Clutch team play leads to 7-6 victory

Katie Kibby went the distance, and picked up her ninth win of the season in UC Davis' 7-6 victory during the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
April 1, 2017

Gm. 1 Box Score  | Gm. 2 Box Score

HONOLULU - After UC Davis scored the first run of the day in the top of the first inning of Saturday's Big West Conference doubleheader at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium, Hawai'i scored four unanswered in the first game to take a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the third. In that set of at bats, junior third baseman Ashley Lotoszynski hit an opposite-field home run to left to tie the score at 4-4.

Freshman first baseman Maddie Rojas will never forger her first home run as an Aggie, because it was her blast to right center that easily cleared the fence and turned that 4-4 tie into a 6-4 UC Davis lead.

The home run derby in Honolulu continued when the Rainbow Wahine pulled even on a two-run shot of their own in the bottom half of that same frame. But thanks to a pair of Aggie freshman in right-hander Katie Kibby and Isabella Leon, UC Davis earned its first Division I win on Hawai'i soil.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Lotoszynski fell behind in the count, but was able to draw a base on balls to take first base. Caroline Figueroa joined her shortly thereafter after being hit by a pitch; Figueroa advanced to second and Lotoszynski scored the game-winner when Leon singled to left field, pushing the Aggies ahead, 7-6.

Now possessing a one-run lead, Kibby refused to let the events that took place earlier in the day shake her poise or confidence, as she ended the game by throwing three innings of shutout softball to collect her ninth win of the year.

In a game that saw UC Davis turn one clutch play after another on defense all afternoon long, it was Christa Castello's highlight-quality play that brought a fitting ending to the first game.



On a blooper that looked as if it would land in shallow center, Castello, who had her back turned to the plate as she was sprinting to the outfield from short, reached up and made an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch, catching UH first baseman Heather Morales in no-man's land between first and second base.

Once Castello recognized this situation, her throw to first ended the game with an Aggie double play.

In the back half of the day's doubleheader, UC Davis' aggressive baserunning lead to another early 1-0 lead after its inaugural swings of the game.

After Brianna Warner reached on a fielding error by Hawai'i's left fielder, she immediately dashed towards second once she saw the the outfielder struggling to gain control of the ball. A bunt single by Castello, the very next batter, allowed Warner to take third; she dashed home once UH starter Brittany Hitchcock threw one in the dirt, allowing the Aggie centerfielder to sprint home on a wild pitch.

A double steal in the bottom of the first allowed Hawai'i to even the score, it took the lead three innings later on a solo home run to left.

Unlike the first two games, which featured one scoring rally after another from one, or both teams, Saturday's series finale turned into a classic pitchers' duel between Hitchcock and Andrea Reynolds until a wild series of events took place in the bottom of the fifth.

Action in that half of the inning opened with what many fans in attendance thought was a runner's obstruction call -- UC Davis was called out on a similar play in the top of the first -- but ended up being a two-base error when a throw to first rolled to the fence near the Aggies' dugout. A double, followed by three singles, not only shifter momentum to the Rainbow Wahine, but ultimately decided the game's final score because UH turned a slim 2-1 advantage between two teams that turned one stellar play on defense after another leading up to the bottom of the fifth, into a 5-1 lead by the home squad.

UC Davis trimmed its deficit to three runs when Jauregui's single through the middle allowed Alexis Carney, who initially reached on a fielder's choice, to touch home, but UH bumped its lead back to four by plating another run on a double steal, which ended up being the game's final score.

The Aggies will continue their six-game Big West road trip next weekend at Long Beach State, and will enter that series with a 16-19 overall and 1-2 Big West record. Hawai'i will also hit the road next weekend, and continue its season with records of 23-11 and 2-1.

UC Davis 7, Hawai'i 6 (Gm. 1)
UC Davis............ 103 210 0 - 7 8 3   (16-18, 1-1 BWC)
Hawai'i.............. 310 200 0 - 6 10 2 (22-11, 1-1 BWC)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Kibby, Katie and Carney, Alexis. Hawai'i - Thomsen, D.; Aina Cabrale(4)
and Cameron, H..
Win-Kibby, Katie(9-5) Loss-Aina Cabrale(2-2) T-2:09 A-0
HR UCD - Lotoszynski, Ashley; Rojas, Maddie.
HR UH - Lopez, N.; Morales, H..
Thomsen, D. faced 2 batters in the 4th.

Hawai'i 6, UC Davis 2 (Gm. 2)
UC Davis............ 100 001 0 - 2 4 3 (16-19, 1-2 BWC)
Hawai'i.............. 100 131 X - 6 12 1 (23-11, 2-1 BWC)
Pitchers: UC Davis - Reynolds, Andrea; Cadona, Sara(6) and Carney, Alexis. Hawai'i -
Hitchcock, B and Heen, C..
Win-Hitchcock, B(14-6) Loss-Reynolds, Andrea(6-10) T-1:51 A-538
HR UH - Ramos, A..
Reynolds, A. faced 1 batter in the 6th.