Softball goes 4-1 in Best of West

    The UCSD softball team began its season with a bang by winning three games on Feb. 1 and one of its remaining two games on Feb. 2 at the Diamond Sports Best of the West Invitational, hosted by CSU Stanislaus.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian file photo

    “”Everyone had at least one hit, and everyone played,”” said Triton head coach Patti Gerckens.

    The Tritons’ first game pitted them against Humboldt State University, which UCSD defeated 3-2, scoring all three runs in the first inning. Sophomore Keri Hanley had a strong performance on the mound, throwing seven innings of two-hit, two-run balls on the way to the first of her two wins for the weekend. Junior Kim Aggabao came up with two RBIs, and freshman Jennifer Leonard got the third.

    Next, UCSD blanked tournament host CSU Stanislaus 3-0, on the back of junior Jodie Bland, who threw the first of her two shutouts. The Tritons scored one run in each of the second, fourth and sixth innings behind senior Kristin Hunstad and sophomore Mieko McCue: both grabbed an RBI apiece. Aggabao scored two runs and junior Amy Mettee crossed the plate once.

    “”Keri and Jodie did a great job, and we were really pleased with their performances,”” Gerckens said. “”They really worked together with each other and helped each other out. I can’t talk about the pitchers without talking about the catcher; Kristin caught every inning and called great games, while catching two runners stealing.””

    The Tritons finished off a perfect Saturday by beating Notre Dame de Namur 6-4, giving Hanley her second win of the tournament and Bland her first save. Spencer provided a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs, while freshman Niki Anderson got two hits and a run. All six UCSD runs were scored in the fourth inning.

    UCSD started off Feb. 2 still undefeated after it scored a 7-0 victory over CSU San Bernardino behind Bland’s second shutout of the tournament. The Tritons knocked CSUSB’s starter out of the game in the first inning, scoring four runs right away and adding three in the sixth. Mettee went 2-for-2, and added two runs and two RBIs.

    In the final game of the tournament, the Tritons finally met their match in the form of Augustana, which beat UCSD 4-0. Hanley suffered her first defeat of the tournament, giving up two runs in both the first and second innings. Bland came in and threw four innings of scoreless relief, but the bats weren’t there for UCSD, and it was shut out with only three hits in the game.

    “”It’s still early in the season, and we need to make some adjustments,”” Gerckens said while also noting that UCSD’s overall play was great. “”We’re just going to play it one pitch at a time, and work on productive at-bats. We’re working on a process, and the results will follow,””

    UCSD placed third in the tournament out of 14 teams, falling behind Augustana and Chico State because of tie-breaking rules. Aggabao and Bland received All-Tournament Team honors for their play at the invitational.

    The Tritons begin California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Feb. 7, when they take on San Francisco State University, and Feb. 8, when they take on Sonoma State University, both of which are away games.

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