Softball Team Battles Elements

Daniel Caddell/Guardian File

SOFTBALL — Despite the rain, the Tritons opened their 2010 season at the Mizuno Best of the West invitational in Turlock, Calif. on Feb. 5. They finished with a 1-1 record — winning against Central Washington University 2-0, but losing to Chico State 2-3.

The team fought a muddy field almost as hard as their first opponent. The Tritons started off on the offensive, scoring both of their runs in the first two innings, largely due to errors made by their opponents.

Junior leadoff hitter Sarah Woofter was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch, and advanced to third on two Wildcat errors. Senior catcher Nicole Saari then brought Woofter home by grounding into a fielder’s choice.

In the second inning, junior outfielder Lyndsay Gaylord took first base with a one-out single, stole second and took third with the help from junior Katrin Gabriel’s sacrifice bunt. Then, thanks to a Wildcat wild pitch, Gaylord came home to seal the team’s first win of the season.

On the defensive side, sophomore right hand-pitcher Camille Gaito dominated the pitcher’s mound with seven shutout innings. Gaito struck out six Wildcats, allowed three hits and retired eight straight batters.

All-American junior outfielder Kris Lesovsky went three-for-four on the day. Lesovsky holds the highest single season batting average record in UCSD’s softball program — last year she maintained a .446 batting average.

In the second game, the Tritons held a 2-0 advantage over Chico State, but lost it in the seventh inning to a successful Wildcat comeback. The game was eventually decided in extra innings, when Chico State scored in the eighth to win the game 3-2.

Woofter started the scoring for UCSD with a single, then pushed into scoring position by Eliades’s sacrifice bunt and Lesovsky’s single up the middle.

Katie Belanger’s home run took her around the bases, giving UCSD a 2-0 advantage.

Senior starting pitcher Christine Zankich, who pitched a complete game and conceded only two earned runs, took the tough loss.

Chico State fought back in the seventh inning, scoring the tying run on a two-out RBI single.

“Our defense loosened up after scoring two runs, but it was a mistake on our part,” Lesovsky said.

The Wildcats scored the winning run on a RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning, then held on for the narrow win after two UCSD hitters stranded Belanger in scoring position.

UCSD will have an opportunity to avenge its loss in a four-game series against Chico State on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13.

“Playing Chico State again, we’ll show them that the loss in the Best of the West Invitational was only a fluke,” Lesovsky said.

Readers can contact Yvonne Chow at [email protected].

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