It takes a team effort to hold down the Big West Conference fort.
“We did a tremendous job last week in preparation for this series,” said coach Karen Yoder after her squad swept Cal Poly.
“I want to commend our players for really understanding how important it is to make adjustments to our opponents,” she said. “It was a great weekend and great momentum for our team.”
The Aggie offense forced the Mustangs to shuffle through their pitching staff as it collected a total of 34 hits in the series.
Saturday – Game 1: UC Davis 4, Cal Poly 3
Three runs in the top of the third inning allowed UC Davis to jump ahead first.
The Aggies scored once more in the fifth frame on a single by Marissa Araujo for the 4-0 lead.
After an unearned run in the sixth brought the score to within 4-1, the Mustang offense came alive to pose a threat in the bottom of the seventh.
In that inning, the first four batters reached base due to three singles and an Aggie error.
The final single drove in Cal Poly’s second run to make the score 4-2.
With the bases still loaded and no outs, Alex Holmes came in to relieve Dana Waldusky.
“They’re feeding well of each other’s positive energy,” Yoder said. “They’re a dynamic duo right now and they’re complementing each other so well. When one is in the starting role, the other is ready to relieve and vice versa, which is all you can really ask at this point in the season.”
Holmes got the Aggies out of the jam, giving up just one run for the final 4-3 victory.
Waldusky pitched six innings-plus and did not allow a single earned run as she picked up her 10th win of the season.
Saturday – Game 2: UC Davis 7, Cal Poly 3
Game two was also characterized by an early UC Davis lead.
Sophomore Kylie Fan reached on a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Heather Zimmerman and later scored when Araujo doubled for the 1-0 lead.
A series of hits by Kelly Harman, Elizabeth Santana and Jessica Gonzalez in the same frame boosted the UC Davis lead to 4-0.
Along with four others, these three Aggies finished the day with at least a pair of hits each.
Each team collected three runs in the final two innings as UC Davis came out ahead for the 7-3 win.
Holmes pitched a complete-game victory, striking out six.
“Holmes is in a groove,” Yoder said, “and our defense played really strong behind her, which kept her in the game.”
The junior from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. also went 5-for-8 at the plate in the doubleheader.
“She is seeing the ball really well right now,” Yoder said. “She’s doing a good job of hitting all areas of the zone. She’s keeping the ball in play and keeping the offense in attack mode, which is a wonderful attribute of a hitter hitting in the three spot.”
Sunday – UC Davis 10, Cal Poly 0 (5)
Holmes threw yet another complete-game win to cap off the series.
This time, however, it only took five innings.
The Aggies came out strong in the top of the first with two singles by Santana and Gonzalez.
The two advanced to second and third on a sacrifice by Holmes and were driven in on a two-run single by Sarah Axelson for the 2-0 lead.
UC Davis never looked back and never let up as it held Cal Poly scoreless and collected eight more runs in the 10-0 victory.
Holmes allowed just one hit in the contest while striking out two for her 15th win of the season.
“Cal Poly is a good club that put the ball in play,” Yoder said. “But Holmes did a good job in taking strides between games, which is why she was so effective.”
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.