What a difference a week makes.
Seven days ago, the Aggies beat the University of San Diego to start a three-game win streak. Last weekend, UC Davis traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. to take part in the Stanford Nike Invitational and lost all five games of the tournament.
But it’s still much too early to be concerned.
“We were in all of them,” said coach Karen Yoder. “If you eliminate one inning from every game, we were right there. It was unfortunate.”
Yoder was very positive about the play of her team, despite the weekend sweep.
“One of the big philosophical tenets of our program is that setbacks happen for a reason,” said coach Karen Yoder. “A lot of teams can throw their hands up and panic because we’ve lost five straight. We haven’t stopped even though we came up short.”
UC Davis started off the week right, beating rival Sacramento State 2-1 on Wednesday.
With the one win and five losses, the Aggies move to 5-9 on the year.
Saturday – North Dakota State 2, UC Davis 1
After an 11-6 loss at the hands of the Colorado State Rams, the Aggies looks to settle down and get back to the basics of good pitching.
On a frigid 40-degree night, senior Alex Holmes was dominant against the Bison, giving up only two earned runs in a complete game.
Unfortunately, those two runs would be all North Dakota State needed. The Aggies got one in the top of the fourth as Bison pitcher Whitney Johnson and surrendered an RBI single up the middle to Rachel Miller.
It wouldn’t be enough though, as Johnson regained her form and outdueled Holmes. The Aggies stranded nine runners on base, with Holmes leaving five herself.
“When we get those opportunities to put the go-ahead run through, we need to take advantage,” Yoder said. “We didn’t convert. [North Dakota] State did that and we didn’t. I think we got lulled in that game. We didn’t create the pace that we would have liked.”
Sunday – No. 16 Stanford 5, UC Davis 3
As much as the box score tells otherwise, Stanford squeaked by UC Davis on Sunday.
The Aggies committed just one error over the course of the game while the Cardinal committed three. One Stanford mishap allowed UC Davis to score two runs in the top of the seventh.
At the beginning of the game, sophomore Jessica Thweatt took to the mound. Unfortunately, for the third time this season, she was unable to finish the first inning – this time due to strep throat.
“Thweatt had strep throat, but wanted to come in,” Yoder said. “She wasn’t quite there. [Holmes] came out with some great confidence, but she was a little off her rhythm.”
The Cardinal scored in four of the six innings they hit in, but still scored fewer than their season average of seven runs a game.
UC Davis wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Aggies tallied six hits with sophomore Megan Guzman pacing the offense, adding an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
But UC Davis stopped its own rally with a base-running error in the top of the seventh.
Still, Yoder has much to be pleased at.
“I was pleasantly surprised with our offense,” Yoder said. “Our [slap-hitters] took advantage of the hard surface at Stanford. This is a ranked team that we were in the hunt with. If some things go differently, we come out the winner.”
UC Davis will wait three weeks before playing the Cardinal again on March 22.
The Aggies will also host series against Nevada on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Utah Valley starting Saturday at noon.
MATT WANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.