No. 14 Tritons Ready to Compete for National Title in Denver
DENVER – The No. 14 University of California San Diego softball team will take on No. 15 Augustana (SD) for their first game of the NCAA Division II Softball Championship finals, hosted by MSU Denver. UC San Diego enters the game with a 37-15 record, while Augustana stands at a mark of 56-10.
UC San Diego will open the finals at 5:30 p.m. (PT) on Thursday at MSU Denver's Regency Athletic Complex. The finals will take place May 23-27. View the full tournament bracket here.
SEEDINGS AND FORMAT
The eight region champions were reseeded for the finals, which are double-elimination. The final two teams will compete in a best-of-three championship series. As the West Region champion, UC San Diego earned the sixth seed.
- LIU Post
- West Florida
- Augustana (SD)
- Texas A&M-Kingsville
- Grand Valley State
- UC San Diego
- West Chester
- Young Harris
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
This is the Tritons' first appearance in the finals since the 2012 season, when they captured a national runner-up finish. It is UC San Diego's third total trip to the finals in program history.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
UC San Diego took down the West Region's top seed, Concordia Irvine, in two games during a best-of-three series to claim the West Region title and advance to the finals.
The Tritons dominated in game one of the series, clinching a six-inning 9-1 victory over the Eagles. While Robyn Wampler held the Eagles quiet from the pitcher's circle, UC San Diego grabbed the lead on a two-run blast by Keila Bosinger in the third inning, and extended its lead with a solo shot by Maddy Lewis in the fifth. In the sixth inning, the Tritons then tacked on six more runs, and when the Eagles could not answer in the bottom half, UC San Diego came away with its 9-1 win.
Game two was a thrilling back-and-forth contest. The Tritons trailed 4-3 heading into the final frame, but they fought back. After the bases were quickly loaded, Sherriah Harrington's sacrifice fly to center field tied the game. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded once again, Mikaila Reyes drilled a hit to center field to bring home Danica Kazakoff and seal a walk-off win for the Tritons.
Augustana earned their region title in two games as well. Facing Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla., the Vikings powered their way to a five-inning 13-5 victory in game one. Augustana posted a six-run first inning, and then continued to score throughout the game. The Vikings ultimately tallied 16 hits.
In game two, the Vikings edged out Central Oklahoma. Like the Tritons, the Vikings clinched their region title in walk-off fashion. Augustana was down 6-5 heading into the seventh, but put two runs on the scoreboard to claim a 7-6 win.
UC San Diego and Augustana have seen very little of each other throughout their program histories. The two have only faced off twice, with the Vikings taking both matchups. In their most recent outing, the Tritons faced the Vikings on Feb. 15, 2013 as part of the Division II Leadoff Classic in Tucson. UC San Diego fell to Augustana, 11-4.
Both teams enter the finals looking for their second national championship crown in their program histories. UC San Diego earned its national title in 2012, while Augustana won the national championship in 1991. The Tritons and Vikings are the only teams of the eight remaining that have previously claimed a national title.
The teams have had two different offensive approaches this season. While much of UC San Diego's success has come from playing small ball, the Vikings often overpower their opponents with the long ball. Augustana has recorded 85 home runs this season, with Maggie Kadrlik's 17 homers leading the team.
It has also been a different story for the two teams in the pitcher's circle, although both teams have had success against their opponents. For UC San Diego, reigning UC San Diego Athlete of the Week Robyn Wampler has tossed the vast majority of the Tritons' innings, stifling opponents' bats and recording a 1.85 ERA. For Augustana, the workload has been split between pitchers Amber Elliott, Olivia Wolters, and Ashley Mickschl. Mickschl and Elliot have typically started, while Wolters usually comes in in relief. As a pitching staff, Augustana holds a 1.78 ERA.
One similarity between the two teams is that they both have been more aggressive on the base paths than their opponents. UC San Diego is 78-for-96 in stolen base attempts in 52 games this season, while its opponents are 54-for-66. Maddy Lewis' 18 steals lead the team. It is an even starker contrast for Augustana, who is 130-for-151 in stolen base attempts in 66 contests this year, while its opponents have stolen 33 bases in just 40 attempts.
HOW TO ATTEND
Adults can purchase a $35 all-session ticket or $10 single session ticket. For seniors, students, and youth, all-session tickets can be purchased for $20 and single session tickets can be purchased for $6. For more information, visit the tournament page here.
FOLLOW ALONG FROM HOME
Live stats and live video will be available for all games here.
Parents and alumni are invited to attend a social at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. For more information, contact Danielle Melman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC San Diego earned the 14th slot and Augustana claimed the 15th slot in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, which was voted on by 16 Division II head coaches and released on May 8. View the full poll results here.
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For the latest Triton apparel, visit the official team store of the Tritons here.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
Follow The Tritons
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