April 27, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis extended its win streak to four games with 1-0, extra-inning, and 3-2, come-from-behind victories over Cal State Fullerton in Saturday's Big West doubleheader at La Rue Field.
Heading into Sunday's series finale, the Aggies are 21-13 overall and 8-9 in league play while the Titans fall to 22-27 and 7-10.
"These two wins give us momentum heading into Sunday, these were two solid team wins," said Christina Guidry shortly after the Aggies completed their Saturday sweep.
Taking place throughout UC Davis Softball's ninth-annual Strike Out Cancer awareness and fundraising event, the Aggies scored the opening game's only run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Ch. Guidry scored on a chopper to the right side of the infield from Jasmine Lee.
Ch. Guidry wisely slid wide to the right of the plate, creating enough distance to elude the attempted tag from Fullerton catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama, but still close enough to reach out with her left arm and touch home to score the decisive run.
"I wanted to make sure the ball made it to the gap, if that does not happen then I have to hold at third," said the Aggie third baseman describing the final moments of Gm. 1. "I tried to get to home as fast as I could, I saw the ball coming and slid under the tag. It felt great to score the winning run."
That play took place three innings after the Titans' most dangerous scoring opportunity of the game, one that started with a double and a throwing error to place runners on second and third with zero outs.
UC Davis starter Justine Vela helped the Aggies escape the jam by forcing Titan second baseman Carissa Turang to pop up to Christa Castello, right fielder Tiffany Sheffler to strikeout swinging and left fielder Leesa Harris to groundout to Castello on successive plays to end the inning.
In her three-hit complete-game victory, Vela struckout four batters and outlasted her Fullerton counterpart Jasmine Antunez, who also went the distance, to record her 13th win.
Saturday's effort was the fifth time in the last six games Vela allowed three hits or less to her opponent.
Cat Guidry was 2-for-4 to lead the Aggies at the plate in Gm. 1, a performance that included a single to the shortstop in the bottom of the eighth to put both Guidry sisters on the corners with one out in the inning.
In the following game, Fullerton pushed two across the plate in the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead, one that evaporated in the Aggies' half of the fourth.
What started with a single through the middle from Kelly Schulze, and continued with a five-pitch walk drawn by Kayla Tyler, ended with a two-out triple to right center from JJ Wagoner, her first of the season.
"JJ's play was clutch because it stole the momentum from them, and put us right back into the game," said Ch. Guidry.
UC Davis took the lead for good the following frame on a single from Krista Bava that split Fullerton's first and second basemen, allowing Chandler Wagner to race around the diamond from second to score the game-winning run.
The RBI was Bava's second game-winner in the Aggies' last three contests. The sophomore outfielder was responsible for driving in the only run scored in UC Davis' series finale at UC Riverside last weekend.
Wagner initially reached base on a leadoff single, then advanced to second on the following play off a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt from Cat Guidry.
Combined, Wagner and Wagoner earned half of their team's eight hits as each finished 2-for-3 in the second-half of the day's doubleheader.
As was the case with her teammate in Gm. 1, UC Davis starter Jessica Thweatt earned another complete-game win, her third of the season and second in as many appearances, to record her fourth victory.
Just like her previous start last Saturday, April 20, at UC Riverside, the senior right-handed fanned five batters.
Individuals who were unable to attend Saturday's Strike Out Cancer event, and are interested in supporting Aggie Softball's campaign can still do so by contacting the coaching staff via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds will benefit the UC Davis Cancer Center; UC Davis would like to thank fans from both teams for their donations and support.
In addition to Sunday's 12 p.m. series finale at La Rue Field, UC Davis Athletics will also honor the 1973 and 2003 softball teams in a "Celebration of Champions" pregame ceremony.
Responsible for winning the program's first league and NCAA championships respectively, alumni from both teams will also have the opportunity to compete against this year's softball roster in the program's annual Alumni Game. Action between the Aggies, both current and former, is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.