On to the Next

    Going into the tournament with the sixth-seed, the Tritons topped CCAA regular season champions second-seed CSU Monterey Bay as well as third-seed Dixie State en route to the West Region crown.
    “We felt strong going in even against the teams we hadn’t seen this year,” UCSD head coach Patti Gerckens said. “All three teams were very difficult, but we believed that we would come out.”
    The No. 24 Tritons will be one of 16 teams to advance to the Super Regional competition, where UCSD will face CCAA squad No. 10 CSU Dominguez Hills.
    The Tritons took down the first-seeded Toros 1–0 in the opening game of the conference tournament on April 27.
    “The postseason brings out a different animal in everybody,” Gerckens said. “For us right now I think that we’re playing really well. We’re trying to focus on doing the little things right, and at this point in the season, the teams that do that are going to be the teams that come out on top.”

    GAME 1
    Dixie State went up 1–0 in the bottom of the first inning, scoring an unearned run off a Triton error.
    UCSD came back in the fourth inning, as sophomore Mya Romero and freshmen Maria Sykes and Monique Portugal all singled to load the bases. Back at the top of the batting order with two outs, senior Kris Lesovsky singled to centerfield to score Romero and Sykes.
    Dixie State tied the score with a homer from designated hitter Anna Cue in the fourth. The game remained tied until the sixth inning, as the Red Storm collected the winning run off another Triton error.

    GAME 2
    Senior pitcher Camille Gaito kept seventh-seed Montana State Billings scoreless in the second leg of the West Regionals. The ace recorded seven strikeouts in her seven innings, while allowing only four hits.
    UCSD went up 1–0 in the first inning, but collected three more runs in the fourth inning to secure the win. With Portugal on third and sophomore Emily McQuaid on second, Lesovsky singled for one RBI. McQuaid and Lesovsky were both brought home off a single by sophomore cleanup hitter Charly Swanberg.
    GAME 3
    Stuck in a win-or-go-home situation, the No. 24 Tritons knocked second-seed CSU Monterey Bay out of the national tournament on their home field, in the semifinal game.
    Sophomore All-CCAA second team selection Caitlin Brown recorded two solo home runs, while Lesovsky went yard in the top of the fifth inning for two RBI to cement a 5–0 win.
    UCSD first got on the board in the third inning, as McQuaid scored on a throwing error and Brown collected her first home run off of Monterey pitcher Kylie Linnane.
    In the top of the fifth inning, with one out and one on, Lesovsky homered down the leftfield line to put the Tritons up 4–0. Brown’s homer in her third at bat secured the win for the Tritons.

    GAME 4
    UCSD took an early 2–0 lead in the top of the second inning, as Dixie State pitcher Mattie Snow walked the Tritons’ next two batters.
    Snow was relieved in favor of pitcher Lauren Folta, who allowed the Tritons only two hits in her subsequent five innings.
    With the score still 2–0, Brown came up big with a solo home run in the seventh inning to go up 3–0. The run was enough to stave off the Red Storm, who tallied two runs in their last turn at the plate.

    GAME 5
    The Tritons took the West Regional championship in five innings against the Red Storm in the second game of the double header.
    Lesovsky collected an RBI in the top of the second inning to give UCSD a 1–0 lead. With Sykes on second and McQuaid on first, Lesovsky singled down the leftfield line to bring Sykes into score. McQuaid was moved over on a throwing error, and stole home to put the Tritons up 2–0.
    Red Storm pitcher Michelle Duncan found herself in a tight spot with bases loaded — Lesovsky on third, hitting Willmon with a pitch to put her on second and walking Brown—the right-hander gave up another run on a single by Swanberg.
    The Tritons loaded the bases in the fourth inning, picking up two runs as Duncan walked Romero and Sykes. With the 5–0 advantage, Portugal was brought up to bat. The freshman notched her first career home run and grand slam to put the Tritons up 9–0.
    UCSD picked up another run in the fifth inning to end the game on the mercy rule.

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