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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Aggies rough up Riverside

Any questions about the UC Davis offense have been answered.

The Aggies opened fire on UC Riverside last weekend, scoring 25 runs in Saturday’s double-header and taking a 2-1 series victory.

The series-win moved UC Davis’ record to 21-23 and 6-9 in Big West Conference play.

While the Aggies are still fifth in the league, the weekend helped them move closer to their conference rivals.

Saturday – UC Riverside 9, UC Davis 8

The weekend began with a nail-biter.

The Aggies and Highlanders went back and forth through the early innings. UC Davis took a two-run lead in the sixth on sophomore Elizabeth Santana’s three-run home run, but UC Riverside responded by tying the game in the bottom of the frame.

The Highlanders then finished the game in the seventh with a walk-off RBI double.

While head coach Karen Yoder was disappointed with the loss, she felt good about her team’s effort.

“It was a great game,” she said. “Of course we would have preferred to win, but both teams fought hard. We battled back and forth the entire game.”

Saturday – UC Davis 17, UC Riverside 5

Any hard feelings the Aggies had following game one were quickly erased in game two.

UC Davis jumped on the Highlanders early, scoring seven runs in the top of the second to take a commanding early lead. The Aggies refused to let up from there, adding 10 more runs and taking a 12-run blowout victory.

“It was all about seeing the ball,” Yoder said. “Our key people were really on, and we did a good job of waiting for the right pitch to hit. It was simply tremendous.”

Junior Kelly Harman was the standout player for UC Davis, going 4-4 with 2 runs, 6 RBI and a second inning round-tripper.

While Harman has been hitting under the Mendoza-line of a .200 batting average for most of this season, Yoder believes she has shown great improvements over recent weeks.

“She’s really turned a corner in the last few series,” she said. “She’s in a good place right now and she’s been a real asset for our team.”

Sunday – UC Davis 3, UC Riverside 2

Saturday’s split set up a rubber-match on Sunday with both teams looking for a key series win.

While the previous two contests had been offensive explosions, Sunday’s affair turned out to be more of a pitchers’ duel.

UC Davis fell behind in the first, but a three-run third inning put it ahead.

That was all senior Alex Holmes needed, as she pitched all seven innings, allowing just two runs and seven hits while striking out seven.

“[Holmes] put us in position to win the third game,” Yoder said. “She really kicked it into another gear during key times, and she kept us in control.”

While Holmes was Sunday’s standout performer, Yoder believes one of the biggest aspects of the weekend was UC Davis’ ability on defense, especially considering the unusual weather conditions.

“We were very well prepared defensively,” Yoder said. “It was difficult because we had to deal with 30 mph winds, but I’m proud of the way we handled that uncontrollable factor.”

Regardless of the conditions, the Aggies are glad to have the series victory.

“It was a hard-fought weekend,” Yoder said. “We are excited by our success this weekend. It was a real team effort.”

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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