Softball splits double header with Hawaii-Hilo

    UCSD softball played two games against Hawaii-Hilo at home on March 30, losing the first by a score of 5-3, and winning the second, 3-0.

    Things started off slow for the Tritons, who fell behind 2-0 in the third inning, a deficit which increased to 5-0 in the fifth. Starter sophomore Keri Hanley was pulled in the fifth, eventually taking the loss and bringing her record to 5-7 on the season. Junior Jodie Bland then threw two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.

    The bats finally got started for UCSD in the fifth when sophomore Breanne Cope hit a single and then stole second. Junior Amy Mettee followed with a single that moved Cope to third. Sophomore Jamie Hurst then reached on an error, scoring Cope her first run of the game. UCSD was unable to manufacture any more runs in the fifth though, leaving two runners on, and the score at 5-1 in favor of Hawaii.

    The Tritons started the seventh very similar to the fifth, with another single by Cope. This time, Mettee followed with a walk, which set up Hurst for a two-RBI single, scoring Cope for the second time, and giving Mettee her first run of the game. Junior Kim Aggabao singled after Hurst, but the Tritons weren’t able to bring anyone else home, leaving two runners on base again, and losing the game 5-3.

    “”We had lazy hands, slow bats and we didn’t make the adjustments to their pitcher until the last inning,”” said UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens. “”Without some key errors, we could have had a 3-3 tie, and the game.””

    The second game went much better for the Tritons, as they were able to grab the victory behind a four-hit shutout performance by freshman starting pitcher Stephanie Kurz, bringing her record to 5-3.

    The Tritons struck early, starting the third inning off with a single by Hurst. Aggabao followed suit with a single, and advanced to second on a throwing error as Hurst took third. Bland then hit a double, knocking Hurst and Aggabao in and grabbing two RBIs.

    “”We really stepped it up the second game, and I just came out ready to hit,”” Bland said.

    UCSD added an insurance run in the sixth, starting the inning off with a single from sophomore Mieko McCue, who was replaced on base by pinch-runner Cope. Cope was then singled in by Hurst, her third RBI of the day, and Cope’s third run.

    “”We played much better in the second game. We had better defense, better offense and our pitching was very strong. We had a lot of heart, even though we’d lost three games in a row,”” Gerckens said.

    Softball will be playing in the Tournament of Champions next, in Modesto, Calif., from April 4-6. The Tritons’ record is now 15-16, and because Hawaii is a non-conference opponent, their California Collegiate Athletic Association record remains at 9-11.

    “”As long as we play as a team, and cut down on our errors, we’ll do fine at the tournament,”” Gerckens said.

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