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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

UC Davis is a united front

A three-day weekend in Las Vegas may distract most.

Not the UC Davis softball team.

The Aggies began their season with two come-from-behind victories at the UNLV Sportco Kick-Off Classic.

They finished the weekend with a 3-2 record, both losses coming to host UNLV.

Coach Karen Yoder said the squad showed tenacity as it battled two tough losses against the host team.

Friday – Game 1: UC Davis 10, Kent State 2 (5)

Kent State held a 2-0 lead until the fifth inning, as it scored one run in each of the first two innings.

In the bottom half of the inning, a two-out UC Davis rally began with a Megan Guzman infield single, driving in Sarah Axelson.

After an illegal pitch brought in the tying run, Alex Holmes hit an RBI-double to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead.

The Aggies scored all 10 of their runs in the fatal inning.

“It was the moment when you really saw this team come together,” Yoder said.

Friday – Game 2: UC Davis 4, Loyola Marymount 3 (8)

Loyola Marymount put the first run on the board with a solo homerun, forcing UC Davis into what would become a back-and-forth contest.

After tying the game at 1-1 in the third inning, the Lions took back the lead and maintained it until the sixth.

The Aggies then regained the lead only to see the Lions come back to tie it again in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Elizabeth Santana drove in Guzman in the top of the eighth with a sacrifice fly, proving to be the deciding run.

“I was impressed with the overall presence of our players on opening day,” Yoder said. “We had some key offensive performances by [Jessica] Gonzalez and Santana, who came through in situations with runners in scoring position.”

Saturday – Game 1: UC Davis 2, UNLV 7

UC Davis suffered its first loss of the season to UNLV as the Rebels edged the Aggies with a five-run second inning.

“Six of the seven runs were unearned, which makes it difficult to win any game,” Yoder said. “It was a huge learning opportunity.”

Santana went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.

Saturday – Game 2: UC Davis 8, Cal State Bakersfield 7

Yoder said game four was a good one.

UC Davis fell behind 4-1 in the second inning before eventually coming back to gain a 7-5 lead in the seventh.

Axelson proved to be a powerful asset to the Aggie offense.

“The ball probably looked like a beach ball to her,” Yoder said. “She was hitting everything. She brought her leadership to the plate in the cleanup spot.”

Axelson took advantage of two Roadrunner defensive miscues and went 5-for-5 at the dish. Her last hit drove in the winning run.

Sunday – UC Davis 2, UNLV 3

This was a strange finish.

Due to the Aggies’ strict travel arrangements, coaches from both sides agreed to a specific time to end the game, regardless of who was ahead.

With UC Davis behind 3-2 in the seventh inning, Axelson hit a three-run homerun to give the Aggies a 5-3 lead.

However, the long ball didn’t count as time had ran out just before Axelson went deep, preventing the Aggies from claiming victory.

“I was proud with how our team handled themselves, not only this game, but in all of the games this weekend,” Yoder said. “We proved how we battle and how we’re a united front. We came from behind in many of the contests, which showed a lot of character.”

GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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