May 11, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - What began with an emotional Senior Day ceremony that involved four UC Davis student-athletes, their friends, family and loved ones, continued with an impressive team effort against Cal Poly in Saturday's season finale at La Rue Field ended with a 4-0 Aggie victory and a series sweep over the Mustangs.
By winning eight games out of its last 12 played, UC Davis ends the season with a 25-27 overall record and a 11-13 mark in conference play. Cal Poly ends its year with respective records of 19-34-1 and 8-16.
"The entire team played great today, I am excited to end my time at UC Davis with a win and a sweep," said Guzman, one of four seniors competing in their final game as an Aggie.
Guzman ended her career in spectacular fashion; not only did the centerfielder lead her team with hits in all three of her at-bats, she also stole three bases in as many attempts to push her total for the season to 13 and her career total to 51.
"I would have loved to finish No. 1," said Guzman when told after the game that her all-time mark was the second-highest ever recorded by an Aggie, "but I am still excited to be No. 2."
As was the case in both of Saturday's games, UC Davis was the first team to score; true to form from both games played the previous day, the Aggies never relinquished their advantage and earned another wire-to-wire win over Cal Poly.
But it was the events that took place throughout the bottom of the fifth that provided the perfect ending to the 2013 season, and the careers of the four student-athletes that donned a UC Davis uniform for the final time.
Guzman started the action in the Aggies' half of the fifth with a leadoff single, stole second base, then advanced to third when Krista Bava turned on a pitch from Cal Poly starter Chloe Wurst and pulled it towards first base.
Even though an out was recorded on the play, Bava successfully advanced her teammate another 60 feet with two outs still needed to end the inning.
Initially forced to maintain her spot on third when Cat Guidry hit a chopper back to Wurst, a play that saw the left fielder reach base by simply out-running the throw to first, Guzman wasted no time in sprinting towards the plate when Jasmine Lee, the very next batter, slapped a shot towards the right-hand side of the diamond.
Reaching base on a fielder's choice, Lee was able to watch her teammate beat the throw home from Cal Poly's second baseman and execute a perfect slide around Mustang catcher Maria Cochiolo, catching the corner of the plate while eluding a late tag attempt, to light up another run on the scoreboard for UC Davis.
Tyler provided the final UC Davis insurance runs on a play that innocently began with a single to right field.
With C. Guidry easily scoring on the play, Cami Brown, the Mustangs' right fielder, saw Lee rounding second base and was intent on making a quick throw to third in attempt to record the second out of the inning.
Brown never made that throw because she was unable to field the ball cleanly; once Lee saw Brown overrun the ball, then struggle to gain possession, she made the turn at third and sprinted home to post the final UC Davis run of the day, bouncing Wurst from the circle in the process.
Now backed by a four-run lead, UC Davis starter Jessica Thweatt maintained that advantage by allowing only two hits throughout the final two innings to record a complete-game shutout, the third of her career.
The four-hit effort was the senior's second win of the weekend; in addition to picking up a win in the second game of a doubleheader played the previous day, the right-hander also claimed her first save of the year in the series opener.
"To help my team win two games this weekend, and earn a save, is an exciting way to end my career," said Thweatt following the game. "I am just happy that my teammates can celebrate a win at the end of the season."
"It was nice to end my career the way it started when coach let me finish the game as a catcher," said Kelly Schulze who played the first six innings at first base until head coach Karen Yoder pulled starting catcher JJ Wagoner before the Aggies took the field in the top of the seventh.
"These players are my closest friends and made my experience (at UC Davis) what it was," added Schulze who was surrounded by contingent of friends, family members and teammates that lingered at La Rue Field long after the game was over to take a slew of photos.
Added Wagoner who capped her four-year career Satuday afternoon, "Even though the pregame ceremony was an emotional one, all four of the seniors had to prepare themselves to compete in the few available moments before the start of the game. Everyone played hard, came through at the plate when it mattered and prevented Cal Poly from creating any scoring opportunitities.
"This was a great team victory and the best possible way to end Senior Day."