LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego softball team split its doubleheader with top-ranked Humboldt State in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action, Friday at Triton Softball Field. UC San Diego took down the nationally-ranked Lumberjacks 4-2 in the first game before dropping a close, 3-2 decision game two.
With the split, UCSD moves to 20-18 on the season and 11-15 in CCAA play. HSU is 27-6 overall and 15-5 in the conference.
This marks the first time since the 2012 season the Tritons have defeated the nation’s No. 1 team. At the NCAA Championship on May 16, No. 24 UCSD beat No. 1 Valdosta State, 7-5, before ultimately losing to the Blazers in the national title game.
The Tritons were able to jump on HSU early and hung on for a 4-2 victory in game one. UCSD scored all four runs in the first four innings.
Junior Kendall Baker drew a walk then stole second before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Maddy Lewis. Junior Kelsi Maday singled to the shortstop and Baker made it home to give the Tritons a 1-0 lead.
Baker had an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning that scored sophomore Caitlyn Weisner as UCSD went up, 2-0. The Lumberjacks answered in the third inning when Kelly Sonnemann scored on a fielding error by the Triton short stop.
UCSD pulled ahead in the fourth inning, scoring two runs to make it a 4-1 game. With the bases loaded, Lewis singled to bring freshman Mikaila Reyes across home plate before Kazakoff made it home off a wild pitch.
HSU tried to come back in the sixth inning when Illa Haley had an RBI double to left center, however, it wasn’t enough as the Tritons pulled off the upset win.
At the plate, Baker, Lewis and Maday tallied an RBI apiece. Maday and Baker each had a stolen base. The Jacks’ Haley had a hit and an RBI.
Sophomore righty Lauren Brown earned her ninth win of the season in the circle. She tossed 5.2 innings, notched six strikeouts and allowed one earned run. Senior lefty Milana Casillas came in relief of Brown for 1.1 innings and struck out one. HSU’s Madison Williams (12-5) pitched a complete game and earned the loss after giving up two earned runs.
UCSD scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but could not overcome an early three-run deficit and fell, 3-2.
The Jacks’ Kalyn Paque (13-1) tossed a complete game and only allowed six hits and two runs. She notched six strikeouts.
A fielding error by the Triton catcher scored HSU’s Sonnemann in the third inning. Haley followed with an RBI single to give the Jacks a 2-0 lead.
HSU extended its lead in the fourth inning when Sonnemann hit a sacrifice bunt that brought Lauren Lipe across home plate.
In the bottom of the sixth, Maday hit a big home run down the left field line that scored Kazakoff and brought UCSD within one, 3-2.
Junior Rachel Phillips and Baker each singled in the bottom of the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough as the Tritons dropped a one-run decision.
Baker went 2-for-4 at the plate while Maday had two RBI and a home run. Tiffany Hollingsworth tallied two hits for HSU.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Lizzy Beutter threw 6.0 innings and was credited with the loss after giving up three earned runs. Casillas came in relief of Beutter for the final inning and had one strikeout.
UCSD will close out the four-game series against Humboldt State on Saturday, April 8, with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.