Feb. 27, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Beginning its day with a 5-4 loss in a nine-inning contest that lasted nearly three hours, UC Davis earned a split of Wednesday's ScholarShare Causeway Cup doubleheader at Shea Stadium by scoring two runs in the third and fifth innings to defeat Sacramento State 4-1 in an abridged game two.
UC Davis will enter Saturday's doubleheader at Saint Mary's with an 8-10 record, Sacramento State is now 5-5 with the day's results.
Led by UC Davis centerfielder Megan Guzman, UC Davis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after a quick turnaround from the day's opening game allowed the back-half of the day's doubleheader to begin.
As is the case at La Rue Field, Shea Stadium does not have lights; game two would progress only as far as the sun allowed, forcing a fast turnaround in the break between games.
Guzman fueled the Aggies' initial scoring opportunity of game two with a leadoff single, placing herself in scoring position shortly thereafter by recording one of two bases stolen by UC Davis in the frame.
Forced to rush their throws to one another around the diamond due to the Aggies' speed throughout the lineup, consecutive errors were committed by Sacramento State, allowing Guzman to easily advance around the diamond.
Sacramento State was able to cut UC Davis' lead in half in the following set of at-bats, only to see UC Davis push its lead to the eventual 4-1 margin with another two-run effort in the top of the fifth.
Earning her second double of the season, Amy Nunez jump-started the final scoring opportunity of the day for UC Davis by placing herself in scoring position with one out in the Aggies' half of the fifth.
Advancing to third on a single by Christina Guidry, the pair scored the final runs of the game when Guzman knocked a single through the middle to extend UC Davis' cushion to a more comfortable three-run margin.
Guzman reached base safely in all three of her appearances at the plate and finished with a team-high two RBI.
UC Davis starting pitcher Leah Munden threw all five frames, allowed only one run and strikeout three to improve her record to 3-3 and help UC Davis earn a split of the day's action.
Not only were Sacramento State and UC Davis battling one another during the latter moments of the second game, both teams were also battling the elements as the game was ended after the Hornets' half of the fifth due to darkness.
Game two started later than expected after both teams battled one another for nearly three hours in the day's opening contest, one that needed nine innings to declare a victor.
Coming off back-to-back shutout efforts at last weekend's NFCA Leadoff Classic, Justine Vela showed everyone in attendance why she deserved Big West Pitcher of the Week honors after fanning eight batters throughout her 4.2 innings pitched as UC Davis' game one starter.
Of the 89 pitches thrown by Vela, more than two-thirds were for strikes.
Kayla Tyler recorded the first of her three hits in the second inning, sending home Castello who originally reached after being hit by Hornets starter Caitlin Brooks to help UC Davis take its first lead of the day.
As was the case in their previous meeting in Fresno at the Lead-Off Classic, Wednesday's opener highlighted two evenly matched teams in a game that saw four lead changes and two tied scores.
Tied at three apiece heading into the top of the seventh inning, a leadoff single to right by Lee provided JJ Wagoner the opportunity to help her team regain the lead when she approached the plate.
After taking two pitches that were called for balls, and fouling another, Wagoner ripped a double to left center to give the Aggies a 4-3 advantage, with the Hornets down to their final set of swings.
UC Davis was able to earn those three outs, but not before Sacramento State plated the tying run to force additional innings.
After a wild sixth and seventh innings that saw a collective four runs cross the plate, the first extra-inning scoring opportunity did not take place until the Hornets' half of the eighth.
With the first two Hornet batters able to reach base, and zero outs in the inning, Melissa Chapa entered the game in relief and helped the Aggies exit their tenuous situation. Recording the first out on a sacrifice bunt, and the following two on a strikeout and a groundout back to the circle, Chapa was able to help UC Davis exit the inning without sustaining any additional damage on the scoreboard.
The Aggies were not as fortunate the following inning, one that saw the first two batters reach base once again.
With one out, and runners on second and third, Sacramento State's Alyssa Vanderdrink helped her team capture the win with a walk-off sacrifice bunt that allowed Hornet shortstop Yesenia Alcala to elude the tag from Aggie catcher Kelly Schulze by the slimmest of margins.