Riding in off of a bounce-back victory against Cal State San Marcos, the UCSD softball team was looking forward to starting a new winning streak. Alas, the Tritons fell short, dropping their first and last games of their four-game homestand against Cal State San Bernardino. After the weekend, the Tritons came out at 31–19 overall and 21–15 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Looking to start their final home stretch of the season on a good note, the Tritons got on base and scored almost immediately afterward, thanks to a triple by senior outfielder Taylor Abeyta in the first inning. Then, thanks to a wild pitch from the Coyote pitcher, Abeyta was able to find her way home to put the Tritons up 2–0.
Unfortunately, the lead would be brief, as the Coyotes came storming back at the top of the second inning with runs of their own. A few Coyote hits wound up tying the game for them, putting the score at 2–2 at the top of the second inning.
But just as it looked like the game might turn into a shootout straight out of the old west, both teams’ defenses kicked back into gear and only allowed a combined total of one hit until the top of the sixth inning. UCSD’s defense would eventually stumble, however, as the Coyotes scored the tiebreaking run in the top of the sixth. The Tritons would not be able to score for the rest of the game, losing 2–3 to the Coyotes.
Senior left-hander Lexi Edwards was credited with the loss, allowing three runs and seven hits for the game. On the offensive side, Abeyta had an impressive night with two hits, one run and one RBI, while second basemen Kendall Baker scored the team’s only other run for the game.
Any offensive woes committed by UCSD in the first game were immediately rectified during their second game against the Coyotes on Friday afternoon. After scoring in the first inning, the Triton offense caught fire in the third inning, scoring three more times to effectively double their output from the previous game.
Despite entering the fourth inning with a strong 4–0 lead, the Tritons kept their foot on the gas, producing four more runs throughout the rest of the game to keep pace with the Coyote’s three runs. The Tritons earned a brief moment of redemption, winning 8–3 to close out the night.
Freshman right-hander Lauren Brown was credited with the win, allowing only four hits and three runs against 22 batters. Sophomore catcher Lauren Sanders also had a remarkable night with three RBIs, while sophomore outfielder Kelsi Maday had no trouble on offense with two RBIs, two hits and one run to top it all off.
Immediately following the team’s Senior Day celebration, the Tritons looked to put on a show in their final doubleheader on Saturday. In the first act of the doubleheader, the team did exactly that by completely annihilating the Coyotes in the game’s opening innings.
After leaving three players on base at the end of the first inning, the Tritons were determined to fix their offensive shortcomings. With a player on base, senior shortstop McKenna Clewett hit one out of the park to put two on the board. But instead of feeling satisfied with a one-point lead, the Tritons just kept on scoring. After what was likely an eternity for Cal State San Bernardino, the Tritons finished the inning with a ridiculous 11 runs.
Despite the rest of the game essentially being a formality, the Coyotes tried to at least reduce the deficit. But in the end, even that proved to be futile. The Tritons would match the two measly runs the Coyotes could muster for the rest of the game and close out the shortened game with an easy 13–3 victory.
When the score looks like it might have come out of a football game, the offense is probably doing all right. Clewett had a field day with three RBIs, two hits and two runs on the game, while Abeyta had three hits and a run to her name. Maday, Sanders and sophomore third-baseman Rachel Phillips all had two hits apiece to contribute to the team’s 16 total hits. Edwards had the win attributed to her name as she only allowed seven hits and three runs for three innings.
But when a new game starts, everything starts over. Clearly out for retribution, the Coyotes refused to be humiliated for the third game straight. Allowing just six hits for the entire game, the Coyote defense tightened up against the Tritons, stopping them from getting out to the early leads they were used to.
Despite not being entirely more efficient than their previous games, the extra breathing room meant that the Coyote offense only needed four runs to take a stranglehold on the game. The Coyotes would have the last laugh on the Triton’s Senior Day, as the game culminated in a 0–4 shutout.
“That’s been our challenge this season,” UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens told the athletics department. “Finding the consistency.”
After the four game stretch, the Coyotes are now 28–13 overall and 19–17 in conference play.
Next up, the team will finish up their series with Cal State San Marcos on April 20.