Gaito
UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. --  No. 1 UC San Diego defeated Northwest Nazarene twice on Saturday afternoon -- both 8-0 via run-rule -- to complete a four-game sweep of the Crusaders on opening weekend at Triton Softball Field.

Camille Gaito and Kayla Hensel combined to surrender just four hits combined during the two games, as the Tritons won in the minimum innings allowed (5) in both contests. Hensel pitched a one-hitter in the final game of the series, her first career start.

Triton sophomores led the offensive onslaught for UCSD. Charly Swanberg went 7 for 12 (.583), Mya Romero finished 6 for 12 (.500) with seven RBIs, Jennifer Manuel drove in five runs and Emily McQuaid scored five runs on 4 for 10 hitting. Caitlin Brown added a pair of doubles and slugged .571.

Freshman Monique Portugal had an impressive four games in her debut as a Triton, finishing 4 for 9 (.444) with three runs.

Triton ace Gaito (2-0) hurled a three-hit shutout as the Tritons took just five innings to roll over the Crusaders 8-0 in the morning affair. Gaito allowed just two players to reach second base, striking out seven of 18 batters with no walks.

UCSD capitalized on a series of NNU defensive mistakes throughout the game. Romero led off the first with a single to centerfield on Cara Duckworth's first delivery. McQuaid walked and Swanberg reached on an infield single to load the bases with one out.

After Romero was thrown out at home by the NNU second baseman, Duckworth (0-2) sprayed a wild pitch low and inside to Kris Lesovsky, allowing McQuaid to scamper home. Two pitches later, Duckworth careened another pitch off the backstop as Swanberg took home for a 2-0 UCSD lead.

The miscues continued in the Triton half of the fourth inning. NNU third baseman Chelsea Allsbrook's error allowed Lesovsky aboard before Duckworth plunked Brown on the thigh to put runners on first and second. Portugal laid down a bunt single to load the bases with no out.

Manuel pinch-hit and grounded a slow chopper to the right side, forcing a throw home by the second baseman. Lesovsky beat the throw to make it 3-0 with the bases loaded and no out. A passed ball allowed Brown in before another wild pitch scored Romero from third. Nicole Spangler added a single into right center, driving in Kirsten Willmon and Romero when the catcher misplayed a throw from the outfield.

Up 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Brown doubled to left center with one out, giving way for pinch runner Anne Wethe. Portugal's slow ground out to third allowed Wethe to move to third on Allsbrook's throw across the infield. Willmon followed with a two-out single up the middle, scoring Wethe to end game one in the fifth at 8-0.

Eight different Tritons accounted for UCSD's runs.

In the second contest Saturday, Hensel (1-0), a freshman, surrendered a first-inning single and then allowed just two runners during the rest of her four innings of work.

Brown drove in Annie Heskett in the second and Swanberg scored Romero on an infield single in the third to push the Tritons out to a 2-0 lead. Romero returned the favor in the the fourth, singling-home Wethe to put the Tritons up by three.

In UCSD's final at-bat, Swanberg recorded another RBI with a single up the middle to score Lesovsky from second base. The Tritons filled the bases on consecutive walks to Manuel and Brown before a bloop single by Dyanna Imoto scored Swanberg to make it 5-0. Maria Sykes reloaded the bases by getting hit by NNU's Chelsey Anderson (0-2).

Spangler drew a one-out walk to push it to 6-0, prompting NNU coach Julie Coert to pull Anderson in favor for Krista Olson. Romero punished the decision, sending Olson's third pitch into right center field to score Sykes and Imoto, handing the Tritons another mercy-rule victory.

Swanberg was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a run in the final game while Romero was 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Imoto finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. For the second consecutive game, eight different Tritons accounted for all of UCSD's runs.