Teams: UC Davis at UC Santa Barbara
Records: Aggies 22-25 (7-11); Gauchos 24-26 (8-10)
Where: Gaucho Softball Field – Santa Barbara, Calif.
When: Friday at noon and 2 p.m.; Saturday at noon
Who to watch: The Aggies will be expecting yet another dominating performance from senior pitcher Alex Holmes in her final series with the club.
The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. native has been UC Davis’ best player this year, posting a 2.68 ERA with a Big West Conference-high 200 strikeouts and 11 complete games. Holmes has also been solid at the plate, hitting .338 with a team-high 19 extra-base hits. She is tied for the national lead with eight triples and is the country’s leader in triples per-game.
Did you know? UC Davis must be crowding the plate, because the Aggies lead the Big West in batters hit-by-pitch. UC Davis also leads the conference in triples, but the team is at the bottom of the league in home runs.
Preview: The Aggies are looking to send their seniors out on a high note with a series victory this weekend.
While UC Davis is only losing three seniors, the trio is going to be missed by the team.
“I’m so proud of them,” said coach Karen Yoder. “Not only their stats, but their presence and leadership are really important. Hopefully the foundation they’ve created will be carried on by the underclassmen next year.”
In order to win this weekend, the Aggies will need to be aware of the Gauchos pitching.
While UC Davis relies mainly on Holmes to provide dominance in the circle, UC Santa Barbara splits its pitching duties between Krista Cobb and Adriana Collins, who have tallied 169 and 149 innings, respectively. The duo has recorded all of UCSB’s victories this season, tallying 12 wins apiece.
Adjusting to the Gauchos’ hurlers will be key for the Aggies to achieve their goals.
“We want to jump on the board early,” said sophomore Jessica Thweatt. “That always puts the momentum in our favor early on.”
Beyond that, UC Davis plans to finish its season on a high note by staying positive and working together as a squad.
“We just want to play as a team,” Thweatt said. “We need to be there for each other, to pick each other up if we have errors in the game. That will set us up for success.”
– Trevor Cramer