Softball Beats Northern Iowa

    The UCSD softball team returned home to play a non-conference doubleheader against the Division I University of Northern Iowa after a tough weekend of California Collegiate Athletic Association play.

    David Pilz

    The Tritons were swept by California State University Bakersfield on Friday, and split two games with CSU Dominguez Hills the following night.

    Against Northern Iowa, UCSD stepped it up.

    The first game of the Northern Iowa doubleheader was highlighted by a strong performance from junior pitcher Leea Harlan. With the 5-0 shutout win, Harlan improved her record to 7-3.

    In the nightcap, the second half of the Tritons’ dynamic pitching duo started in the circle. Junior Christi Martinelli ran into some early trouble against Iowa in the top of the first inning but managed to get out of the jam.

    The Panthers opened the inning with a single to center field, then loaded the bases on two walks after the Tritons got two outs. Martinelli was quickly able to end the threat as she struck out a Panther for the final out.

    In the bottom half of the first inning, UCSD hit up Northern Iowa for three quick runs.

    With two outs, senior third baseman Jeanine Cordero walked, then advanced to second base following a single to left center by senior Michelle Wilson.

    Harlan, who was the designated player, drove in the Tritons’ three runs when she hit her second home run of the season over the fence in left.

    After a scoreless second, the tops of the third and fourth innings were relatively easy for UCSD, as the defense sat down the Panther batters in order.

    The final out of the fourth inning was the eighth consecutive batter that Martinelli retired. She went on to pitch five full innings before running into danger in the top of the sixth.

    In an inning marked by UCSD mistakes, Northern Iowa struck back with four runs. After the Panthers led off with a double, the next batter reached first base on an error that also advanced the runner at second to third base.

    The subsequent sequence of two throwing errors led to Northern Iowa’s first run. Another double scored a runner from third.

    With no outs, Harlan entered the game to replace Martinelli in the circle. Harlan got the first batter she faced to fly out to center field, but the runner at second attempted to tag and was hit in the leg on the throw from center field. She was subsequently awarded home base.

    The Panthers would get their fourth and final run of the game before UCSD was able to get the third out in the top of the sixth.

    The score remained 4-3 in favor of Northern Iowa for the rest of the game.

    UCSD assistant coach Becky Newbry felt that it was the Tritons who beat themselves in the second game.

    “”I thought we played well,”” Newbry said. “”I felt that our team was strong enough to take both games, but we fell short. We made a few mistakes that cost us, but I think we’re learning from them and we’re getting better.””

    UCSD, with an overall record of 12-8 and 8-6 in CCAA, returns to conference competition Friday at noon at CSU Stanislaus, which is sitting atop the CCAA standings. Following Friday’s doubleheader, the Tritons will play in three consecutive doubleheaders on the road.

    “”It’s always tough to play on the road,”” Newbry said. “”We knew this next month was going to be all on the road. We just have to play our game and do what we can do and hope that the best turns out on our side. If not, we’ll come back and hit the drawing board again and go after it the next time.””

    After the long string of road games, the Tritons will return home to play a nonconference doubleheader against cross-town rival University of San Diego on April 4.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    Our Goal