Softball doesn’t ‘do the Dew’

    UCSD competed in the 18th annual Cal State Bakersfield Mountain Dew Classic held in Bakersfield, Calif., on April 23 through April 25. The Tritons dropped all four of their games and went 1-1 in the single-elimination playoffs, losing to tournament champions San Francisco State in the quarterfinals.

    The Tritons couldn’t catch a break in the tournament. It began with the early game on April 23, with a 3-2 loss to Grand Canyon University. Despite jumping out to a two-run lead in the top of the first inning, UCSD’s lead was fleeting. Grand Canyon scored two in the bottom of the first and once more in the fifth.

    Freshman pitcher Tina Rowe, who was on a three-game winning streak, lost her sixth game of the season, putting her record at 10-6. The Tritons had two hits on the day, including a double by sophomore shortstop Desiree Franciscus.

    April 23’s second game found UCSD suffering a difficult defeat at the hands of tournament-host Cal State Bakersfield, losing 9-8 in nine innings. Junior Kelley Bryant, pitching in relief for senior starter Jodie Bland, suffered the loss, bringing her overall record to 3-4 on the year.

    UCSD once again jumped to an early lead, scoring once in the first inning. But by the sixth inning, the Roadrunners were leading 8-1. The Tritons put together a solid sixth inning, posting seven runs and seemingly shifting the momentum to their side. Hits included a double by sophomore rightfielder Niki Anderson and a triple from senior third baseman Amy Mettee. The Roadrunners, however, managed to hold the Tritons in extra innings and put one run on the board in the bottom of the ninth to win.

    Since the Tritons lost both of their games, they entered the bronze pool of the tournament, hoping to emerge victorious against the other two teams who had also lost both of their first games.

    Cal State San Bernardino had other ideas, however, and beat the Tritons by a score of 9-3 in the early game on April 24. Bland took her 11th loss of the season and saw her record drop to 13-11 overall.

    UCSD brought a run home in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 7-1. The Coyotes had exploded in a five-run second inning and added two more runs in the third. The Tritons scored twice in the sixth, but Cal State San Bernardino had added another run in the fourth and tacked on its final insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, putting the game at its final score of 9-3. Sophomore outfielder Jenny Spencer had a double and senior second baseman Kim Aggabao knocked out a triple for UCSD.

    The Tritons suffered another one-run defeat in their second game on April 24, losing 1-0 to Western New Mexico. Rowe was working on a shutout into the seventh inning, but with two outs, Western New Mexico was able to squeak in a run. UCSD’s bats remained silent in the bottom of the seventh. Rowe suffered her seventh loss of the season, and her record dropped to 10-7. The Tritons managed five hits, but couldn’t complete a run.

    UCSD finally snapped out of its rut in the first game of the day on April 25 and was able to win its play-in game against Cal State Stanislaus in single-elimination playoffs, 6-2. Cal State Stanislaus jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning against freshman starter Rowe, neither run earned, but that was all Cal State Stanislaus would score for the day. Rowe gained her 11th win of the season, raising her record to 11-7 on the season.

    The Triton’s offensive funk ended in the third inning, when they exploded with five runs and added another in the sixth to bring the game up to its final score, 6-2. Spencer led the offense for UCSD, going 2-for-3, scoring twice and netting an RBI off her second home run of the season. Aggabao and junior first baseman Jamie Hurst both went 1-for-3 on the day, adding both a run and an RBI each. Franciscus and Bland both scored for the Tritons as well, while freshman catcher Nikki Palmer brought in a run.

    Continuing their bad luck after a brief reprieve, the Tritons were pitted up against soon-to-be tournament champions San Francisco State. Bryant had a rocky first inning, giving up three runs in two-thirds innings of work and, lacking any run support, took the loss, her fifth of the season. Bland pitched five and one-third innings in relief, gave up four earned runs, all in the sixth inning, and earned a no-decision.

    UCSD managed five hits, two coming from Aggabao, who, upon entering the tournament, was the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s leading hitter. She went 2-for-3, Spencer and Bland both went 1-for-3, and Anderson went 1-for-2. All three players knocked in singles.

    The Tritons will return to the field when they play a doubleheader against CCAA rival Sonoma State on April 30 in Rohnert Park, Calif. On May 1, the softball team will square off against San Francisco State for another doubleheader. If the Tritons are able to match the SFSU record during the Sonoma State series, then sweep San Francisco State, UCSD will move into first place in the CCAA.

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