole Pires had two hits for CSUMB. Reinhardt (6-6) tossed all seven innings, striking out four and walking five while surrendering seven hits.
Brown's home run was the lone extra base hit in the game.
With the score tied 2-2 after eight innings of play in the second game, UCSD struck for a three spot in the top of the ninth to seal the victory. With one out, Taylor Sepulveda, Amani Proctor and Spangler had back-to-back-to-back singles, with Spangler's knocking in Sepulveda for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run. With the bases loaded, Katie Saunders singled to left, scoring Proctor and Spangler to put UCSD up 5-2.
Hensel, who had entered the circle in relief in the fifth inning, left two Otters on base in the bottom of the ninth and improved to 8-3 with her second win of the day.
CSUMB led 2-0 after scoring single runs in the third and fourth innings, the first off an RBI single by Reinhardt and the second coming on an RBI double by Ermitano.
The Otters held the lead until the sixth. Grant's single back up the middle drove in two runs for the Tritons, both unearned as Monterey Bay committed two errors in the inning. UCSD would leave the bases loaded.
The Tritons almost went ahead in the seventh inning. Proctor got on with a one-out bunt single, stole second and took third on a ground out. Brown was intentionally walked, putting runners at first and third, but the next batter grounded out to end the threat.
CSUMB also had a chance in the bottom half of the seventh. Angelina Orozco led off and reached on an infield error. She was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a fly ball out to center. Hensel sent the game to extra innings by throwing out the next batter on a ground ball back to the circle.
Sepulveda, Proctor and Saunders all finished with two hits apiece. Starting pitcher Jennifer Manuel went four innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out one.
Orozco was 3-for-4 and Reinhardt walked three times. Clarkson was 2-for-4 at the plate and threw all nine innings, surrendering 11 hits, striking out five and walking walking three. She fell to 3-3 on the year with the loss.
The Tritons continue CCAA play on the road with a four-game set at Cal State East Bay March 8-9.
-- UCSDtritons.com --