Event: Campbell/Cartier Classic
Teams: UC Davis vs. Northwestern; vs. California; vs. Howard; vs. Fresno State; at University of San Diego
Records: Aggies, 2-3; Wildcats, 3-2; Golden Bears, 3-1; Bison, 0-0; Bulldogs, 2-0; Toreros, 0-0
Where: USD Softball Complex – San Diego
When: Friday at 9 a.m., 4:30 p.m.; Saturday at 9 a.m.; Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m.
Who to watch: Though the Aggies won’t play at home until Feb. 28, the tournament in San Diego will be a homecoming for freshman Mariah Bagsic.
The freshman out of Westview High School averaged a .439 batting average, .619 slugging percentage, and .484 on base percentage as a three-year high school starter.
Did you know? Since 2006, the Aggies are 2-13 against Northwestern, Cal, Fresno State and San Diego combined, with their only two wins coming against the Toreros. UC Davis has not played Howard in that span.
Preview: Even though UC Davis returns much of its lineup from its Big West Conference title season, the offense hasn’t really shown up yet in 2011.
In five games so far this season, the Aggies have been blanked twice. In last week’s play, they also stranded 29 on base.
“We left quite a few runners [last weekend],” said coach Karen Yoder. “We got the sacrifices down, we just need to come up and start hitting.”
Additionally, UC Davis isn’t helping its pitchers come up with outs. In losses to Texas State and Hawaii, the Aggies committed eight total errors.
“If we can focus on creating more outs, then we can take care of our pitchers,” Yoder said.
But it’s not time to push the panic button, as Yoder believes everything will take care of itself during the stretch run.
“We just need to focus this week on having good days of practice,” Yoder said. “Every opportunity is a learning experience and I am confident we will make adjustments.”
The Aggies have opportunities to do just that this weekend as they travel down to sunny San Diego to take on some tough opponents.
After losing badly to No. 9 Oklahoma, Northwestern put a scare in Oklahoma State, losing in the tenth inning, 5-4. The Wildcats are led by sophomore Meghan Lamberth, who has earned each of Northwestern’s three wins. The native of Wildwood, Miss. has a .208 batting average against in 13.1 innings pitched.
Cal, on the other hand, is more offensive minded. Against Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Northridge, the Golden Bears scored 14 and eight runs, respectively. Their only loss came at the hands of Texas Tech, and even then Cal managed to score four runs in a wild sixth inning before falling 5-4.
– Matt Wang