Aggies lose 6-3 to Stanford Cardinal
The UC Davis softball team concluded its third game of the season in a final tuneup before a lineup of 11 straight away games. The Aggies opened their season with two consecutive road wins over Santa Clara, but, in their third game, they tasted defeat for the first time this year, falling to Stanford 6-3 in a battle that was ultimately decided by defense and pitching.
Stanford took the lead early in the game thanks to a solo home run in the top of the second inning and an RBI double in the top of the third. UC Davis quickly responded in the bottom half of the third inning, in which the Aggies tied the game 2-2 on an RBI groundout and a Stanford error. These “small ball” runs were scored by center fielder Brianna Warner and left fielder Taylor Peters, who are both seniors. The Aggies went on to take the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on yet another Stanford error. This time around, a bunt down the line from Peters spurred the wayward Cardinal throw and subsequent UC Davis run.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Sara Cadona held the score at 3-2 through the fourth and fifth innings before running into trouble in the sixth. After walking her first batter, Cadona looked as though she had gotten out of the jam with a double play. However, the play was overturned after the umpire concluded that there had been catcher interference from the Aggies. This call proved to be the tipping point in the game, as Stanford went on to score four runs in the inning. The Aggies battled through the remaining inning and half but could ultimately not make up the lost ground, losing 6-3.
One of the bright spots in the Aggie loss was Peters, who finished 4 for 4 on the day and whose speed was a big factor when running the bases.
“I was feeling relaxed at the plate, my mindset today was [that] I was going to bunt till I got out,” Peters said. “I try to take advantage of my speed [with] any small ball I can get or if I see [the defense] is playing back I’ll put [a bunt] down.”
When asked about her senior left fielder’s performance, head coach Erin Thorpe didn’t mince words.
“Taylor Peters has some physical tools that you can’t teach,” Thorpe said. “She has the ability to be an extremely successful player all the way around.”
The Aggies will now travel to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, where they will face a slew of nationally prominent teams, such as Kentucky and UCLA. Thorpe sent a message loud and clear to her squad.
“We’re not playing against our opponent per se, we’re playing to play our best us,” Thorpe said.
The UC Davis softball team’s next home game will take place on March 1 at 2:30 p.m. against Sacramento State.
Written by: Rowan O’Connell-Gates — firstname.lastname@example.org