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.
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.
The Aggies entered Thursday afternoon’s game hoping to avenge an early-season loss to Washington.
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.
The Aggie batters’ struggles carried on to the second day, as UC Davis was shutout in six innings against Arizona.
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.