Sports can entertain and excite fans.
Sometimes, they can do more than that.
On Saturday, the UC Davis softball team hosted the Fourth Annual Strike Out Cancer event and raised nearly $500 for the UC Davis Cancer Center. The teams also donned special pink uniforms in honor of the event.
“We appreciate the community and everyone coming out to watch us [Saturday] and support a great cause,” said head coach Karen Yoder. “Having UC Riverside take part in Strike Out Cancer is a tribute to the class of their team.”
UC Davis (20-30, 5-7) earned their second straight Big West Conference series, defeating UC Riverside (18-27, 4-8) in two of three games.
Saturday – Game 1: UC Riverside 1, UC Davis 0
The stage was set for a pitching duel, and the two ace hurlers didn’t disappoint.
UC Davis junior Jessica Hancock (14-17) and UC Riverside senior Christin Songer (8-5) combined to allow only five hits in the first five innings, and Hancock allowed only one batter to reach past first base.
The Highlanders broke stalemate in the top of the sixth, scoring on an RBI single by Kristie Martinez.
Hancock completed the game despite fanning seven batters and allowing only the single run for what proved to game-winning run in UC Riverside’s 1-0 victory.
Songer held a choke-hold on the Aggie offense all game, throwing the complete game shut-out while allowing only four hits and striking out five. The Aggies stranded seven runners on base.
Saturday – Game 2: UC Davis 7, UC Riverside 3
After being bottled up in the first game of the Picnic Day doubleheader, the Aggie offense broke out for its highest scoring output in 25 games in a 7-3 victory over the Highlanders.
And they didn’t waste any time.
In the bottom of the first, the Aggies jumped to an early one-run lead after an RBI single by senior Sarah O’Neill brought home junior Julie Stauder.
It remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth when the Aggies blew up MarissaAlvidrez for six more runs. O’Neill capped the inning with a two-run single and finished the contest 2-for-3 with three RBI. Center fielder Trish Paine also hit a two-run triple in the inning, finishing 2-for-4 in the game.
“We did a much better job with timely hitting in the second game,” Yoder said.
Freshman Alex Holmes regained her early season form, allowing only three earned runs and striking out four in her complete game.
Sunday – Game 3: UC Davis 7, UC Riverside 4
If the Aggies had anyhard feelings toward Riverside pitcher Christin Songerabout getting shut out the day before, it didn’t show.
UC Davis jumped to an early 5-0 lead in the first with the help of a pair of bombs to left field by O’Neill and sophomore Erin Emde.
Then the Aggies grabbed two more runs when Stauder and junior Deanna Menapace both hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the fifth.
“I was very proud of the team,” Yoder said. “They came out and attacked Songer. She did a good job against us [Saturday] and shut us down, and we came out with a resiliency today and put seven runs up.”
Next on the plate for the Aggies is a three-game conference series against UC Santa Barbara this weekend at La Rue Field.
MATT MILLER can be reached at email@example.com.