UCSD Rocks Chico, Tables Turned Against Davis

    Entering the weekend, the UCSD women’s softball team hoped to improve on its 5-1 overall record, and its 3-1 record in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The Tritons split a doubleheader against Sonoma State University Feb. 10, and swept San Francisco State Feb. 11. With just one loss in CCAA play, the softball team entered a busy weekend with two doubleheaders in two days against Chico State and UC Davis.

    David Pilz

    The Tritons were successful Friday in a sweep over Chico State. In the first game junior pitcher Leea Harlan tossed her second career no-hitter, shutting out the Wildcats 5-0.

    In seven innings of work, Harlan walked three batters and struck out 11, bringing her season record to 4-0. Harlan also provided an offensive spark, knocking in the game’s first run with a double in the third inning. The Tritons got all of their runs in that inning, as they went on to score four more runs.

    “”She was on fire,”” said Triton head coach Patti Gerckens. “”She pitched a dynamic game and kept the batters confused. Leea and [catcher Kristin Hunstad] worked so well together. They were fooling the batters left and right.””

    In the nightcap, junior Christi Martinelli threw a complete game and picked up her third win of the season. Kristina Anderson led the way offensively, hitting a double that scored two runs.

    Senior Michelle Wilson also provided a big lift for the Tritons by hitting a home run in the sixth. The solo shot was the first home run of her career. Martinelli slammed the door on the Wildcats 4-1.

    Saturday’s doubleheader against UC Davis proved to be a more difficult task.

    In the preseason, UC Davis was picked by league coaches to win the 2001 CCAA championship, but the Tritons were not intimidated. It was business as usual, as Harlan started the first game of the doubleheader. Although she couldn’t repeat her performance from Friday, Harlan fared well, holding the Aggies to three runs.

    Unfortunately, Aggie pitcher Susan Churchwell did not give the Tritons anything, as the Triton offense was unable to put a run on the scoreboard.

    Trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning, the Tritons threatened, placing runners on first and second with no outs. However, UC Davis was able to contain the remaining UCSD batters. After Harlan struck out, Wilson was out at second when freshman Kim Aggabao grounded into a fielder’s choice. The Aggies got Christina Searing to fly out to end the inning.

    Harlan shut out the Aggies in the top of the seventh inning, but Churchwell completed her shutout of Triton batters in the bottom of the inning.

    In the second game, Martinelli went to work in the circle. UC Davis wasted no time in getting on the board. In the top of the first with two outs, the Aggies were able to muster a run off a double that scored the runner at second.

    The Tritons scored their only run in the bottom of the third inning.

    Anderson opened the inning with a walk, then advanced to third off a single by Wilson and a sacrifice bunt by Searing. UCSD’s lone run came across the plate when Aggabao hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Anderson from third base.

    Freshman Amy Metee had a strong performance at the plate, going two-for-two with two singles and a walk.

    UC Davis went on to score six more runs off Martinelli in the final three innings. The Aggies used two home runs; a two-run shot in the fifth inning and a three-run long ball in the seventh, to close the door on the Tritons.

    “”UC Davis is a very strong team,”” Gerckens said. “”Their offense was strong but it took them the second time around to see our pitchers. Offensively we couldn’t do what we normally can do. We didn’t play poorly against Davis, our offense just didn’t come through. Next time we’ll be better prepared.””

    After the weekend’s four games, UCSD’s record stands at 7-3 overall, and 5-3 in the CCAA.

    The UCSD softball team has three more home doubleheaders in a row scheduled. The next doubleheader will be Thursday in a nonconference matchup doubleheader against Point Loma Nazarene. The first pitch is at 5 p.m.

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