March 11, 2006
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - UC Davis dropped a pair of games, Saturday night, in what turned out to be the first day of action at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale. The Aggies were defeated, 5-4, in eight innings by Southern Illinois before falling, 8-1, to Arizona State. The Salukis are receiving votes in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top-25 while the Sun Devils are ranked no. 11.
Roxanne Hannan homered and collected three hits on the day while Sarah O'Neill also had three hits. Megan De La Hoya, Ashley Johnson and each posted two hits each. The losses drop UC Davis to 6-14 on the year, but seven of those games have been against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the weekly NFCA poll.
Against Southern Illinois (13-2), the Aggies broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth. After the first two hitters were retired, Nikki Sheldon doubled to left center. Lauren Pieretti pinch ran and promptly came home on an RBI-single by Johnson to put the Aggies on top 1-0. After Johnson advanced to second on the play at the plate when Pierreti scored, O'Neill singled to drive in Johnson to give UC Davis a 2-0 cushion.
The Salukis made up one of those runs in the bottom of the sixth when Tiffanie Dismore hit a one-out solo home run to make it 2-1.
In the seventh, Hannan led off with a solo homer of her own to put UC Davis up 3-1. It was Hannan's third homer of the year.
But, the two-run lead would not hold as SIU came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. Down to its final out, Southern Illinois had runners at second and third with Krystal Stein at the plate. She delivered the timely hit, a two-run single to center field, to tie the game at 3-3.
In the eighth, and with the international tiebreaker rule in place, the Aggies were able to score a run on an RBI-single by Johnson that drove in De La Hoya.
The game was decided, though, in the bottom of the eighth when Lauren Hass singled with one out to drive in two runs and give the Salukis the come-from-behind win.
Lindsay Tognetti pitched a complete game for the Aggies with the loss dropping her to 3-3 on the year. She gave up just six hits and struck out nine. UC Davis outhit SIU, 9-6.
ASU (24-1) scored a run in the first before UC Davis took advantage of a pair of passed balls in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1 and score what would be its only run of the game. The Sun Devils broke things open with three runs in the second and four more in the fourth.
De La Hoya went 2-for-2 in the game while Pieretti came on in relief to pitch three and two-thirds scoreless innings. She allowed just two hits and struck out eight. Grimm (1-3) started and took the loss. ASU outhit UC Davis, 8-6.
The Aggies conclude play at the NIST Sunday with morning games scheduled against St. Francis (NY) and North Dakota State. UC Davis is also scheduled to face the Chinese National Team Sunday afternoon in an exhibition in Sunnyvale. The NIST was originally scheduled to run from Friday through Sunday, but Friday's games were postponed due to rain.
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