For the first time in conference play, the UC Davis offense was shut down.
The Pacific pitching staff kept Aggie hitters at bay, holding the UC Davis softball team scoreless twice. Pacific took Sunday’s game after a Saturday split. The Aggies are now 18-16 on the season and 3-3 against Big West Conference teams.
Saturday – Pacific 4, UC Davis 0
Pacific’s pitching was on all day.
In the first game of the series, Tiger Nikki Armagost frustrated the Aggie offense as she went the distance for the complete game shutout.
Armagost only struck out three, but the Aggies couldn’t seem to find a way to score.
In the bottom of the third, UC Davis had a prime opportunity to get on the board.
Down by just one, Jessica Gonzalez came up with the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Gonzalez grounded out to end the inning, and the Tigers later tacked on runs in the fifth to seal the deal.
Saturday – UC Davis 3, Pacific 1
Pacific pitcher Tori Shepard was also dominant in the last game of the double header, locating her pitches and getting first-pitch strikes.
Unfortunately, that was her downfall.
In the fourth inning, junior Kylie Fan knocked the first pitch of her at-bat over the left field foul pole to give the Aggies a 3-1 lead. This was Fan’s first career homerun.
“I think it was a nice hit and she did a nice job of converting on that particular pitch,” said coach Karen Yoder. “I liked her approach. Anytime a hitter can make a physical adjustment and have that kind of result is wonderful. I’m proud of her.”
Sophomore Jessica Thweatt surrendered just one unearned run in the top of the third and nearly went the distance as she was removed after six and two-thirds innings.
Though the Tigers got one, Thweatt disrupted the timing of Pacific’s hitters.
In the second inning with one out, Thweatt allowed free passes to two consecutive hitters, loading the bases for leadoff hitter Megan Hom. Thweatt then induced two ground balls to end the inning without any damage.
“There are good hitters on [Pacific],” Yoder said. “Thweat did a great job. I thought she kept them off balance.”
Sunday – Pacific 6, UC Davis 0
Before Sunday’s rubber game, Yoder told her team that just hitting wasn’t going to be enough to win.
“[The coaches] had a discussion [with the team] and after you play a team twice, the swing game is all about good defense,” Yoder said.
Unfortunately, the Aggies didn’t deliver.
“Plain and simple, we didn’t play good defense today,” Yoder said. “Defense was going to win the game today. We did not convert enough outs.”
In the first inning, Pacific scored three runs on just a couple hits and an error. With runners on second and third and just one out, Elizabeth Santana committed a throwing error on a groundball, allowing two runners to score.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fourth and two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
UC Davis was blanked again by Tiger ace Armagost, who surrendered only five hits and one walk en route to the complete game shutout.
The Aggies weren’t short of opportunities however.
“We had two runners on in the first, third and fifth, and one in the sixth,” Yoder said. “We had opportunities, we just didn’t have clutch hitting. We didn’t do our job. Plain and simple, we didn’t do our job.”
Aggie hitters left seven runners on and were 0-6 with runners in scoring position.
Long Beach State will host UC Davis for a series starting on Saturday at 1 p.m.
MATT WANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.