Event: Sacramento State at UC Davis
Teams: Hornets, 1-5; Aggies, 4-4
Where: La Rue Field
When: Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
Who to watch: Kelly Schulze has put up some quality numbers in the first eight games of the 2011 season.
The sophomore out of Pacifica, Calif. has driven in six runs, hit two doubles and clocked a homerun out of the cleanup spot. She also has a .542 slugging percentage coupled with a .407 on base average.
Did you know? In preseason, UC Davis was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference behind favorite Cal Poly. The Mustangs, however, are 2-8 on the season – with matches against nationally ranked powerhouses Texas, California and UCLA still ahead.
Preview: The Aggies are coming home.
After spending two weekends in Hawaii and San Diego, the Aggies will spend nearly two months playing games and tournaments in the greater northern California area.
Though they are used to the frequent travel that February seems to bring, the Aggies are excited for their return to the friendlier confines of La Rue Field.
“We’ve generally been focused on the road, and being 4-4 coming off two weekends after battling weather is okay,” said coach Karen Yoder. “But it’s going to be a great opportunity to play in front of the Davis community.”
UC Davis hosts rival Sacramento State only three days after the Aggies took a 3-1 victory over the Hornets. Sophomore Jessica Thweatt threw a complete game, three-hitter to lead the Aggies to victory.
Though pitching won the game last weekend, the Aggies hope to get more of their lineup involved in the offense on Wednesday. Schulze and Elizabeth Santana have combined for 11 of the 14 total runs batted in.
Interestingly, the Hornets have played two fewer games than UC Davis, but have driven in two more runs. The Aggie defense is also a big concern.
“We just need to do a better job as a whole at converting basic outs,” Yoder said. “If we get out of innings quicker, we decrease pressure on our pitcher.”
In the first eight games of the 2011 season, the Aggies have committed 17 errors, six more than their opponents. In their first eight games of 2010, UC Davis had only committed seven. Sacramento State, on the other hand, has committed only eight.
Still, UC Davis has enjoyed past success against Sacramento State. UC Davis swept the Hornets in 2010 and hasn’t lost to them since March 11, 2009.
– Matt Wang