Teams: UC Davis at UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 20-19 (4-5); Highlanders, 15-23 (4-5)
Where: Amy S. Harrison Field – Riverside, Calif.
When: Saturday at noon, 2 p.m.; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: Senior pitcher Jessica Hancock looks to get back on track after a rough outing in her last start.
The usually consistent Hancock gave up 10 runs to Cal State Fullerton in a 10-3 home loss.
The Long Beach, Calif. native leads the Big West Conference with 144 strikeouts. She also paces the Aggies in wins (12) and shutouts (five).
Did you know? Once UC Davis is able to put runs on the board in a consistent manner, it will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big West.
The pitching staff has a league-best 1.52 ERA and 237 strikeouts. On the other hand, the Aggies are in the bottom half of the league in batting average and are second to last in runs scored with 120. Only the Highlanders (116 runs) have produced less offense than the Aggies.
Preview: After sweeping rival Pacific and knocking off No. 23 Nevada, UC Davis ran into trouble against Cal State Fullerton last weekend.
The Titan hitters frustrated Aggie pitching all weekend, putting up 22 runs in the three-game series.
In the opening game, Hancock could not contain the Titans as they scored 10 runs in 5.1 innings.
The second game of the doubleheader saw a UC Davis comeback fall short. The Aggies rallied from a 5-1 deficit to bring themselves within one in the final inning only to lose by a single run.
In the final contest of the series, the Titans scored six runs in the last three innings to put the Aggies away 7-2 and sweep the series.
UC Davis now moves its focus to UC Riverside, a team that also sports a 4-5 record in Big West action.
The Highlanders are led offensively by junior Marissa Alvidrez, who owns an impressive .424/.517/.722 vital line and also leads the team with 21 runs, 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
Senior Belinda Paine, who had an 18-game hitting streak snapped last Saturday, leads the Aggies with a .322 batting average. Junior Marissa Araujo is tops on the club with a .462 slugging percentage.
– Max Rosenblum