UC Davis (3-3) at Bulldog Classic hosted by Fresno State
Fri.-Sun., Feb. 16-18, 2018 | Margie Wright Diamond | Fresno, Calif.
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: http://gobulldogs.com/news/2018/1/11/softball-bulldog-classic-tournament-central.aspx
Feb. 16 vs. Pacific, 12:30 p.m. — Live Video | Live Stats
Feb. 16 at (RV) Fresno State, 6 p.m. — Live Video | Live Stats
Feb. 17 vs. CSU Bakersfield, 9 a.m. — Live Video | Live Stats
Feb. 17 vs. Saint Mary’s, 2 p.m. — Live Video | Live Stats
Feb. 18 vs. Pacific, 9:30 a.m. — Live Video | Live Stats
PLAY BALL!: California’s Central Valley awaits UC Davis softball this weekend as the Aggies (3-3 overall) make the trek down Highway 99 as one of five teams participating in the 2018 Bulldog Classic hosted by Fresno State at Margie Wright Diamond. Tournament play begins at 10 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 16) and runs through Sunday (Feb. 18), with the Aggies playing twice on opening day, two more on Saturday, and the opening game of the day on Sunday. During the event, UC Davis will take on Northern California rival Pacific (twice), CSU Bakersfield, Saint Mary’s, and host Fresno State — which is receiving votes in the latest NFCA/USA Today coaches poll.
CAN’T MAKE THE TRIP?: Every game of the tournament will be streamed live online via Fresno State’s Mountain West Network channel, with live stats also available for every contest. Links to both the online video and live stats are linked above and also available on the UC Davis softball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
IN THE POLLS: After facing four teams either ranked or receiving votes in their first six games of the season, the Aggies will take on only one nationally recognized program this weekend in Fresno, taking on the host Bulldogs on Friday night. Fresno State enters the week receiving four votes in the first USA Today/NFCA regular season coaches poll released on Feb. 13.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with a 3-2 record after spending opening weekend in Arizona at the Grand Canyon Kickoff Tournament… The Tigers posted wins over Weber State, Montana, and the host Antelopes, while closing the weekend against the top-ranked team in the land, No. 1 Oklahoma… Sophomore infielder Samantha Owen led Pacific at the plate in Phoenix, hitting .438 with three runs scored, a triple, a home run, and seven RBI… Sophomore right-hander Hailey Reed posted a 2.25 ERA in the circle over 9.1 innings, striking out nine to pace the Tigers in the circle.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Fresno State enters the weekend with a 3-2 overall record after joining UC Davis at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, posting wins over Stanford, Purdue, and Notre Dame, while falling to a pair of top-10 opponents in No. 3 Oregon and No. 7 Arizona… Senior infielder Savannah McHellon leads the offense after week one, batting .417 with a pair of home runs and four RBI… Senior infielder Katie Castellon has also hit a pair over the fence, while sophomore infielder Schuylar Broussard has driven in a team-high five runs… Freshman left-hander Danielle East is 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA in the circle for the ‘Dogs, striking out eight over 15 innings.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: CSU Bakersfield enters the week with an 0-5 record after spending opening weekend at the USD Tournament in San Diego… The Roadrunners fell to Campbell twice and the host Toreros three times during the event, with three of the five contests decided by two runs or fewer… Junior infielder Paige Johnson leads the offense following the opening weekend of play, batting .375 with six hits and four RBI in the first five games… Senior outfielder Kaylynn Burt has scored four of the team’s 16 runs, while slugging a pair of triples and stealing a pair of bases… Senior right-hander Summer Evans started four of the five contests over the weekend, posting an 0-4 mark with an 8.81 ERA in 10.1 innings… Freshman right-hander Kaycee Olson also saw significant action in relief, throwing 12.1 innings and striking out six over that span.
SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary’s enters the weekend with an 0-6 record after opening the season at the Kajikawa Classic, outscored during the event by a, 45-15, count… Senior utility Hailey Sparacino leads all Gaels’ regulars at the plate, batting .533 (8-for-15) with four runs scored, a double, three home runs, and three RBI… She has slugged 1.200 in the six games thus far, with an on-base percentage of .667 after walking three times and thrice being hit by a pitch… Freshman right-hander Eileen Perez led the team in innings pitched (19.1) during opening weekend, posting an 0-3 record with a 7.45 ERA and striking out 13… Opponents are hitting .381 against Saint Mary’s this season, while the Gaels have hit only .195 through the first six games as a team.
SERIES RECORDS: Pacific leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 24-13; The Aggies are still looking for their first win against Fresno State after the Bulldogs have won all 11 previous contests; The series with CSU Bakersfield is tied at 37-37-1; UC Davis leads the all-time series with Saint Mary’s, 34-13.
LAST TIME OUT: UC Davis fought the No. 23-ranked team in the country tooth and nail on Wednesday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif., but host California escaped with a 1-0 victory over the Aggies on its home field after a sixth-inning wild pitch plated the only run of the contest. Freshman left-hander Brooke Yanez (2-1) tossed a gem in the hard-luck loss, holding a Golden Bears offense that had out-scored the opposition, 19-3, during opening weekend to just four hits while striking out eight without a walk. Yanez, fellow freshman Alyse Rojas, and senior Ashley Lotoszynski each had hits for the Aggies.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE AGGIES: UC Davis returns 13 letter winners, four position starters, and three pitchers, off of last season’s squad that finished 22-32 overall and 7-14 in the Big West Conference a season ago… Of the 22-woman roster, nine newcomers are featured (more on that later)… Having lost their top four hitters from last season, the offense is led by senior Ashley Lotoszynski, who leads all returners with a .259 average to go with 32 runs scored, 10 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI… Her 32 runs were second on the team, while her 10 doubles, five home runs, and 30 RBI, all either led or co-led the team in 2017 en route to All-Big West honorable mention honors… Sophomore right-hander Katie Kibby returns for her second season in the circle for the Aggies after posting a 15-9 overall record and a 3.33 ERA in 166 innings… She finished with 80 strikeouts and held opponents to a .259 average on the year, picking up Big West honorable mention and All-Freshman Team laurels.
YANEZ NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: A 2-0 record with a 0.44 ERA in two starts in the circle helped lead freshman left-hander Brooke Yanez to Big West Pitcher of the Week honors following the first weekend of the regular season. The first-year animal science major from Ventura, Calif., posted a pair of complete-game victories over South Dakota and San Diego State at the Kajikawa Classic, allowing just one earned run over 16 innings, striking out 21 against only five walks. Read the complete release online here: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/021218aaa.html.
A LONG TIME COMING: Yanez became on the third UC Davis pitcher to win Big West weekly honors — and the first since 2013 — joining Alex Holmes, who won the award five times in her career, and Justine Vela, who took home four pitcher of the week honors — including the last in 2013.
SPECIAL “K”: Opposing hitters were catching a lot of air against Yanez last week in Arizona as the freshman opened her Division I career with 11 strikeouts against South Dakota and added 10 more victims against the Aztecs in an extra-inning affair to close out the tournament. The 11 strikeouts were the most by an Aggie pitcher since Vela struck out 11 at Hawai’i in 2013, and is the first UC Davis hurler to post back-to-back double-digit strikeout games since Vela did so against Pittsburgh (14) and CSU Bakersfield (12) earlier in that same 2013 season. Following Wednesday’s start against California, Yanez ranks No. 6 in the nation with 29 strikeouts this season and is averaging 9.2 strikeouts per seven innings.
“LOTO” NUMBERS: With one RBI last weekend in Arizona, senior agriculture and environmental education major Ashley Lotoszynski inched closer to one milestone, needing just one more to match Christa Castello’s Division I record of 72 established last season. Lotoszynski enters her final collegiate season just three doubles and a trio of home runs shy of Amy Nunez’s career Division I marks of 29 and 14, respectively, and needs just one double and three home runs to break into the all-time top 10s in those respective categories.
FRANKIE SAYS RELAX: Following a rough beginning to open her first career start against No. 12 Tennessee at the Kajikawa Classic, sophomore right-hander Frankie Mendoza settled in nicely and closed out her stay in Arizona with a strong appearance in relief against UTEP. Mendoza, a biological sciences major, tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless softball from the third inning on against the Volunteers, retiring seven straight at one point while allowing just two hits and stranding three the rest of the way, following that up a day later with two innings of hitless, scoreless, relief to claim her first career win against the Miners, striking out one.
GO-GO-GOMONET: Don’t blink, you just might miss her. Freshman Aly Gomonet has opened her collegiate career a perfect 5-for-5 in the stolen base category as the Aggies’ lead-off hitter through the first six games, collecting three hits and walking a team-high three times. Having reached base safely in four of the team’s six contests, the neurobiology, physiology, and behavior, major from Salinas, Calif., has also scored a team-high four runs. Her 0.83 stolen bases per game are No. 27 in the nation entering this weekend’s tournament.
“LEON” ON ME: Sophomore cognitive science major Isabella Leon had herself quite a weekend in Arizona, collecting hits in three of her four appearances while batting a team-high .462 for the weekend. She slugged her first career home run — a grand slam — as part of a nine-run sixth inning that lifted the Aggies to a 12-4 win over UTEP, finishing 3-for-3 at the plate, and added two hits, including a double, against No. 7 Arizona. Her six hits thus far this season are already more than half of her total from all of last year (11).
“HELLO, MY NAME IS…”: Name tags may be a new feature of the Aggies’ jerseys this season as nearly half of the team’s 2018 roster will be made up of newcomers. Nine of the team’s 22 players will be new to the program this season — eight true freshmen and one transfer. The eight freshmen are the most of any team in the Big West this season — and the most for an Aggie roster since the 2014 squad had the same number — while the nine newcomers are the fourth-most in the league behind Hawai’i (12), Long Beach State (11), and CSUN (10).
TITANS PICKED TO REPEAT IN BIG WEST COACHES POLL: Defending Big West champion Cal State Fullerton was picked to repeat as Big West champions in 2018 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches, receiving four of the eight available first-place votes and 57 points overall to edge Long Beach State, which received three first-place votes and 53 points. CSUN (43) and Hawai’i (32) were next in third and fourth, respectively, while UC Riverside (31) — which picked up the remaining first-place vote — and Cal Poly (31) tied for fifth. UC Santa Barbara (29) and UC Davis (12) rounded out the poll.
A GEM OF A DIAMOND: Having undergone a complete face-lift since the end of the 2017 season, the Aggies hit the dirt at the renovated La Rue Field for the first time on Feb. 2, 2018, officially breaking in the new home of UC Davis softball. The multi-million dollar project is funded, in large part, by donations to the Marya Welch Initiative for Women’s Athletics — established to raise awareness and financial support for UC Davis’ 14 NCAA women’s sports.
Construction began in early October with the entire field being razed along with the metal bleachers and dugouts. In its place, a laser graded field featuring upgraded drainage and fresh sod in the outfield, along with new dugouts, renovated bullpens, and a concrete backstop with netting behind home plate to improve sightlines for fans. A new scoreboard has been added beyond the right-field fence and the entire field is scheduled to be wrapped in updated graphics and branding in line with the other home facilities, bringing with it a new level of “Aggie Pride.”
Home of the Aggies since the late 1980's, La Rue Field was recognized as the "Softball Field of the Year" by the Sports Turf Managers Association in 1999 and has hosted six NCAA Division II West Region tournaments from 1994-02.
For more information on the Marya Welch Initiative for Women’s Athletics, or to make a contribution, visit us online at https://give.ucdavis.edu/ATHG/324041.
SAAC COIN DRIVE
Support the UC Davis Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Yolo County SPCA during the month of February as the Aggies hold their 11th annual coin drive at all home events. For the fourth year in a row, Big West Conference institutions will donate 100 percent of the funds raised to their designated charities, with the top three fundraising SAAC’s receiving a cash prize toward their SAAC budget. Over the last 10 years, conference members have combined to raise nearly $197,000.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.