Softball wins sixth in a row

    UCSD softball extended its winning streak to six games with a doubleheader sweep over California State University San Bernardino Saturday. The wins pushed the Tritons’ record to 11-1 overall, and 5-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, in which they are tied for first with Cal State Bakersfield.

    In the first game of the afternoon at Triton Softball Field, UCSD’s Leea Harlan allowed two hits over seven innings and Amy Mettee scored from third on a squeeze bunt by Kim Aggabao in the bottom of the sixth inning to score the deciding run in the Tritons’ 2-1 win over the Coyotes.

    San Bernardino’s Tracie Schioppoi homered to left field with two out in the top of the first, but the Coyotes failed to find any sort of offensive rhythm after that. Coyote Melissa Clemann singled to lead off the second and San Bernardino drew four walks in the game, but all five runners were stranded as Harlan improved to 5-0 on the year with four complete games.

    The Tritons tied the score in the bottom of the fourth, sparked by a Mettee single to lead off the inning. Kristina Anderson sacrificed her to second, and following a fielding error that put Harlan on first, Aggabao hit a ground-rule double over the left field fence, bringing home Mettee.

    The decisive run was scored in the sixth inning when Mettee singled to right, Anderson sacrificed her to second, and Mettee advanced to third on Harlan’s single, setting up Aggabao’s game-winning bunt.

    “”It was a squeeze play and I slid under the tag,”” Mettee said. “”She hadn’t tagged me — she tagged my upper body but my feet had already crossed the plate. It was a close play but I was safe.””

    The second meeting of the day was not as close because Aggabao went 2-for-2 and scored three runs to lead the Tritons to an 8-0 win in five innings. Mettee had another big game because she tripled, scored two runs and hit the team’s first home run of the season.

    “”It was a really bad swing,”” Mettee said. “”I went in the dugout shaking my head and we all laughed about it. It was great. But a home run is a home run, so it was kind of funny.””

    The Tritons rolled early against San Bernardino’s Dawn Onishi, the All-CCAA pitcher of the week, with Mettee tripling to lead off the bottom of the first, and Aggabao driving her home with a single. Aggabao advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Anderson batted her in with a triple to right-center, prompting a pitching change from the Coyotes. UCSD tacked on four runs in the third and two more in the fourth.

    “”In the first game we needed to wake up our bats,”” Mettee said. “”In the second game, we were like, ‘all right, we need to make adjustments and score throughout the game.’ So we did a good job [in] the second game of making the adjustments we needed to make after the first game.””

    Christi Martinelli went 2-for-3 at the plate and allowed two hits, no walks and had five strikeouts in four strong innings on the mound before giving way to Keri Hanley, who despite allowing two baserunners on with nobody out, closed out the game by recording three consecutive outs.

    The Tritons will try to extend their winning streak against CCAA rival Cal State Stanislaus on Feb. 22 and nonconference opponent Western New Mexico University the following day, both doubleheaders at Triton Softball Field.

    “”As a team we’re happy with where we are,”” Mettee said. “”The best part is that we’re not at our potential, where we can be in a month from now. We’re just looking for improvement each game and to play at our level — the way we can play.””

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