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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Softball preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly
Records: Aggies, 22-27 (8-13); Mustangs, 19-31-1 (8-13)
Where: La Rue Field — Davis, CA
When: Friday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Saturday at 12 p.m.
Who to Watch: As the school year comes to a close, so does UC Davis’ high-action spring sports, including softball. Rolling into their final series against Cal Poly, many of the players, both starters and subs, can be proud of a solid season both individually and as a team.

A huge midweek win against Stanford on May 1 at La Rue Field gave the team a lot of confidence going into their final away games against Long Beach on May 4 and 5. The spectacular sisterly duo of Cat and Christina Guidry contributed more than their fair share in the big victory against Stanford. Scoring one apiece, the sisters made up two of the five runs the Aggies needed to best Stanford in a well-played seven-inning match-up. Christina reached base with a leadoff single to start the seventh-inning rally; two at bats later, her twin, Cat, capitalized with a single up the middle to score Christina.

Cat then scored on a single to left by fellow freshman Christa Castello, who has established herself on the field as the starting shortstop. Castello’s hard work all season has not been overlooked by coach Karen Yoder.

“As a freshman coming in and earning a starting roll, Christa has done nothing but grow throughout the year,” Yoder said. “So many freshmen and sophomores have tremendous potential to be a big part of this team.”

Did you know? This midweek matchup win against Stanford shows the Aggies’ dominance against the Pac-12 school, as they have won two of their last three meetings between the two West Coast schools. With the seventh-inning rally that allowed the Aggies to make a comeback, Yoder and freshman shortstop Christa Castello shared their thoughts on why the girls won that clutch game and what it means going forward.

“We had all cylinders working in our favor, good defense, good pitching and good hitting,” Yoder said.

“This win gives us the confidence to end the season strong,” Castello said.

This year, UC Davis’ spring sports have established their dominance over the Cardinals. With the baseball team besting the Cardinals on March 26 in a 2-1 win and an overtime 15-14 win from the women’s lacrosse team to beat No. 14 ranked Stanford, Aggie spring sports can be proud of holding their own against a school known for being an athletic powerhouse.

Preview: The team was not able to carry the momentum from the win against Stanford into their away series against Long Beach State last weekend on May 4 and 5. Although they came up short in their Saturday doubleheader with two losses, 2-0 and 6-1, they showed some spark coming into their final away game on Sunday.

After throwing six innings the day before, and only giving up four hits and two runs, Justine Vela came out again in a pitcher’s duel against the 49ers’ Erin Jones-Wesley, who also threw the first game Saturday, earning the 2-0 win.

Sunday’s game displayed both Vela and Jones-Wesley’s pitching prowesses. Throwing zeros across the board throughout the first seven innings, the girls forced the duel into extras. Tragically, UC Davis came up short just after a 49er pinch hitter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the only run of the game. Even with those three losses down south, the Aggies still hope to finish their season on a high note.

“We fell short of our goal for conference, but we have had some tremendous highs this year,” Yoder said. “Any time you are in competition you want to strive to excel; we play to win.”

Bringing their final games back to La Rue Field, the Aggies start the weekend with two against the Mustangs on Friday. Infamous rivals Cal Poly share the same 8-13 conference record as Davis, which fuels the competitive spirit of this final home series. Not many things are more gratifying than ending one’s season with three wins at home.

First pitch against Cal Poly will be thrown at La Rue Field, Friday at 1 p.m.

— Sloan Boettcher


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