UCR softball wins weekend series against Cal Poly

Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER

April 24, 2013
Titans 4 – Highlanders 1

 Riverside continued to struggle in Big West Conference play as the softball team dropped its final game of their Big West Conference series against Cal State Fullerton, 4-1. The Highlanders managed to get just three hits against the Titans’ tough pitching while Fullerton banged out eight hits, including a two-run home run over the center field fence by Desiree Ybarra.

 Neither side was able to score through the first three innings as both teams managed to muster  just two hits combined while Highlander pitcher Alyssa Razo and Titan pitcher Jasmine Antunez got into a pitchers’ duel.

 The Titans were the first to score, however, as they knocked in a run in the fourth inning when UCR failed to tag out Titan Eliza Crawford. The defensive mistake cost the Highlanders an early run.

 UCR’s Kayla White was the catalyst once again for the offense as she reached base on a walk to start the fourth inning and stole second base promptly. She moved to third on a ground out and then beat a throw to home on a suicide-squeeze bunt from Alexis Pickett.

 The Highlanders’ pitching again faltered in the sixth inning as Melissa Sechrest doubled to score Crawford and take a 2-1 lead that would prove to be the go-ahead run for the Titans. Ashley Carter would single in the seventh inning and cross home plate on a Ybarra home run, which further increased the Titan advantage to 4-1.

 After drawing a walk in the seventh inning, the Highlanders failed to capitalize, capping off a tough offensive day. The loss marked the 14th Big West Conference loss for Highlander softball this year.

April 27, 2013
Mustangs 2 – Highlanders 0 

The Highlander softball team came into game one of its doubleheader against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a record of 1-14 in Big West Conference games and was unable to come away with a victory, losing 2-0.

The Highlanders got fantastic pitching from Ashley Ercolano, who allowed just two runs in seven innings, but was inept offensively, failing to score a single run off Mustang Chloe Wurst. Kayla White punched three hits and Ariel Shore had two hits in an otherwise quiet lineup for the Highlanders.

Both sides were held scoreless through five innings as each side managed to get runners on base, but failed to capitalize with runs.

The Mustangs were able to score their only two runs of the game in the sixth inning, as back-to-back singles to start the inning ultimately resulted in all bases being loaded with just one out. Jillian Anderson then singled home a run to take a 1-0 lead, while Ashley Romano drove in another run on a fielder’s choice, ending the Highlander’s hopes of earning a second Big West conference win.

April 27, 2013

Highlanders 8 – Mustangs 0

The Highlanders recovered from their poor performance against Cal Poly in game one with a win, rocking the Mustangs in five innings, 8-0. Big performances by Kayla White on offense and Alyssa Razo on the mound fueled UC Riverside to its second conference triumph of the season. Razo pitched five innings of shutout ball while White had three hits for the Highlanders and drove in four runs. UCR moves to 2-15 in Big West Conference play behind Saturday’s victory.

The Highlanders came up with four runs in the second inning, keyed by an RBI single by Ashley Ercolano and a momentum-changing home run by White.

Neither side would score again until the fourth as the Highlanders came up with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it 6-0. Dionne Anderson singled with the bases loaded after a catcher’s interference call, driving in both White and Alexis Pickett.

After holding the Mustangs scoreless in the fifth inning, UCR put together the dagger rally. A trio of plays set the stage for a walk-off single by White, which resulted in a rare mercy rule win for the Highlanders. 

April 28, 2013
Highlanders 3 – Mustangs 2

After splitting the double header on Saturday, the softball team earned a much needed victory on Senior Day to take the series against Cal Poly. Following a huge offensive day on Saturday, Kayla White continued to be a cornerstone offensively with two hits. Alyssa Razo had a nice pitching performance for UC Riverside, pitching four innings of shutout ball, a day after shutting out the Mustangs. UCR improved to 3-15 against Big West Conference opponents this season.

White was again the spark plug for the Highlanders as a leadoff single started a rally in the bottom of the first inning that resulted in UCR’s first score.

Natalie Sanchez blasted a home run in the bottom of the second, giving UCR a 2-0 lead as Highlander pitching continued to keep the Mustangs off balance.

Mariah Cochiolo singled in Ashley Romano in the bottom of the third, and Emily Ceccacci tied the game for the Mustangs with a two-out RBI single to left field.

The fourth and fifth innings would be silent, but the sixth inning proved to be big for the Highlanders. Escalante led off the inning with a walk and was bunted over by Dionne Anderson. Ashley Ercolano would single to put runners on the corners, and with two outs, Sanchez put a charge into a double to score Escalante for the winning run.

Alexis Pickett, White and Shore were honored on Senior Day. UCR heads out on the road to take on Cal State Northridge this week in Big West Conference play.

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