UC Davis softball pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory as it shocked No. 8 Stanford 2-1. It was the first time the Aggies beat the Cardinal since 1995.
UC Davis’ momentum did not carry into the weekend, however, as the Aggies finished a disappointing 1-4 in their weekend road trip to San Diego.
With big game experience built after the holiday weekend, UC Davis hopes to bounce back and improve on its 3-8 start.
Wednesday — UC Davis 2, No. 8 Stanford 1
UC Davis finished its first week of playing strong with a thrilling home victory over Stanford, which was ranked eighth in the nation.
Led by junior pitcher Jessica Thweatt’s complete game with seven strikeouts, the Aggies kept the Cardinal offense at bay as Stanford only scored once during a late rally in the final inning to tie the game.
The Aggies, however, would not be flustered with junior JJ Wagoner hitting a one-out triple to set up a game-deciding plate appearance by freshman Cassandra Ginnis. With Wagoner at third, Ginnis sealed the upset with an RBI single down the middle to give UC Davis the victory.
“That was clutch hitting by a freshman underclassmen,” said coach Karen Yoder when asked about Ginnis following the game. “She has really stepped up for us.”
Friday — No. 12 UCLA 7, UC Davis 1
Stranded runners became the problem for the Aggies as they fell to the 12th-ranked team in the nation, UCLA, in their opening game of the Campbell Cartier Classic in San Diego.
While it was a close contest for most of the game, the Aggies were unable to convert opportunities as they stranded nine runners on base, including a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the third.
Even when UC Davis senior Kelly Harman scored off a fourth-inning RBI double by Ginnis, the Bruins would combine two homers with a big offensive outburst in the seventh inning to put the Aggies away.
Friday — UC Davis 6, University of Central Florida 4
After battling highly-ranked teams in the previous two games, the battle-hardened Aggies showed their offensive prowess to top the Central Florida Knights.
Senior catcher Rachel Miller served as the catalyst with a three-run home run in the third inning. Although UCF would answer with a four-run inning, freshman pitcher Justine Vela entered the game in the third and silenced the Knight batters with seven strikeouts in five shutout innings.
Entering the seventh inning in a 4-4 tie, the Aggies would respond as junior Kelly Schulze doubled down the right-field line to give UC Davis a two-run lead and eventually the victory.
“The Stanford game really gave us the confidence that we can do it if we come together and execute,” Yoder said, “and that’s what we did against UCF.”
Saturday — San Diego State 3, UC Davis 0
Things went poorly from the start as UC Davis struck out 12 times and managed only four hits against San Diego State.
While SDSU struck quickly with a lead-off homer, UC Davis’ defense also struggled as two fourth-inning fielding errors would allow for two more Aztec runs. With Thweatt stepping in to relieve Vela, pitching seemed to be the only successful aspect of the Aggies loss, as Thweatt did not allow an earned run in three innings pitched.
Sunday — No. 7 Washington 11, UC Davis 3 (five innings)
The last day of the Campbell Cartier Classic began against undefeated and seventh-ranked University of Washington. The Huskies pounced early, scoring three runs in the opening inning as they never let up, eventually racking up 11 runs in the shortened five-inning game.
UC Davis’ defense continued to struggle as the Aggies tallied four errors, which led to four unearned runs.
Though the Aggies struggled to contain Washington’s offense, Wagoner had another strong performance with an RBI double in the forth inning, driving in Amy Nunez and Kelly Harman in a failed comeback attempt.
Sunday — San Diego 7, UC Davis 6
UC Davis’ San Diego trip ended with a heartbreaker as the Aggies’ seventh inning rally fell short in the one-run loss against San Diego.
Unlike previous games, the Aggies — led by Megan Guzman, who contributed three hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases — exploded from the gate scoring five runs in the first three innings. The Toreros would keep pace, however, as they took a 7-6 lead into the final inning.
With Harman in scoring position to tie the game, the Aggies could not capitalize as they fouled out and struck out to end the game.
UC Davis Softball continues today with an away game against Santa Clara.
DOUG BONHAM can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.