The Aggies fell to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Sunday afternoon 6-4, honored seniors after final home game of season
It was a gloomy weekend at La Rue Field as the UC Davis softball team fell to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, losing all three games of the weekend.
The first game was rough for the Aggies, as they began the series with a 7-2 loss in game one of the Saturday doubleheader. The Gauchos earned their first run of the game in the second inning, when Gaucho freshman first baseman Sierra Altmeyer hit a home run that barely made it over the fence and past the glove of Aggie junior left fielder Taylor Peters. In the third, Gaucho senior catcher Samantha Stark hit a two-run home run to left field.
The two runs for the Aggies came off of a RBI single from sophomore designated hitter Megan Salazar in the third and a fielder’s choice run from freshman second baseman Meghan Bradbury, who hit a leadoff double in the sixth to get into scoring position. Senior starting pitcher Justine Vela took the loss on game one, bringing her record to 1-6 for the season.
Senior pitcher Leah Munden started for UC Davis in game two. The Aggies’ close 5-4 loss was due to another home run by Altmeyer in the top of the seventh inning. Down 3-0 in the fifth inning, senior first baseman Kelly Zboralske singled to center, Bradbury walked the next at bat, and junior catcher Katie Robertson hit a three-run homer to left center field, helping the Aggies tie the game at 3-3. The Gauchos scored one run in the sixth and seventh inning to lead the game 5-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, junior outfielder Brianna Warner hit an RBI triple to left field, scoring Peters. Unfortunately, a solid defensive play from the Gauchos in the seventh ended the Aggies hope for a victory.
Coming into Sunday’s game, the Gauchos were looking to sweep the Aggies, while UC Davis was looking to take a win for their senior honoree game. UC Santa Barbara earned its sweep with a 6-4 win over the Aggies in their final home game of the season. The Gauchos had the lead 2-1 going into the fifth, when junior third baseman Alexis Carney hit a monstrous home run to left field, tying the game and giving the Aggies the momentum to score another run that same inning that was driven in by Bradbury.
UC Santa Barbara followed the runs scored by UC Davis, driving in three of their own in the top of the sixth to take the lead 5-3. The Gauchos scored another run in the top of the seventh, taking the score to 6-4. Unfortunate events continued for the Aggies, as a ground ball took an unexpected hop and hit Carney in the face in the seventh, prompting a delay of the game and her immediate removal. She gave a promising thumbs up to the crowd as she was taken off of the field.
Sunday’s final game was a time to honor the six seniors who played their last game on La Rue Field that afternoon. UC Davis softball said thank you and goodbye to seniors Christina Guidry, Leah Munden, Kaila Olson, Alicia Paine, Justine Vela and Kelly Zboralske.
“It’s bittersweet,” Zboralske said. “We have such a family and care so much about each other on and off the field that I have never had in my five years here […] when I grow up, I’m not going to remember my hits or batting average, but the memories I’ve had with [the team].”
Head coach Erin Thorpe is looking ahead for next season to help the team adjust to the inevitable changes that happen from year to year.
“[Having fun] is a huge step toward what we want to try to create in the program — to be happy and know you left it all on the field,” Thorpe said. “If we can achieve that, we can create a great groundwork for the future and this senior class has been a huge part in making that happen.”
Thorpe continued to speak about this year’s senior class.
“It’s awesome to be able to see them take the field and give it their all one last time,” Thorpe said. “I think everybody is happy with the effort they gave on their last day.”
The Aggies will travel to Cal State Northridge next week to play their final three games of the 2016 Big West Conference. They will enter with an overall 15-32 record and a 4-14 conference record.
Written by: Ryan Bugsch – email@example.com