April 10, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. – UC Davis defeated the visiting Pacific Tigers 1-0 in the first game of Wednesday’s Big West Conference doubleheader at La Rue Field, and nearly completed its come-from-behind effort in the afternoon’s finale but fell 5-4 to record a split of the day’s action.
UC Davis will now enter its weekend series at UCSB with a 16-19 overall mark and 3-5 Big West record, Pacific is now 23-19 and 8-3 respectively.
The series finale between the Tigers and Aggies will take place on Wednesday, April 17, at La Rue Field, at 2 p.m.
As was the case in all three games against Cal State Northridge this past weekend, UC Davis began Gm. 1 by scoring in the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Megan Guzman and Jasmine Lee, both reached base with singles to left and right field respectively, but is was a shot through the middle from Christa Castello that enabled Guzman to race around third and score easily.
That one run was all that Aggie starter Justine Vela needed to notch her 11th complete game, 10th win and fourth shutout of the year.
In addition to allowing the Tigers to record four hits, Vela struckout 10 batters against one walk and retired 12 straight batters at one point before Pacific hit a two-out double in the seventh inning.
As was the case throughout the entire game, Pacific stranded its fifth, and final runner, when the sophomore right-hander forced Pacific’s Alexi Johnson to groundout to Castello to end the game.
Vela quickly found her rhythm by earning six of her 10 strikeouts throughout the first three innings and matched Pacific’s pitching ace, Nikki Armagost, throughout each inning.
Armagost also went the distance and allowed seven hits, but she also fanned half as many batters compared to her Aggie counterpart and recorded a final line that also contained one glaring difference compared to Vela – one earned run.
The shutout victory was the Aggies’ second straight against Pacific as they also posted a 3-0 victory in last season’s series finale in Stockton.
When both teams returned to the diamond for Gm. 2, three innings of scoreless softball took place until Pacific scored two runs in the third to take its first lead over the Aggies in nearly three full head-to-head games.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth, but its was two runs that Pacific plated in the top of the seventh that saw an added insurance run morph into the game-winner due to UC Davis’ rally throughout its final set of at-bats.
JJ Wagoner was the first Aggie to score after initially reaching base on a leadoff single to Pacific shortstop Megan Allen. After back-to-back throwing errors allowed Wagoner to complete her trip around the diamond, Caitlin Voss entered the game as a pinch hitter.
With Cassandra Ginnis on third and Lee on second as benefactors of those two Pacific miscues, Voss cleared the bases when she turned on a 2-2 pitch and smacked it over the fence in straightaway center to pull the Aggies within one run at 5-4.
“It was a rise(ball), I saw it early and picked up the spin (on the ball) early in the at-bat. I was ecstatic when I reached second base and realized that it sailed over the fence. If she caught that ball, the game would have ended,” said Voss.
The blast was her first as an Aggie.
“This was a confidence boost to enter the game as a pinch hitter and hit a home run, but I know that there are a bunch of other girls that are just as good as me and can enter the game and achieve the same results,” added Voss.
“I am so proud of Caitlin, she looked at the (scouting) chart to see what kind of pitches may be thrown and she executed when we needed her to. You love it when you are able to get a hit, let alone hit a home run and score three runs,” said head coach Karen Yoder.
Voss’ shot was the final Aggie highlight of the day as Pacific was able to withstand UC Davis’ late scoring charge and escape La Rue Field with a split of the day’s doubleheader.
UC Davis will now head to Santa Barbara for a three-game weekend series against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, action from Campus Diamond will commence on Saturday, April 13, at 12 p.m.