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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Vela no-hitter highlights weekend tournament

Coming off a loss to No. 1 California last Wednesday, the Aggies returned home to host the Aggie Stampede II tournament. Friday’s game was the first home game for UC Davis in over three weeks, and the Aggies welcomed playing at La Rue Field again.

“It’s nice,” said coach Karen Yoder. “It’s great to play in front of our home fans and families [as well as] feel the Aggie Pride around us.”

The weekend, which consisted of a three-game sweep of Idaho State and two close losses to rival Sacramento State, was full of excitement for the Aggies and their fans. With a walk-off win, close plays at the plate and a no-hitter, the tournament crowd was continuously energized throughout the three days of play.

Wednesday — California 11, UC Davis 3
The top team in the nation pounced early on UC Davis’ starting pitcher, junior Jessica Thweatt, and the rest of the Aggies’ pitching by scoring eight runs in the first three innings.

Cal would also perplex UC Davis’ batters throughout the game, holding the Aggies to just three hits on the day.

Although these hits would help UC Davis put up a three-run fifth inning, the seasoned Golden Bear team quickly responded with three runs in the sixth to end the game.

Friday — UC Davis 7, Idaho State 0
With seven runs on the day, the most scored by the Aggies this year, UC Davis put away Idaho State in the Aggie Stampede II opener.

Freshman Justine Vela had a great performance by throwing a complete game four-hitter with 13 strikeouts.

Junior JJ Wagoner and freshman Cassandra Ginnis led the Aggies’ offensive attack with a combined four hits and three runs scored.

Saturday — UC Davis 3, Idaho State 2
The second day of the tournament started with a thrilling walk-off victory for UC Davis, as clutch hitting helped the Aggies overcome a 2-1 deficit in the final inning.

Thweatt had a fantastic outing with 12 strikeouts and just two earned runs in five innings, but would leave the game down one run to the Bengals.

With their backs against the wall in the seventh, the Aggies would not falter. Redshirt freshman Amy Nunez tied the game with an RBI single and senior Kelly Harmon sealed the amazing victory by knocking in freshman Kelly Zboralske with an RBI single of her own.

Saturday — Sacramento State  3, UC Davis 2
The second game of the day was equally as exciting, even though the Aggies would fall to rival Sacramento State.

Vela was able to get out of numerous dangerous situations early in the game, but timely hitting by the Hornets would give Sac State a 3-1 lead in the seventh.

After a monster home run by Harmon, which cut the lead to one in the final inning, UC Davis had runners on first and third, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity to tie the game.

Sunday — UC Davis 5, Idaho State 0
Vela was the story of the game, with a seven-strikeout no-hitter to sweep the three games against the Bengals. Completely in command the entire game, Vela almost pulled off a perfect game before walking a batter in the sixth.

Additionally, with contributions from seniors Rachel Miller and Kylie Fan, UC Davis’ offense put five runs on the board to give Vela some breathing room.

Sunday — Sacramento State 6, UC Davis 4
Defensive mistakes, marked by two errors, would haunt the Aggies as they fell in a close game to Sac State in the final game of the weekend.

The Aggies, who continuously pressured the Hornets with multiple scoring opportunities, scored one run in a seventh-inning rally, but were unable to overcome the two-run deficit in the end.

UC Davis returns to action today against Colorado State at 1:30 p.m. at La Rue Field.

DOUG BONHAM can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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