While many students went to exotic places over the break, the UC Davis softball team stayed local.
Other than a brief jaunt to Palo Alto in a 4-3 loss to Stanford last Tuesday, the Aggies spent the rest of their break this weekend in the friendly – if not soggy – confines of La Rue Field.
Rain delays again altered the matchups in the annual Aggie Stampede, but that didn’t stop UC Davis’ dominant pitching and defense as the Aggies only surrendered one run on the weekend.
The Aggies are now 13-12 and look to bolster their home record with seven of their next nine at home.
Sunday – Oregon State 1, UC Davis 0
In Sunday’s first contest, the Aggies again came out on the wrong side of a one-run game.
Both Oregon State and UC Davis found it difficult to generate any sort of offense early on.
In the top of the fourth, Oregon State scored the lone run on a Nikki Chandler sacrifice fly.
The Aggies would get their own chance to score in the bottom half of the inning.
Leading off, Kelly Schulze knocked a double to right field and was then replaced by pinch runner Megan Guzman. On the following play, Guzman was recorded out as she was too aggressive trying to get to third base.
Sunday – UC Davis 6, St. Mary’s 0
The last game of the weekend saw strong Aggie defense – and a lot of offense.
Jessica Thweatt took the hill for the Aggies, and induced two comebackers within the first five pitches including one for an inning ending double play.
UC Davis then jumped out to a quick one run lead as senior Alex Holmes led off, smacking an off-speed pitch to right center for a standup double.
J.J. Wagoner then legged out a bunt, sending Holmes to third. Wagoner’s aggressive base running allowed Holmes to score from third base.
In the ensuing half inning, Thweatt was replaced by Holmes, who entered with runners on second and third. Holmes got out of a jam with the help of her defense as Schulze’s grabbed a line drive to end the inning.
In the third, the Aggies got two more off of two hits. Holmes started the inning with another double, this time to left field.
One batter later, Elizabeth Santana found herself in a duel with Gael pitcher Kimberly Green. After fighting off a pair of good pitches, Santana got one she could handle and launched a two-run dinger over the left field wall.
“The key thing is to make sure that we jump on [our opportunities] when we get our pitch,” said coach Karen Yoder. “We did a much better job of attacking and knowing what we’re looking for in certain counts this game.”
The Aggies would get two more in the fourth, and then once more in the fifth and cruised on the backs of Holmes and Kasie Cochran, who came in for relief.
“Anytime you throw three pitchers for six and a half innings [of shutout baseball] is tremendous,” Yoder said. “We worked to their strengths. They were productive in creating ground balls.”
UC Davis will face Santa Clara at home on Tuesday and then travel over the Causeway to play host Sacramento State on Wednesday.
MATT WANG can be reached at email@example.com.