After sweeping a doubleheader to open the series, the Aggies had to expect the Titans to come hungry to game three.
“They’re an offensively attacking team and they did a good job battling us,” said coach Karen Yoder. “You can’t get complacent with them because they fight. Offensively, they really challenged our pitchers. It was an excellent battle.”
Runs were hard to come by for UC Davis on Sunday as the Aggies fell to the Titans. Still, UC Davis took the series by winning two out of three.
Saturday – Game 1: UC Davis 5, Cal State Fullerton 2
Elizabeth Santana got the ball rolling in the top of the third with a double down the left field line.
Alex Holmes then hit a single to drive in Santana for the first run of the game.
Holmes scored on a double to right center by Sarah Axelson, and Kylie Fan capped off the big inning with a single to bring Axelson across the plate for the 3-0 lead.
The Aggies took advantage of two more singles and a Titan fielding error in the fourth as Santana and JJ Wagoner came in to make the score 5-0.
The Titans were quiet until the bottom of the fifth when they scored twice, the only runs they could muster all day.
“[The Titans] were hitting the ball right at our defenders,” Yoder said. “Also, Waldusky did a great job of keeping their good hitters off balance.”
From the circle, Dana Waldusky struck out two batters in her six innings of work before Holmes relieved her in the seventh.
“Dana had a great command of her pitches,” Yoder said.
Saturday – Game 2: UC Davis 7, Cal State Fullerton 4
A solo shot by Marissa Araujo in the top of the second frame started the Aggies off strong with another early lead.
“Anytime you can have an early lead, it definitely gives your pitcher an opportunity to really settle in,” Yoder said.
The Aggies didn’t hold the lead long, though. In the bottom of the next inning, Titan center fielder Torrie Anderson responded with a homer over the left field wall to tie the game.
Cal State Fullerton’s Gabby Aragon and Krystal Heinle delivered back-to-back RBI in the fifth frame to put the Titans ahead 3-1.
But the lead wouldn’t last long as UC Davis came alive at the plate in the top of the sixth inning.
Three consecutive RBI gave the Aggies a 4-3 lead before Fan singled to left to bring in two more runs.
“The girls really stepped up,” Yoder said. “We had runners in scoring position, which is something we really focused on. We wanted to be sure and capitalize in that scenario and it’s something our girls really did a good job with today.”
Hurlers Holmes and Waldusky combined for six strikeouts in the circle.
“They compliment each other very well,” Yoder said. “They have two different styles of pitching so anytime the two of them can throw in one game it really keeps the hitters off balance.”
Sunday- Cal State Fullerton 6, UC Davis 3
Two victories on Saturday moved the Aggies into second place in the Big West Conference.
As a result, Yoder knew what to expect from the Titans going into game three.
“We have to realize that they’re probably going to attack our weaknesses,” Yoder said after Saturday’s wins. “We have to be prepared to adjust our weaknesses offensively and to have a stellar defense.”
The Aggies didn’t heed their coach’s words as four Titan hits and two Aggie errors in the second inning would allow Cal State Fullerton to jump ahead 4-0.
A two-RBI single by Heinle in the sixth increased the lead to 6-0 before UC Davis had its last chance to close the gap.
The Aggies posted five hits in a solid effort in the top of the seventh frame, but could only manage to bring in three runs for the final 6-3 score.
UC Davis is next in action on Wednesday when it travels to Stockton to take on Pacific at 3:30 p.m.
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at email@example.com.