The Aggies still don’t seem to have an answer for Hawaii.
Last weekend, UC Davis played in the Hawaii Paradise Classic and lost twice to the host Warriors, including once in the tournament championship game.
Though the Aggies went 2-3 on the weekend, coach Karen Yoder remains upbeat and is positive about some of the adjustments the team made in its two games against Texas State.
“We made some great adjustments and [finally] took advantage of opportunities,” Yoder said. “If we can also focus on sounder defense and creating more outs for our pitchers, then we will take care of [games].”
Friday – UC Davis 4, Southern Utah 2
The Aggies bounced back from a disappointing opening loss to Texas State with a come-from-behind victory over the Thunderbirds.
Even though Southern Utah scored first in the second, they were unable to take full advantage. UC Davis gave up three consecutive singles, but the Aggies caught Thunderbird Heather Richardson in a pickle that ended the inning.
In the next inning, UC Davis got on the scoreboard, capitalizing on a Southern Utah throwing error.
But the Thunderbirds quickly retook the lead and the Aggies were running out of time as the game progressed.
In the top of the fifth, JJ Wagoner and Elizabeth Santana jump-started the offense. Wagoner singled up the middle and two outs later, Santana belted the team’s first home run of the season for a 3-2 lead.
Santana gave the Aggies a bigger lead in the seventh with another RBI. The run was more than enough for pitcher Jessica Thweatt, as she posted a complete game with two earned runs and five strikeouts.
Friday – University of Hawaii 9, UC Davis 1
Friday’s second game for the Aggies was similar to Thursday’s.
Though they managed to pick up five hits, they were unable to cash in more than one run. They left seven on base, including leaving the bags loaded in the third.
“We left quite a few runners on this weekend in each game,” Yoder said. “We got the sacrifice [hits] down, but we just need to come up and start hitting.”
Senior Alex Holmes took the loss after giving up four earned runs and seven hits. Yoder still has praises for the native of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
“[Holmes] had higher expectations for this weekend,” Yoder said. “It’s a good measuring stick. She’s a huge piece of [our team] this year and we need her to battle in every opportunity she gets in the future.”
Saturday – No. 8 University of Hawaii 8, UC Davis 0
Unfortunately, the Aggies weren’t able to generate any offense in the championship game of the tournament.
The Aggies managed three hits, but weren’t able to advance any runner into scoring position.
The Warriors, however, scored early and often. Thweatt, who had been on in her past two games, took the loss after giving up four runs in two innings of work.
This was the second lopsided loss to Hawaii over the weekend. Yoder believes the competition builds the character needed for the stretch run.
“We are learning some valuable lessons and gaining good experience,” Yoder said. “This will be fruitful in the long run. I believe in challenging the team with great competition like Hawaii.”
UC Davis will play its next game Friday against Northwestern as part of the Campbell/Cartier Classic starting at 9:00 a.m.
MATT WANG can be reached at email@example.com.