UCSD rallies to earn semifinal berth
Manuel pokes pinch-hit, two-run single to start Triton rally
SALEM, Va. – UC-San Diego came from behind with a four-run fourth inning and fought off a bases-loaded threat in the seventh to top Minnesota State-Mankato 4-2 in the fifth game of the 2011 NCAA Softball Championship.
UC-San Diego now stands at 43-13 while Minnesota State fell to 54-15 on the season.
MSU jumped on top in the bottom of the third with two runs. Amanda Umhoefer led off the stanza with a single and promptly stole second. With one out, Lauryn Morris drove her home with a base knock into center field. She then moved to third on Natalie Spicer’s single. Morris scored on Julie O’Neal’s fielder’s choice for the 2-0 advantage.
The lead would not last for long.
In the top of the fourth, UC-San Diego got things going as Jennifer De Fazio blasted a double. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With two away, MSU walked back-to-back batters.
The bases were loaded for Jennifer Manuel, who entered the game as a pinch hitter. On the first pitch, she laced a single, plating De Fazio and Esther Strom, knotting the game at 2-2.
Kris Lesovsky doubled to right, scoring Katrin Gabriel and Mya Romero for the 4-2 advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, MSU loaded the bases with just one out. However, a groundout and an infield fly ended the threat to give UC-San Diego the victory.
The Tritons amassed four runs on six hits with one error while MSU totaled two runs on 10 hits with one miscue.
Camille Gaito went the distance for UCSD. She struck out three and walked just one in the win. Kendra Huettl tossed 3.2 innings for MSU and took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits. Courtney McKelvogue worked 3.1 innings of relief.