DAVIS, Calif. - The long wait is finally over for softball fans because the 2017 season will officially begin on Saturday when UC Davis heads to Santa Clara for an 11 a.m. non-conference doubleheader. These are the first two of a season-opening three-game slate taking place before the Aggies begin tournament play.
After UC Davis hosts Stanford on Tuesday in its home opener, the team will travel to Palm Springs to compete in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, the first of five tournaments featuring the Aggies, before they head to Hawai’i at the end of March for their first Big West game.
This is the second time in as many seasons that the Aggies and Broncos will open the season against one another; at last year’s Aggie Kick-Off, UC Davis shut out Santa Clara in the only head-to-head game of the weekend. With that result, the Aggies captured their sixth victory against Santa Clara in the last seven meetings.
For the Aggies’ seven-member freshman class — Lucia Gargicevich-Almeida, Marissa Jauregui, Katelyn Kibby, Isabella Leon, Francesca Mendoza, Madison Rojas and Alexis Villalobos, Saturday’s doubleheader will offer each their first taste of Division I action, and an opportunity to compete against someone other than themselves in an official game.
After spending her freshman season in Oregon, Autumn Miller will also make her UC Davis debut against the Broncos this weekend. In addition to Miller, Caroline Figueroa is another sophomore transfer who will don a UC Davis uniform for the first time on Saturday.
Figueroa transferred to UC Davis after competing for Loyola Marymount as a freshman.
May 9, 2015, marked the last appearance on the diamond for senior Christa Castello and sophomore Alex Sotomayor since each missed the 2016 season due to injury. The pair have been working hard throughout their respective rehabs and are ready to compete for a spot in UC Davis’ starting lineup.
Since the 2008 season, UC Davis’ first as a Division I program, the Aggies have won 10 of 12 games played against the Broncos, a record that includes a 3-2 victory that took place on Feb. 21, 2012 — the team’s last trip to Santa Clara.