73.5 F

Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

Aggies fall in Fullerton

With four home runs, 14 hits and 11 runs scored in the Judi Garman Classic opener, the Aggies seemed primed to take a big step in their last preseason tournament of the year. Unfortunately for UC Davis, it would be outscored 31-1 in their next three games as it must now regroup to improve their 10-20 record when Big West Conference play begins.

Entering the tournament in Fullerton, Calif., the Aggies were undoubtedly facing some of the best competition in the country, with games against  23-1 No. 3 Washington, 16-4 No. 13 Arizona and teams on the rise like 16-5 Virginia and 13-7 BYU.

After a huge offensive outburst helped UC Davis crush Virginia 11-5, the Aggies struggled mightily to put together any further rallies in their following two games.

Thursday — UC Davis 11, Virginia 5
Facing a hot Cavalier team which had won 12 of its last 15 games, the Aggies demonstrated their offensive potential by scoring a season-high 11 runs in the victory. Truly a team effort, eight UC Davis batters combined to tally 14 hits in the opener where nine Aggies would score at least one run.

With runners getting on base throughout the day, UC Davis did a fantastic job converting scoring opportunities with a grand slam by freshman Kelly Zboralske and additional home runs from junior Kelly Schulze, senior Heather Zimmerman and freshman Amy Nunez.

“Amy [Nunez] has driven the ball really well,” said coach Karen Yoder. “And she’s just been a great force for us on first base.”

Before the Aggies pulled away with a five run fifth inning, junior starting pitcher Jessica Thweatt allowed UC Davis to stay close to the Cavaliers with a solid outing of ten strikeouts and seven hits allowed.

Thursday — No. 3 Washington 14, UC Davis 1 (5-innings)
The Aggies entered Thursday afternoon’s game hoping to avenge an early-season loss to Washington.
The Huskies quickly sank that dream by scoring eight runs in the first inning.
The young UC Davis pitchers struggled to recover from the early barrage as the Huskies scored 14 runs by the fourth inning.

The Aggie batters also had difficulties, as a Schulze single in the fourth inning would be UC Davis’ only hit in the shortened five-inning game.

Friday — No. 13 Arizona 8, UC Davis 0 (6-innings)
The Aggie batters’ struggles carried on to the second day, as UC Davis was shutout in six innings against Arizona.
With continued pressure, the Wildcats scored eight runs off freshman Melanie Russell in multiple short rallies throughout the game.
The Aggie offense could not put together anything substantial with sophomore Chandler Wagner and seniors Kylie Fan and Rachel Miller tallying the meager three Aggie hits of the game.

Friday — BYU 9, UC Davis 0 (6-innings)
In the tournament finale, the Aggies would once again be shutout — this time by BYU. UC Davis kept close and were down 2-0 until a five run fourth inning by the Cougars opened up the game for good.

With only four hits, the Aggies once again could not gain enough momentum to mount a comeback.
UC Davis faces Cal State Bakersfield at home this Sunday in their last game before starting Big West play.
DOUG BONHAM can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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