March 4, 2012
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Justine Vela threw a complete game shutout, including 13 strikeouts in a 2-0 win over Maine before the UC Davis softball team had a narrow 3-2 loss to South Carolina on Sunday in the final day at the Highlander Classic.
Vela scattered three hits in her dominating game one performance against the Black Bears. She also threw five innings of relief against the Gamecocks, despite a one-run loss to the SEC member school.
Kayla Tyler had an impressive day at the plate, combining for three hits, two runs scored, two walks and a RBI, including a solo home run. Amy Nunez also had two hits in each game, as the Aggies posted 10 hits in game one. UC Davis moved to 6-14 with the split, while Maine dropped to 4-10 and South Carolina improved to 16-4.
In game one, the Aggies stranded 10 runners on base but didn't need much offense behind Vela. UC Davis got on the scoreboard in the top of the second, starting with a Nunez lead-off single. JJ Wagoner provided the run with a RBI double down the left field line to give the Aggies a 1-0 advantage.
Vela struck out the side in the bottom of the second en route to retiring 13 batters on strikes. She also never allowed more than one hit in any inning and did not give up an extra base hit.
UC Davis held a one-run lead until the seventh inning, where the Aggies added an insurance run after three hits. Cassandra Ginnis started with a lead-off bunt single before Rachel Miller posted a RBI infield single.
Vela managed to close out the game and improve to 4-6 on the season. Ashley Kelley took the loss after a complete game with 10 hits and two earned runs.
Game One Box
In game two, the Aggies had an early lead over South Carolina before the Gamecocks used a three-run fourth inning to take the lead for good.
UC Davis had another quick run in the top of the second, using a lead-off solo home run from Tyler for a 10- lead.
Jessica Thweatt started the game in the circle before Vela stepped in during the second inning and got out of a bases loaded situation with two strikeouts and a fly out.
The Aggies added another run in the top of the fourth after two hits and an error in the inning. Tyler continued an impressive day at the plate with a lead-off double to right center and would come around to score on a Nunez RBI single.
South Carolina took control of the lead thanks to four hits and an error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Molly Brossart, Samie Garcia and Kaitlin Westfall each had RBI hits in the frame to give the Gamecocks a 3-2 advantage.
UC Davis nearly answered in the top of the sixth with a two-out rally. Heather Zimmerman and Nunez had back-to-back singles but a fly out ended any chance of a comeback. The last three batters for the Aggies were retired in order in the top of the seventh to give South Carolina the final 3-2 win.
Audrey Broyles picked up the win to improve to 4-1 after 5.1 innings thrown, three hits and two runs score while Katelynn Howser was credited with her third save of the season. Vela took the loss and dropped to 4-7 after five innings of relief, seven hist and three runs.
Game Two Box
UC Davis will be back in action next week, traveling to California for a midweek game on Wednesday, Mar. 7 before hosting the Aggie Stampede II on the weekend.