May 8, 2003
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Junior Michelle Malbon hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning on Thursday as third-seeded UC Davis beat sixth-seeded Western Washington, 4-2, in a first-round game at the NCAA Division II West Region Softball Championship, being hosted by Cal State Bakersfield.
UC Davis improved to 45-14 overall, while the Vikings dropped to 26-21. The Aggies will face second-seeded Western New Mexico on Thursday afternoon at 4:30. The Mustangs - along with the host Roadrunners - had byes in the first round.
UC Davis, which led 1-0 after Susan Churchwell's RBI single in the third inning, added two more runs in the fourth when Malbon slammed a full-count pitch from Amanda Grant over the right-center field fence for her second home run of the year. The homer scored third baseman Lindsay Moore, who led off the inning with a single.
Western Washington stayed close throughout the game, getting the leadoff runner on base each inning. The Vikings loaded the bases in the second, had runners in scoring position every inning and stranded 12 runners in the game. Junior Amy Rosson walked five batters before being relieved by Churchwell in the fifth, but came back in the seventh to relieve Churchwell after the first two Western Washington batters reached base.
Rosson earned the win for UC Davis, improving to 23-7. Both Rosson and Churchwell allowed three hits, with Rosson picking up four strikeouts and Churchwell three. Grant suffered the loss for Western Washington, falling to 13-7.
Churchwell and Moore each had two hits and RBI for the Aggies, while Jessi Williams had a pair for the Vikings.
Fourth-seeded Humboldt State beat fifth-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills, 6-2, in Thursday's first game. The Lumberjacks are scheduled to face Cal State Bakersfield at 2:30 on Thursday.
UC Davis' next game will be the the final one for Thursday with games on Friday scheduled for 9 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 and 4:30 p.m.
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