Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Northridge
Records: Aggies, 22-34 (8-10); Matadors, 21-23 (10-8)
Where: Matador Diamond – Northridge
When: Today at 1 and 3 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Playing in the final regular season game of her career, senior Sarah O’Neil will be looking to go out on a high note.
The animal science major leads the Aggie outfield with four home runs and 18 RBI while batting .248.
In the team’s most recent contest, the senior couldn’t stay off the bases, going 1-for-1 with two walks. Her lone hit was a two-RBI triple in the first that gave the Aggies an early 3-0 lead.
O’Neil and her two fellow seniors – Ashley Johnson and Lindsey Jones – will be honored prior to the Saturday series finale.
Did you know? In order to qualify for consideration for a bid to the NCAA Regionals, teams must have a winning percentage of .500 or better for the season, meaning the Aggies can crush the Matadors‘ hopes of a possible bid if they sweep this final Big West Conference series.
Preview: Heading into today’s contest, all the cards are on the table.
UC Davis is the only thing standing in the Matadors‘ way of a possible playoff berth.
While the Aggies are out of playoff contention, they can earn a winning record in conference play (11-10) if they win all three games this weekend.
As usual, they will turn to their senior ace Jessica Hancock. The Long Beach native is leading the Big West with 231.1 innings pitched and 215 strike outs to go along with her 16-20 overall record and 2.42 ERA.
Calling the shots behind the plate for Hancock has been Aggie slugger Deanna Menapace, who paces the team with her six homers, 10 doubles and 33 RBI.
Catching for the Matadors has been junior Amanda Peek, who currently leads her team with a .395 batting average, six long balls and 25 RBI.
Despite solid numbers from Menapace and Peek, both teams have had their offense woes this season.
As a team the Matadors are batting .246 as a club – good for sixth-best in the conference. The Aggies this season are last in the league with their .237 batting average and 289 strikeouts as a team.
Sunday’s contest will serve as Senior Day for three Matadors: Jackie Duree, Mercedes Lovato and Samantha Schroeder.
Lovato is expected to be today’s Game 1 starter. She is 17-13 on the season with a 2.99 ERA and 126 strikeouts.