Cal State San Marcos drops the Division II World Series opener and will have to battle through the losers bracket

Cal State San Marcos drops the Division II World Series opener and will have to battle through the losers bracket

If Cal State San Marcos’ softball team is going to win the university’s first team national championship, the Cougars will have to do it the hard way, coming back through the losers bracket in the NCAA Division II World Series.

The eighth-seeded Cougars lost the tournament opener Thursday morning in Chattanooga, Tenn., to top-seeded University of Texas-Tyler, 5-1.

The win was UT-Tyler’s 37thth straight as the Patriots improved to 60-4. The Cougars (32-20) will play Wilmington (Del.) in an elimination game at 8 Saturday morning

CSUSM won its first five postseason games by a combined score of 38-5 and had allowed just one extra base hit. But UT-Tyler rapped four extra-base hits in the game, two doubles, a triple and a home run.

The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Makenzie Guiliano, a wild pitch and RBI single by Mackenzie Kestler.

UT-Tyler took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a home run, double and RBI single. All three hits came with two outs. The Patriots tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth inning.

Jayline Sloss (11-8) started on the mound for the Cougars, pitching four-plus innings and allowing five runs on eight hits. Savannah Coyle pitched the final two innings. Tatum Goff (40-0) went the distance for the Patriots, surrendering seven hits, all singles.

UT-Tyler makes a return trip to the World Series. For the Cougars, it is their first trip to the tournament. Cal State San Marcos had a runner thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double and lost an infield pop up into the sun.

“I think our team kind of relaxed with a lead,” head coach Stef Ewing said over the phone. “In the College World Series, you have to be intense all the time. We let off the gas a little bit.

“The message I sent to the team was that today wasn’t our best softball, and we know that. We played like it was our first time here. We’re ready to play two (games) Saturday. There’s no panic in this group.”

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