Golf, softball, women's tennis continue hunt

As the postseason heats up, the stakes become bigger and the margin for error becomes smaller. The UCSD golf team started the postseason on the wrong foot. The women’s tennis team looked to take a step toward the national championship, and the Triton softball team was happy to find a foot in the door at all.

At the Estrella Mountain Golf Ranch in Goodyear, Ariz., the UCSD golf team had a slow start to the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf West Super Regional.

The Tritons shot 304 on Monday as a team, placing them in eighth place, 20 strokes behind leader UC Davis. Brian Duckworth led the Tritons, finishing tied for eighth with an even-par score of 72. UCSD’s Alan Scheer hit a 73 to finish tied for 14th, while Ryan Gale, Greg Wilson and Eugene Itkin rounded out the rest of UCSD’s five, shooting 78, 81 and 81 respectively.

The second day saw UCSD jump up in the standings from eighth to seventh, displacing St. Martin’s College. But the Tritons still fell to 30 strokes behind leader UC Davis.

Firing a 302 team score in the second round, Duckworth again led UCSD, shooting a 73 to finish tied for sixth-lowest score. Scheer ended up tied for 20th with a 75. Gale, Wilson and Itkin respectively finished 35th, 41st and 45th.

In the UCSD women’s tennis team’s 20th trip to the national championships in the last 21 years, the Tritons will face Michigan’s Northwood University at the Plaza Tennis Center and Homestead Country Club in Kansas City, Mo., on May 9. UCSD, with a record of 22-3 for the year, is ranked 13th by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and Northwood (19-4) is ranked 16th.

UCSD hopes to advance to play the winner between No. 3 seed Barry University (23-3) and Bloomsburg University (11-7). Second-seed Armstrong Atlantic State University is also in UCSD’s bracket and remains between the Tritons and the championship game, should UCSD advance to the semifinals.

The UCSD softball team received some respect from the NCAA seeding committee, earning a No. 3 seed out of the six-team regional field. This comes after UCSD did not receive a guaranteed spot in the playoffs following its 35-23 season, which qualifies for second place in the CCAA.

The Tritons will face familiar CCAA foe Cal State Bakersfield May 9 at 11:45 a.m. at UC Davis’ LaRue Field. The two teams split their four regular-season meetings, each team winning two games.

The winner will advance to play the winner between No. 2 seed Western New Mexico (against which UCSD is 1-3) or fifth-seeded Chico State University (against which UCSD is 3-2).

The regional winner will advance to the NCAA Division II Championships, held May 16 to May 20 at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.