The UCSD softball team earned two home victories at Triton Softball field against Metro State and Western Oregon on Saturday. The Tritons easily handled Metro State 5–1 in the first game, then beat Western Oregon 3–2 in a thriller where UCSD came back from behind.
UCSD improved to an impressive 5–1 in 2016 while Western Oregon and Metro State both fell to 1–3.
Sophomore outfielder Kelsi Maday was on fire with four hits, three runs and two RBIs on Saturday while senior outfielder Taylor Abeyta added two hits and two runs. Freshman right-hand reliever Lauren Brown pitched in both games for a combined 6.1 innings, only giving up one hit and did not allow a run while picking up two wins.
UCSD got two runs in the bottom of the first and third innings after giving up a run in the top of the first. The Tritons wouldn’t give up a run the rest of the game as they cruised to a 5–1 win.
Metro State’s junior pitcher outfielder Hayley Fields doubled to start the game and sophomore utility player Kristyn Peters brought her home to give the Roadrunners a 1–0 lead.
The Tritons answered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Sophomore catcher Lauren Sanders brought Abeyta from third on a sacrifice fly while freshman shortstop and third base Maddy Lewis scored Maday with a single to left field. They continued by pouring on three runs in the third inning, with senior catcher Emma Schneider smacking a two-run double to left center to bring Maday and freshman outfielder Erin Lipeit home. Senior shortstop McKenna Clewett scored later in the inning on a fielding error.
Brown earned the win after coming in for relief for the starting pitcher, senior Hannah Duarte, and was excellent overall; she did not allow a hit in 3.1 innings.
The Tritons came back after being down by two runs to defeat the Wolves.
Western Oregon’s junior catcher and outfielder Hailee Watilo drilled a solo home run in the top of the second for the first run of the game. Junior infielder Kelsie Gardner doubled and got to third on a throwing error in the third inning for the Wolves; the next batter, freshman infielder Ryanne Huffman, would bring Gardner home after singling to left field.
Abeyta drew a walk to start the bottom on the third inning for the Tritons and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore second base Kendall Baker, eventually reaching third on an illegal pitch. Maday would then single to center field to bring in Abeyta.
UCSD would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth with two runs, as Maday was able to bring Baker home all the way from first base with a double to center; Maday scored following a fielding error from Western Oregon’s Watilo.
Finally, Brown (2–0) came in relief once more, replacing senior left-handed pitcher Lexi Edwards in the last three innings en route to her second win on the day.
Head Coach Patti Gerckens was happy with the two wins over teams that made the NCAA playoffs last year. “I think we had a strong weekend, and people just stepped up and came in clutch. Our pitchers did a really nice job. I’m excited about it but it’s a long season and we still have to work on a lot of things”.
The Tritons will face Cal State Stanislaus at home for a four-game series on Feb. 12 to 13. The first game is on Friday at 1 p.m.