The bats just weren’t there. This week, the UC San Diego softball team’s start to its postseason run in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament saw a pair of tough losses send the team home early, losing their first matchup 5–4 to the California State University, Sonoma Seawolves before falling again later to the California State University, San Francisco Gators.
UCSD came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, which gave the Tritons a first-round bye, meaning they were able to skip the first day of the games.
“We were fortunate enough to get the bye, we didn’t play the first day and we were really itching to get out there today,” head coach Patti Gerckens said in a press conference at the end of the day.
In their first game of the tournament, the Tritons faced off against No. 4 seed Sonoma State. In a tight game, the Tritons lost 5–4, with most of the damage coming from the Seawolves in the latter part of the game.
UCSD came of the gates swinging, scoring fast in the first inning. With two people on base, freshman left fielder Keila Bosinger hit a home run to left field to push the team up 3–0, and an error by Sonoma State would give the top seed a 4–0 advantage right out of the gate.
However, after their explosive start, the Tritons were unable to reproduce that type of offensive production for the rest of the game. The Seawolves slowly chipped away at the Triton’s lead, eventually pulling ahead 5–4 at the top of the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Tritons had the chance to take the lead and close out the game on top. Unfortunately, UCSD could not record a hit: two batters recorded outs on balls in play and the third struck out, snuffing any hope of a comeback.
In their second game, UCSD took on San Francisco State. In this game, the Tritons were shut out 3–0. With their second loss of the tournament, UCSD was eliminated from the CCAA Tournament. With the results of the tournament, the Tritons record moves to 31–14.
Bosinger had a standout performance on offense in the game against Sonoma State. She recorded a team-high three runs and 1 run. Senior third baseman Maddy Lewis also had a solid outing in the tournament, scoring one of the teams few runs and collecting four putouts at third base.
“Offensively we just really didn’t show up today,” said Lewis in a press conference after the game. “We did have our opportunities but we weren’t clutch in the situations we needed to be in.”
If the Tritons had won out the CCAA Tournament, they would have earned an automatic bid for the NCAA West Regional Tournament, but going in coach Gerckens knew the potential risks of playing in the CCAA.
“Every weekend is a battle in the CCAA,” Gerckens said. “It’s anybody’s tournament truthfully.”
However, since the Tritons were eliminated, their only opportunity to continue their postseason is if the NCAA selection committee give the Tritons a bid, which as the top seed in the CCAA heading into the tournament they more than likely will receive.
But coming into the NCAA tournament after a pair of losses is not an easy feat to accomplish. “We just need to learn from it, and kind of just wipe it away, start over and start fresh,” Lewis said. “We definitely have some work to do today at practice but we’re going to come back stronger.”
The committee will make its selection at 7 a.m. on Monday, May 6. The NCAA West Regional begins on Thursday, May 9.