It just may be coming together for the UC Davis softball team.
After suffering some tough losses during spring break, the Aggies (19-16, 4-2) got back on track against Pacific (15-21, 0-6), completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Saturday – Game 1: UC Davis 1, Pacific 0
As she has been for most of the season, senior Jessica Hancock was lights out as she hurled a four-hit shutout while striking out six in a 1-0 win.
“She had a great game,” said coach Karen Yoder. “She did a great job adjusting to the zone.“
While Hancock was blowing away the Tigers, the Aggies were trying to score any way they could.
Their one run came in the first inning with runners on first and third. Pacific catcher Karie Wilson tried to pick off junior Erin Emde at second base, allowing senior Julie Stauder to come home from third with the lone run of the game.
“It was great, heads-up base running,” Yoder said.
Saturday – Game 2: UC Davis 7, Pacific 1
The Aggies have had trouble putting runs on the board this season, as they were last in the Big West Conference in scoring entering weekend play.
This was not the case in the second game of the double dip, as UC Davis routed Pacific, 7-1.
“I commend the offensive attack,” Yoder said. “We fell behind but didn’t let up. We made adjustments, put the ball in play and made their defense do the work.“
The Aggies were down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Stauder singled in junior Michelle Espiritu. Freshman Kelly Harman then promptly doubled in sophomore Bianca Castillo and junior Caitlin Low.
UC Davis exploded for four more in the following inning beginning with an RBI single by senior Belinda Paine and ending with another RBI double by Harman.
The Aggies were helped out by two Pacific errors as they scored five unearned runs on the day.
Harman went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and Paine went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
In the pitching circle, sophomore Alex Holmes registered six innings of work and got her seventh win of the season.
“Confidence helped [Holmes] today,” Yoder said. “She did a lot of things in crucial situations which is what you need in conference play.“
Sunday – UC Davis 5, Pacific 4
The Aggies were looking to bring out the brooms on the Tigers after winning the first two games of the series.
UC Davis was able to accomplish this, but needed some last minute heroics to do so. The Aggies rallied for two runs in the seventh to narrowly defeat Pacific 5-4 and complete the sweep.
“Our team just really continued to fight,” Yoder said. “I am so proud of the team for battling no matter what.“
The Aggies were down 4-3 heading into their final at-bat but did not go away lightly.
With one out, junior Sarah Axelson’s sacrifice fly tied the game. Harman then delivered a two-out bloop single to score Stauder, allowing the Aggies to come out on top.
Eight different Aggies had a hit in the game and five different players drove in a run. Axelson recorded two hits and an RBI and Paine’s hit extended her hitting streak to 15 games. She also stole a base and scored twice.
Holmes recorded her eighth win of the season, allowing one earned run in four innings.
With three wins this weekend, Yoder believes all the pieces to her team’s puzzle are coming together.
“We had good defense, hitting and pitching,” Yoder said. “We were firing on all cylinders.“
MAX ROSENBLUM can be reached at email@example.com.