April 15, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Justine Vela and Jessica Thweatt combined to allow just one unearned run as the UC Davis softball team took game three of the Big West series against Long Beach State with a 3-1 victory on Sunday at La Rue Field.
Vela earned the win after tossing five innings and Thweatt picked up her first save of the season by closing out the final two frames. Offensively, Amy Nunez posted a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give the Aggies a two-run cushion in the seventh inning. JJ Wagoner and Kelly Schulze also had RBI hits for UC Davis.
The Agies avoided the series sweep by improving to 16-24 on the season with a 6-3 mark in Big West play. The 49ers dropped to 18-21 overall with a 6-3 league mark.
"I was really proud of the players today because we focused on what we could control and the adjustments that we were able to make," said head coach Karen Yoder. "Any time an underclassmen walks in a run, its a crucial opportunity to test how mentally tough they are. I was really impressed with how (Vela) battled back. I'm especially proud of Thweatt coming in to give them a different look."
UC Davis put two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the third, thanks to an error and a walk. The Aggies were unable to bring home a run however, keeping the game scoreless through three innings.
The Aggies managed to break free at the plate in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a lead-off double down the right field line for Kelly Harman. Rachel Miller also reached base after a hit by pitch and both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. After two outs, Wagoner and Schulze both came up with clutch RBI hits through the right side to give UC Davis a 2-0 advantage.
Long Beach State was able to answer in the top of the fifth, scoring one run on one hit and one error. The 49ers scored the unearned run on an RBI walk, following a single, walk and an error. Vela managed to get out of the jam however, leaving the bases loaded after a strikeout and a pop up.
The Aggies added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, pushing their lead out to 3-1 heading into the final frame. Amy Nunez started a two-out rally of her own, sending a solo home run over the left field fence.
Long Beach State had a lead-off walk in the top of the seventh but Thweatt followed with back-to-back strikeouts. The game ended on a 49er single and Cassandra Ginnis gunning down the lead runner at third, sealing the 3-1 win.
Vela improved to 12-10 on the season after allowing just four hits and no earned runs while striking out four. Thweatt picked up her first save of the season after tossing two scoreless innings and striking out four. Erin Jones-Wesley fell to 14-11 on the season after tossing 3.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits. Taylor Petty threw 2.1 innings of relief and aloud one run on one hit.
UC Davis will be back on the road next week, traveling to Cal Poly for a three-game series, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m.