TUCSON, Ariz. – San Diego dropped a pair of games Friday to begin play at the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Arizona.
The Toreros (11-13) opened the weekend with a 10-2 defeat against No. 9/9 Arizona in five innings. A late comeback effort against South Dakota came up just short in extra innings as USD fell, 6-5, in eight innings.
The Toreros could not slow down a potent Wildcats (18-2) offense that racked up 13 hits and scored in four-of-five offensive innings. Halle Kyler (4-6) got the start in the circle and went 2 1/3 innings before Delaney Heller came in as relief.
After Arizona jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, Kailey Hill hit her fourth home run of the year to get the Toreros on the board in the top of the second.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 7-0 after three innings but the Toreros continued to battle and added another run in the top of the fifth inning. Sarah Stone doubled to center field to bring in Katie Vretzos and cut Arizona’s lead to 7-2.
The Wildcats responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to secure the 10-2 run-rule victory.
A late offensive rally came up just short in extra innings against South Dakota as the Toreros fell, 6-5, in eight innings.
The Toreros got off to a slow start against the Coyotes (8-17) and faced a 5-1 deficit heading into the top of the seventh inning. USD rallied for four runs in the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Heller, who entered the game in the fourth inning, held the Coyotes scoreless in the bottom of the seventh but could not keep them off the board in the eighth.
USD was unable to produce a run in the top of the eighth inning and South Dakota capitalized when Jessica Rogers doubled to bring in the deciding run.
The decision spoiled a quality outing for Heller, who held the Coyotes to three runs – two earned – on seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings. Kyler made her second start of the day and went 3.0 innings, permitting three runs on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
Clare led the Toreros offensively, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, a home run and a run. Taylor Spence also registered a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run.
The Toreros will look to get back on track with a pair of games Saturday against No. 24/25 USC Upstate (noon) and South Dakota (4 p.m.).
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Baseball: Defeating No. 4 Arkansas
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Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
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Football: Week Nine
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Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
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Football: Week One
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USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
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