Tritons pick up four crucial wins

    The Triton softball team swept a pair of doubleheaders at Sonoma State University and San Francisco State University this weekend, hopefully proving it deserves to be in the playoffs.

    Guardian File Photo

    The team can do nothing but wait until the playoff selections are announced May 6.

    After a strong performance at the Mountain Dew Classic in Bakersfield, Calif. from April 26 to April 28, UCSD vaulted itself into the sixth position in the West Region.

    The top six teams will advance to the regional tournament May 11 to May 12 at the home field of the top-ranked team in the region. In order to be confident of their position, the Tritons needed four wins last weekend against two of the weaker sisters of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    The weekend began against Sonoma State with a strong pitching performance from Leea Harlan for UCSD. Harlan allowed five hits, no walks and one run in a complete game. Sonoma pitcher Megan Kaminaka allowed only four hits in seven innings, but the Tritons made their hits count and escaped with a 2-1 victory.

    All the scoring occurred in the third inning when Samantha Hayes continued her hot hitting by driving in Jamie Hurst and Amy Mettee for the pair of runs UCSD needed for the victory. Sonoma State responded in the bottom half of the inning with a run of its own, but it would get no more and the Tritons took game one of the doubleheader.

    It was the only close game of the important weekend. UCSD’s sleeping bats awoke in the nightcap, which yielded seven runs and 14 hits for the Tritons.

    The top of the UCSD lineup did most of the damage. Leadoff hitter Mettee went 3-for-4 with a single, a double, a triple, four runs batted in and two runs scored. Kim Aggabao profited from hitting with Mettee on base by picking up two RBIs while going 3-for-3.

    UCSD pitcher Christi Martinelli overpowered the Cossacks, notching eight more strikeouts to add to her CCAA-leading total and surrendering only two hits. Martinelli picked up her 19th win with the complete game shutout, and the 7-0 decision brought the Tritons the sweep of the doubleheader.

    Heading to cellar-dwelling San Francisco State, UCSD asserted itself as the superior team, winning 10-1 and 12-1.

    The hit parade continued in the first game, with the Tritons getting 14 hits and scoring 10 runs. Harlan pitched her second consecutive five-hitter, allowing only a solo home run to Gator catcher Rachel Darrow in the sixth inning. The mercy rule was enforced, ending the game after six innings.

    UCSD refused to show mercy in the second game, once again pounding the ball — this time for 16 hits and 12 runs. Martinelli allowed only four hits and one run in the second game to win her 20th game, and the mercy rule was once again enforced after six innings.

    With their four wins, the Tritons accomplished their goal for the weekend and now wait to know if they will play in the West Regional, to be held May 11 to May 12 at UC Davis.

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