March 10, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - Amy Nunez earned the first of her four RBI Sunday at the Diamond Devil Invitational, a game-winner, in UC Davis' half of the first inning to help her team defeat Pitt 2-0 in Tempe, Ariz. In their tournament finale, the Aggies fell to tournament host No. 3/3 Arizona State 12-3 to finish the weekend with a split of their four games played.
With the results earned in its final non-conference tournament of the season, UC Davis is now 11-13.
In Sunday morning's game against Pitt, Nunez drove in Kayla Tyler in the bottom of the first to help the Aggies jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Started by a single that split the Panthers' middle infielders, Tyler stole second before touching home plate on Nunez's hit to left field.
Holding a one-run advantage when she returned to the circle in the top of the second, UC Davis starter Justine Vela cruised through the following six innings earn her team-high seventh victory.
In addition to allowing only one free pass, Vela allowed only one hit to Pitt in its half of the sixth, the only blemish in a game that saw the sophomore right-hander strikeout a season-high 14 batters, one shy of her career-high.
On Feb. 21, 2012, Vela fanned 15 Santa Clara batters to post a career best in this category.
One of two Aggies to earn two hits in her three appearances at the plate, Nunez was also one of two players to record a RBI against Pitt. Tyler, the other UC Davis player to drive in a run, was also 2-for-3 at the plate against Panthers starter Savannah King.
Tyler doubled UC Davis' lead in the bottom of the fifth when her double to right centerfield allowed Megan Guzman to scamper home from second to score the final run of the morning for either team.
Like Tyler, Guzman stole second after reaching base; completing the trio of Aggie base stealers by swiping a bag off King in the fourth was Christa Castello.
In the Aggies' tournament finale against host Arizona State, the country's No. 3-ranked team in both the USA Today/NFCA Coaches and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls, the crowd on hand at Alberta Farrington Stadium saw both teams combine to score 13 runs throughout the first three innings.
Against ASU, it was Nunez who led the team at the plate by earning two of the Aggies' four hits, and all three RBI.
In the bottom of the first, a Nunez single drove in Cassandra Ginnis to allow UC Davis to take another early lead; after Tyler led off the Aggies' half of the third with a double, Nunez hit her second home run in as many days with a shot that cleared the wall in center.
Even though the Aggies were the first to score, a seven-run third inning sealed the team's fate as the game was called once the Sun Devils pushed their lead to the game's final margin.
UC Davis will compete in its final non-conference road games of the year in a doubleheader against CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, March 16, starting at 12 p.m.