With rain predicted in the forecast for Saturday and every California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup being important, the Tritons were notified Wednesday morning that their four-game series would take place across three days as opposed to the typical two days. First pitch was rescheduled for Thursday night, under the stunning stadium lights of UC San Diego’s very own Triton Softball Field at approximately 8:15 p.m.
Approaching the series with an 8–4 record in conference, the team looked to capitalize on the opportunity of game day coming one day sooner than normal. The competition would depart from the North this weekend as California State University, East Bay (5–11) was set to head straight to the field from the airport upon arriving in San Diego.
To start things off, the Pioneers stranded two runners on base as freshman pitcher Robyn Wampler worked her way out of a jam in the top of the first inning. The Tritons quickly answered back to the pressure and jumped on the board early in the bottom half. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt set runners on first and second for freshman catcher Bobbi Aguirre who launched a 3-run homerun down the left field line.
The rest of the game remained scoreless until the sixth and seventh innings. UCSD was unable to string multiple hits together again to provide a cushion for the pitchers down the road. The Tritons knew that CSUEB refused to go down easy and would come out attacking hard if they allowed the Pioneers to hang around — which is exactly what they did.
The Pioneers scored a run apiece in the last two innings. Fortunately, UCSD stopped the bleeding before it was too late and successfully walked away with another conference win of a score 3–2 and momentum leading into the next three games to come.
The second day put the Tritons back on track to follow their pre-game routines, a typical double header just like they were used to. With no guarantee that Saturday’s game would be played, they had a chance to win the series right then and there!
Scoreless through the second, UCSD’s bats came alive in the third inning! A leadoff hit batsman and a single up the middle from sophomore utility Mikaila Reyes put runners on for the top of the lineup. Senior second baseman Kendall Baker, freshman catcher Bobbi Aguirre, and junior shortstop Maddy Lewis each drove in a run to bring the score to a 3–0 lead.
Reyes tallied an additional RBI of her own in the fourth inning, giving UCSD’s pitchers some room to work with amidst a 4–0 lead.
An outstanding outing, possibly the best of her career from sophomore pitcher Alanna Phillips left East Bay begging for runs late. Wampler came in to close the door and the Tritons were sitting pretty at 2–0 on the weekend.
Junior catcher Kristyana Boghossian took the ball for UCSD heading into game three. Aside from giving up just 1 run in the bottom of the first inning, Boghossian kept the Pioneers off balance.
UCSD scored the majority of its runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
In the fourth inning, sophomore outfielder Danielle Stedman showed off her speed and heads up baserunning, scoring from second on a walk that resulted in a wild pitch. Stedman turned the burners on rounding third as the ball bounced around the back stop and slid safely into home!
A walk-off, pinch hit, and home run by freshman utility Isabel Lavrov ended the game on a mercy rule in five innings. The bases were juiced and on the second pitch of the at-bat, Lavrov yanked an inside pitch over the left field fence! The Tritons rushed the field, crowded around home plate waiting for Lavrov to touch them all, and celebrated the clutch 4 RBI bomb and 10–1 victory.
UCSD went on to sweep the series, completing the fourth game 9–3 in spite of rain sprinkled here and there. The alumni sat proudly in the stands looking in on the foundation they created years ago.
With finals week approaching, UCSD will take on CCAA first place California State University, Chico on Thursday and Friday of next week for two consecutive doubleheaders. Thursday’s games are set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. while Friday’s game will be at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. in La Jolla.
I stepped into the box, dragged my feet against the dirt, flattening the surface and dug into my stance. I looked for something to drive on the outer part of the plate. I like to work the count deep so I let the first strike go, knowing she would have to come to me again. The windup … and the pitch. I kept my hands back, let the ball travel, and extended through, striking it through the right side, 1 run scores! I reached first and gave my first base coach a fist bump. What a feeling!