April 2, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis softball team used a six-run first inning to run away with a 9-1 five-inning win over UC Riverside as the Aggies won the first Big West series of the season on Monday at La Rue Field.
Kylie Fan had a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the first jump start the Aggie offense. Rachel Miller added two extra base RBI hits while Megan Guzman poured in a game-high three hits, two RBIs and a run scored.
Justine Vela also turned in her second win of the series in the circle, tossing a three-hitter to shut down the Highlanders. UC Davis improved to 12-22 overall and 2-1 in conference competition while UC Riverside fell to 18-17 and 1-2.
"We could have easily been distracted today but our girls set the tone in the first inning," said head coach Karen Yoder. "We scored in three out of four possible innings and that was really important in the third game of the series. Justine also did some great things in making adjustments in the circle."
All six runs in the first inning came on a two-out rally, starting with a RBI double off the left field fence for Miller. Two walks loaded the bases for Fan, who did the most damage of the inning with a three-RBI double to the left field fence.
Coming around to the top of the order, Guzman had her second hit of the first inning, this time scoring two runs to give the Aggies a 6-0 advantage. The Highlander's starting pitcher Taylor Alvarez was relieved from there by Jordan MCDonald, who got out of the inning on a groundout.
UC Davis tacked on one more run in the bottom of the second, using two quick hits to take a 7-0 advantage. Kelly Harman started the inning with a lead-off single through the left side. Miller immediately followed with a RBI double to the left center gap, her second extra base RBI hit of the game.
The Aggies looked to put the game away early, adding two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cassandra Ginnis and Harman had back-to-back singles to start the frame and advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice hit. Amy Nunez delivered with her first triple of the season, sending a two-RBI shot to right field to make the score 9-0.
Vela had an equally impressive performance in the circle, holding UC Riverside to just three hits for the game while adding six strikeouts. Vela improved to 9-9 on the season with the win while Alvarez took the loss after lasting 0.2 innings and allowing five hits and six runs.
UC Davis will continue with Big West competition next week, traveling to Cal State Northridge for a three-game series, starting with a doubleheader on Friday, Apr. 6 at 12 p.m.