April 24, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis hit a season-high three home runs on Sunday - including a three-run shot by winning pitcher Rachel Kelly - as the Aggies beat UC Riverside 7-3 in a nonconference softball game at La Rue Field.
UC Davis, which won two of three games from the Highlanders this weekend, improved to 7-38 while UC Riverside dropped to 13-36. Besides Kelly, the Aggies also got homeruns from Stacey Benzing and Ashley Johnson, both of them solo shots. Kelly also posted a win over the Highlanders for the second straight day after going 11 innings in a 5-4 complete-game victory on Saturday.
UC Davis hit its first homer in the fourth when Benzing's high flyball to left cleared the fence 200 feet away, giving the Aggies a 3-2 lead. The Aggies added two more homeruns in the fifth inning when Johnson led off with a roundtripper off starter Danira Iolamo to left-center for a 4-2 lead.
Sara Radabaugh relieved Iolamo after Johnson's homer, giving up a single to Lindsay Tognetti and a walk to Benzing while getting a pair of outs. That set the table for Kelly who launched a three-run homer to left-center field to highlight the Aggies' four-run inning and give UC Davis a 7-2 lead.
UC Riverside loaded the bases against Kelly with no out in the seventh, scoring a run on Elizabeth Buck's single to right, but Kelly was able to work out of the jam, ending the game by striking out Dani Bishop. Kelly finished with seven strikeouts and three walks, while scattering seven hits.
UC Davis took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on Tognetti's groundout to second that scored Megan De La Hoya from third. Third baseman Nikki Sheldon added another run, singling through the left side to score Johnson. UC Riverside answered in its next at-bat, loading the bases with one out. An error on a play at the plate allowed the first run to score while Kristie Martinez singled to right for another, tying the game 2-2.
"Offensively, I thought we had some great battles at the plate," said Aggie coach Karen Matteson. "I thought we adapted well to the strike zone."
"I thought we had great extension on our bats today and that's vital to power hitting," she added regarding UC Davis' home runs.
Johnson finished with two hits for the UC Davis while De La Hoya, Tognetti, Sheldon, Benzing, Kelly and Lauren Pieretti each had one. Jamie Yee and Martinez each had a pair of hits for UC Riverside while April Murray, Buck and Mandy Salcido each had one. Iolamo suffered the loss after allowing four runs and six hits.
Matteson said the team had a goal of earning at least one win this season against a future Big West Conference opponent and she was pleased about taking two of three from UC Riverside. The Aggies have won three of four from the Highlanders overall this season.
"Today we met a team goal and I'm ecstatic about that," she said. "I'm very proud of the team."
The Aggies are in their second of four years of reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I status and will officially join the Big West in 2007-08.
UC Davis returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to San Jose State for a doubleheader.