DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis took full advantage of miscues committed by Cal in the first inning of Wednesday’s non-conference game at La Rue Field by scoring three runs, and sophomore Sara Cadona threw a gem throughout her five innings in the circle by allowing only three hits, but freak plays that took place in the top of the third inning, and a stellar defensive play by the Golden Bears in the bottom of the fifth allowed them to escape La Rue Field with a 6-4 win.
UC Davis will continue its current four-game homestand with Saturday’s 12 p.m. doubleheader vs. Cal Poly, and return to the field with an 18-27 overall record. Cal, the Aggies’ final non-conference opponent of the season, will return to Berkeley with a 27-16 mark.
Christa Castello opened action with a single to third, followed by a four-pitch walk drawn by Alex Sotomayor to generate the Aggies’ first scoring opportunity of the afternoon. Thanks to an error committed by Cal second baseman Kylie Reed, and a passed ball, both eventually scored to help their team jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
A one-out grounder to short from Alexis Carney helped UC Davis record its last run of the inning, since that play allowed Ashley Lotoszynski, who initially reached base on that Golden Bear error, to score.
Even though Cal scored twice in its half of the second inning, it was the events that took place in the third that ultimately decided the game’s outcome.
A lead-off single turned into Cal’s first run of the frame when Kobie Pettis hit a double to left center. Another single, combined with a fielder’s choice in the following two at bats allowed Pettis to score and give her team the lead. But it was a wild rundown, and a collision along the third base line between Cadona and a Bear baserunner on back-to-back plays that allowed the Bears to extend their lead to a 6-3 margin.
After Bradie Fillmore dropped a bunt towards third base, her teammate, Khala Taylor raced home upon contact. Once the ball hit dirt, Cadona sprinted from the circle towards the third base line, bent down to pick up the ball and then ended on the ground after she and Taylor collided approximately 20 feet away from home plate. Now forced to sprint after a ball that rolled towards Cal’s dugout since it squirted out of her glove when contact took place, Cadona had no chance to make a play at home, third or second base.
UC Davis did respond to that freak play by trimming Cal’s lead to a two-run margin when Lotoszynski hit a solo shot — her fifth home run of the season — over the fence in left center.
After scoring all of their runs in the preceding two innings, the Bears struggled against Cadona for the rest of the game, and were forced to hang zeroes on their half of the scoreboard for the rest of the afternoon.
Were it not for an absolute jaw-dropper of a defensive effort by Reed in the bottom of the fifth, UC Davis would have blown the game wide open and easily regained the lead.
With the bases loaded, and two outs already recorded, Carney hit a line drive towards the game in right center. With no Cal outfielder even remotely close to the gap in right center, that ball would have easily rolled to the fence and emptied the bases were it not for Reed. Listed at 5-foot-five, she needed every inch of that frame to reach towards Carney’s shot and end the inning.
Live stats and internet audio links for the Aggies' upcoming doubleheader against Cal Poly are available at UCDavisAggies.com.
No. 24 Cal 6, UC Davis 4
Cal..................... 024 000 0 - 6 8 1 (27-16)
UC Davis............ 301 000 0 - 4 6 0 (18-27)
Pitchers: Cal - Conley,Zoe and Laxamana,Alleah. UC Davis - Kibby, Katie; Cadona, Sara(3) and
Carney, Alexis; McInnes, Taiya.
Win-Conley,Zoe(17-10) Loss-Kibby, Katie(11-8) T-2:03 A-207
HR UCD - Lotoszynski, Ashley (4).
Weather: Cloudy, 62 degrees
Kibby, K. faced 5 batters in the 3rd.
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