The UC Davis softball team is getting hot at the right time.
The Aggies entered Big West Conference play having won 10 of their last 13 games, including Wednesday’s win over rival Sacramento State.
UC Davis continued its strong play, taking two of three from Cal State Northridge to open up league games.
Coach Karen Yoder said Big West matches mark a new season.
“We learned some valuable lessons and learned that it’s a 0-0 slate and now it all counts,” Yoder said. “All the lessons we’ve learned up to this point, we need to execute.”
With the three victories, including a pair of league wins, the Aggies move to 17-13 overall and 2-1 in the Big West.
Wednesday – UC Davis 4, Sacramento State 2
The Aggies’ mid-week game against rival Sacramento State wasn’t pretty, but it was still a win.
In a game that saw both sides commit a combined four errors, it was UC Davis who never trailed to earn the victory.
The Aggies struck first with a run in the top of the first, and never looked back.
Sophomore Elizabeth Santana reached base safely for her ninth straight plate appearance – a streak that started three games prior.
On the hill, UC Davis’ top two pitchers – sophomore Jessica Thweatt and senior Alex Holmes – combined to hold the Hornets to two runs on eight hits.
Saturday, Game 1 – Cal State Northridge 7, UC Davis 3
The Aggies’ lone weekend blemish came in the opening match of a three-game set against the Matadors.
UC Davis’ defense continued to haunt itself as an error led to Cal State Northridge scoring two in the top of the second. The Matadors added four in their side of the fifth to extend their lead to 6-0.
The Aggies finally found the scoreboard in the sixth on a Rachel Miller sacrifice fly.
Holmes started the game for UC Davis, going four and a third, striking out nine over three walks.
Saturday, Game 2 – UC Davis 3, Cal State Northridge 1
Despite the sluggish start in the early game, Holmes was back out there for the nightcap. And the senior southpaw came back in a big way.
The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. native threw a complete game, four-hitter as she plowed through the Matador offense, striking out 10. This was Holmes’ team-leading 11th win on the year.
At the plate, the Aggies again took advantage of Matador mistakes. Sophomore JJ Wagoner had a pair of RBI in the game to lead UC Davis.
Sunday – UC Davis 5, Cal State Northridge 3
It was Holmes again leading the Aggies on Sunday as she threw another complete game to top the Matadors.
Holmes had a no-hitter through five before Cal State Northridge broke through. She had eight strikeouts over seven innings.
“I’m really proud of the team,” Yoder said. “I thought they did a good job of making adjustments from yesterday. [Holmes] commanded a great presence. She was on today and was able to use all of her tools.”
Sophomore Megan Guzman was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored. Holmes helped her cause, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Next up, UC Davis will step out of conference play for a midweek game on Wednesday, playing at San Jose State. First pitch will be at 3 p.m.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.