Tritons Leave Hearts In San Francisco In Final Series

The UCSD softball team saw its 2006 season come to an end after two narrow losses against San Francisco State on May 6. Playing for the chance to move on to the NCAA Division-II Regionals, the No. 20 Gators defeated the Tritons 1-0 in game one, and by a 3-2 margin in game two.

Coming into the games, the Tritons were excited for the chance to play a formidable team with their postseason hopes on the line; however, the results might have led to a change of heart.

“I’m really excited for our games this weekend,” senior outfielder Jenny Spencer said before the road trip. “I know that our momentum will carry through to this weekend.”

Though the Tritons marched into the weekend with high hopes, their momentum was not enough to propel them into the postseason. To remain in contention for the NCAA Division-II Regionals, the Tritons would have had to win both games against San Francisco State.

Game one was marked by a stellar performance by sophomore pitcher Melissa Ward, who gave up only one run on three hits. Ward walked only one batter while striking out six and fell to 14-13 on the season.

The Triton defense remained solid until late in the game, when the Gators scored their game-winning run in the bottom half of the seventh.

Junior second baseman Dallas Hernandez and sophomores shortstop Elizabeth Vazquez and third baseman Jenny Maze each had one hit for the Tritons.

Determined to battle against a shutout in game two, the Tritons leapt to an early lead, scoring one run on two hits in the second inning. San Francisco immediately answered with a run of its own in the bottom half.

An RBI ground out by sophomore infielder Danielle Lukk scored a runner in the third to give the Tritons the 2-1 lead, which remained until the bottom of the sixth.

In the sixth, the Gators scored twice on two hits off of freshman Lauren Chastain to take a 3-2 lead. The Tritons were unable to come from behind in the seventh and fell by one run.

Prior to the doubleheader in San Francisco, the Tritons traveled to Sonoma State, splitting the pair of games by dropping the first 4-2 and winning the second 10-8.

Though game one saw both teams racking up 20 hits, runs were hard to come by until late in the game. Going into the fifth inning, the score remained at a 1-1 standstill.

The Tritons broke the stalemate in the top of the sixth, scoring the go-ahead run to lead the Seawolves 2-1. Sonoma State fired back quickly, producing three runs of its own, bringing the tally to 4-2. The Seawolves would go on to win the bout by the same score.

Ward took the loss, giving up four runs on 12 hits, while walking one and striking out two batters.

The second game of the day quickly became a scoring spree for each team. UCSD launched the game off to a breakneck pace, scoring six unearned runs in the first inning.

After a two-run homer off of Chastain, the Seawolves were on the board as well, trailing the Tritons 6-2.

The Tritons continued to cruise going into the fifth inning, leading 10-3. Sonoma State gave one last run for the money, putting five runs up in the sixth, bringing the score to 10-8, but the team could not muster up any more runs and fell to UCSD.

Chastain was awarded the win, giving up six runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

The Tritons finished up the season with a 24-28 overall record, 10-18 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, and will look for a better finish when they return with plenty of talented young players next year.