March 31, 2013
HONOLULU - After an intense 10-inning contest the previous night, UC Davis and No. 18/22 Hawai'i returned to Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai'i, Saturday afternoon to complete their Big West Conference series.
Gm. 1 continued where Friday night's game ended as both teams engaged in a hard-fought battle, one that UC Davis eventually dropped by a narrow 2-1 margin. After a brief break, both teams returned to the diamond for the series finale, another game that did not end in UC Davis' favor as the host Rainbow Wahine defeated the Aggies 6-2.
With the day's results, UC Davis slips to 13-17 and 0-3 in conference play while No. 18/22 Hawai'i pushes its record to 28-7 with a 6-0 Big West mark.
After heavy rain forced the first pitch of Saturday's doubleheader back three hours than originally planned, it was Hawai'i that struck first on a breezy, but clear day by scoring bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
UC Davis pulled even in its next set of at-bats to tie the score at one apiece; after Kelly Schulze led off the top of the second with a single to left centerfield, Gretchen Diekman entered the game to pinch run for the senior catcher.
Advancing to second after Amy Nunez reached base on a Rainbow Wahine throwing error, Diekman advanced another base when Chandler Wagner dropped a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt down the third base line. Diekman then completed her trip around the bases when Christa Castello singled to center to drive in UC Davis' only run of the game.
As was the case Friday night, UC Davis starter Leah Munden more than held her own against Kaia Parnaby, Hawai'i's pitching ace. Throwing all six innings for the Aggies, the freshman southpaw fanned four batters against only one walk.
Against a Hawai'i team that averages 4.7 runs per game, Munden was responsible for only one earned run throughout her time in the circle.
A leadoff single Sharla Kleibenstein in the bottom of the fifth began a chain of events that resulted in Hawai'i scoring the decisive run of Gm. 1 to defeat UC Davis by a final score of 2-1.
In addition to Schulze and Castello, Cat Guidry and JJ Wagoner each recorded one hit as pinch hitters and were collectively responsible for all four Aggie hits.
Guidry reached base safely in the top of the fifth on a bunt to the pitcher, Wagoner reached base safely with two out in the seventh on a single that split Hawai'i's first and second basemen before rolling into right field.
Even though Wagoner reached base safely, she was unable to advance to scoring position as the Rainbow Wahine were able to record the final out of the game before UC Davis was able to cause additional damage.
In the series finale, UC Davis responded to Hawai'i's four-run first inning by scoring two in the top of the second to cut the Rainbow Wahine advantage in half.
Both Nunez and Wagner, the first two Aggies to take their swings in the inning, reached base safely on a single to left and a Hawai'i fielding error to create UC Davis' inaugural scoring opportunity.
Nunez finished 2-for-3 and was singlehandedly responsible for nearly half of her team's hits in Gm. 2.
After Wagoner advanced both runners, Krista Bava hit a shot to right that allowed both of her teammates to score. Heads-up baserunning by Bava also turned a single into a two-base play.
Once Bava saw that Hawai'i right fielder Keiki Carlos chose to throw home instead of second base, she wisely advanced another 60 feet to place herself into scoring position.
Even though the Aggies were able to put two on the scoreboard in that second frame, Hawai'i's early four-run lead was simply too large to erase as UC Davis ended its day at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium with a four-run loss.
UC Davis will return to La Rue Field for its next batch of games, a five-game homestand that will begin on Saturday, April 6, when the Aggies face Cal State Northridge in their Big West home opener. Saturday's doubleheader against the Matadors will start at 12 p.m.