April 28, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - An early Cal State Fullerton lead was nearly erased in Sunday afternoon's Big West series finale at La Rue Field as the Titans withstood a late-game UC Davis scoring charge to escape with a 4-3 victory and prevent the Aggies from earning a weekend sweep.
In addition to having its four-game win streak snapped, UC Davis falls to 21-24 overall and 8-10 against conference opponents while Cal State Fullerton improves to 23-27 and 8-10.
Before the game as part of UC Davis Athletics "Celebration of Champions," members of the 1973 and 2003 softball teams, the first to capture the program's inaugural league and national titles respectively, were honored in a pregame ceremony.
Cal State Fullerton wasted no time in spoiling the festive atmosphere by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
UC Davis gave those alums, and fans in attendance, a reason to cheer by slicing that deficit in half during its first set of at-bats.
Outrunning Fullerton third baseman Eliza Crawford's throw to first on a routine ground ball, Cat Guidry ended up scoring her team's first run of the day after Kelly Schulze punched a single to centerfield, allowing the Aggies' third baseman to trot home from third.
Even though Fullerton responded to UC Davis' first scoring opportunity of the game by plating another run in the top of the second, the Schulze-Guidry tandem responded once again in the bottom of the third when a clutch single from Schulze allowed Guidry to record her second run.
As was the case earlier in the game, Fullerton followed UC Davis' scoring opportunity with another one of its own, posting its final run of the afternoon in the top of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
Undeterred by facing their second two-run deficit of the day, a double to left center from Wagner in the bottom of the sixth trimmed the Titans' lead to a single run once again.
Wagner's double, her sixth of the season, capped a 2-for-3 performance at the plate and moved her into a tie alongside Krista Bava who also possesses a team-high six doubles.
Besides the Aggies' second baseman, Schulze also finished 2-for-3; both trailed Christa Castello who finished 3-for-4 to lead all Aggies.
Were it not for a stellar play turned by the Titans on defense at short to end the sixth inning, UC Davis could have added at least one more run as the frame concluded with runners on second and third.
Possessing momentum from the previous inning's action, Schulze earned a free trip to first with two outs after being plunked by a pitch for a league-leading 16th time.
Castello's single through the left side of the infield advanced Megan Guzman, who entered the game as a pinch hitter and represented the game's tying run, another 60 feet into scoring position, drawing an encouraging response from the fans in attendance in the process.
But that was as far as UC Davis would get towards erasing its deficit as Fullerton forced a ground ball to short to record the final out of the day and depart Davis with one win out the three played.
UC Davis will return to La Rue Field on Wednesday, May 1, to face the Stanford Cardinal in its final non-conference game of the year. In addition to a radio broadcast on KDVS 90.3 FM, softball fans can access links for live stats via GameTracker and internet audio stream are available at ucdavisaggies.com. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.