Feb. 8, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - A four-run first inning provided UC Davis all the offense it needed in Friday's season-opener against Southern Miss as the Aggies defeated the Golden Eagles 5-3 at Bulldog Diamond in the first day of action from the Fresno State Kick-Off in Fresno, Calif.
The win gives UC Davis a 1-0 record heading into Saturday's slate of games against host Fresno State and UTEP, the loss drops the Golden Eagles' record to 1-2.
This is the fourth time in the last six years the Aggies opened their schedule with a victory.
Freshman shortstop Christa Castello led off the game by reaching first on a Southern Miss error, stealing second moments later to place herself into scoring position before the first out of the game was even recorded.
Advancing to third on freshman right fielder Jasmine’s Lee grounder to first base, Castello scored when sophomore third baseman Kayla Tyler reached base on the second of three Southern Miss errors committed throughout the inning.
Reaching second by stealing another base off Golden Eagles starter Beth Dietrich, Tyler scored the Aggies' second run of the frame when Christina Guidry single to right in her inaugural at-bat in a UC Davis uniform.
The scoring spree continued when sophomore left fielder Cassandra Ginnis drove in Guidry, and sophomore centerfielder Krista Bava who initially reached base on an error during the previous at-bat
Before UC Davis took the field, four runs were efficiently scored on only two hits, providing reigning Big West Pitcher of the Year Justine Vela a sizable lead to work with before entering the circle.
Ginnis earned her third, and final RBI of the morning in the top of the fifth inning after forcing Southern Miss second baseman Meaghen Nelson to throw to first and record another out instead of forcing a play at home.
Scoring on the play was freshman Gretchen Diekman; pinch running for sophomore Amy Nunez after she reached on a single that split Southern Miss third baseman Morgan McKeever and shortstop Caroine Walker, Diekman touched home plate after she stole second, and advanced to third on Guidry’s sacrifice to push the Aggies’ advantage to five runs.
In all, four Aggies recorded a stolen base throughout the game, a brief glimpse of the speed and depth the entire UC Davis lineup possesses as it begins its season.
Just over two hours after the inaugural pitch of the tournament was thrown, Vela forced McKeever to hit a line drive straight to Castello to record the final out in her complete-game victory for UC Davis.
Action will continue for UC Davis in day two at the Fresno State Kick-Off starting with its 6 p.m. primetime matchup against the host Bulldogs. In addition to a Gametracker link which provides live stats, UC Davis softball fans can also access an internet stream of Saturday’s game against Fresno State for a small fee at ucdavisaggies.com.
Shortly after the conclusion of that game, the Aggies will remain on the diamond to close out their day against the UTEP Miners in an 8:15 p.m. contest.