The UCR softball team (2-1) started off their season by splitting a doubleheader in the CSF-UCLA tournament on Friday, Feb. 9.

The Highlanders dominated in their first game against Rutgers University (0-2), winning 10-0. Riverside was ahead by 10 in the sixth inning so the mercy rule stipulation came into play, ending the game. Senior pitcher Taylor Misfeldt pitched a commanding five-inning shutout, striking out nine of the 19 batters she faced. This game was Misfeldt’s 38th career win, which puts her two wins away from tying the UCR all-time record. Freshman right fielder Danielle Ortega led the game in RBI’s with three and hit a triple. Sophomore shortstop Hannah Rodriguez and sophomore designated hitter Amanda Lynch were tied for second in runs batted in with two a piece.

The second game of the doubleheader against Loyola Marymount (1-2) was much more competitive and saw Riverside suffer its first defeat of the season, 2-3. The Highlanders started poorly, allowing a run to score in the first inning off of a wild pitch from freshman starting pitcher Hayley Marschall. UCR bounced backed quickly, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first courtesy of an RBI from junior second baseman Brittney Garcia, and a wild pitch from LMU’s junior pitcher Hannah Bandimere. The Lions would ultimately come back and score a run in both the 3rd and 5th innings to earn the victory.

On Saturday, Feb. 10 the Highlanders bounced back to beat Maryland University (0-3). Misfeldt threw her second shutout in back-to-back days, but this one came in a complete game where she only allowed one hit and struck out nine batters. The win put her one away from tying the UCR all-time record. Riverside was able to score three runs in a two out rally in the second inning thanks to an RBI triple from senior catcher Jenae Lockwood and a two-run homer from sophomore first baseman Karter Williams. The Highlanders added a run in both the sixth and seventh inning to give them the 5-0 victory.

UCR’s softball team has its next game on Wednesday, Feb. 14 against San Diego State University (1-4) at the Amy S. Harrison Softball Field beginning at 1 p.m.