Feb. 17, 2014
No. 17/14 Stanford Cardinal (11-0)
UC Davis Aggies (4-8)
Tuesday, Feb. 18 – 1:30 p.m.
La Rue Field (500) – Davis, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. – Before traveling to Cathedral City, Calif., as a participant in one of the nation’s most prestigious softball tournaments–the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic–UC Davis will host No. 17/14 Stanford Tuesday afternoon in this year’s home matchup against its Pac-12 rival.
First pitch at La Rue Field is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.; softball fans unable to attend in-person can access KDVS’ broadcast on 90.3 FM, or online at ucdavisaggies.com.
In each of the last two seasons, UC Davis captured one-run victories against the Cardinal, a trend the Aggies will look to replicate in each team’s only midweek game. As is the case with UC Davis, Stanford will also travel to Cathedral City this weekend.
On Feb. 15, 2012, now-softball alum Jessica Thweatt threw a complete-game five hitter to help UC Davis defeat Stanford 2-1. With that home victory, the Aggies posted their first victory over the Cardinal for the first time in 17 seasons.
Just over two months later in that year’s return game, Mother Nature thwarted a contest that was shaping up to become another UC Davis victory.
With the Aggies leading 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Cardinal personnel decided to end that matchup prematurely due to rain–one frame shy of reaching the five-inning threshold needed for the game to become official. At the time the game was called, Justine Vela held a no-hit bid and fanned five batters.
In one of the most memorable events of 2013, Stanford was first to take the lead in last season’s matchup at La Rue Field, but it was UC Davis that possessed an advantage when it counted the most as the Aggies scored three runs in the seventh inning to come-from-behind and defeat the Cardinal by a 5-4 score.
UC Davis has already competed in five games against ranked teams, experience that head coach Karen Yoder will help her young squad in its matchup against a team ranked No. 17/14 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ and ESPN/USA Softball’s national poll released on Feb. 11.
After earning her first two wins as an Aggie at last weekend’s Stacy Winsburg Memorial Tournament, freshman right-hander Dana Cruse enters her next home game leading a UC Davis pitching staff with her 2.90 ERA, eight appearances (tied with freshman righty Andrea Reynolds’ total), 29.0 innings pitched and 13 strikeouts.
In a week that included seven games and saw the sophomore shortstop lead her team with nine hits and five RBI, finish with a team-high .458 slugging percentage, .423 on base percentage and record her team’s first triple of the year, Christa Castello leads an Aggie attack that has their sights set on capturing their second straight home victory.
In last Wednesday’s Causeway Cup contest, UC Davis recorded its first home victory of 2014 thanks to a combination of stellar defense, clutch hitting and an impressive two-hit outing from Cruse in her debut appearance at La Rue Field.
Entering Tuesday’s game, Stanford has won all 11 of its games played, including the last five played at its own tournament. Of those victories, freshman right-hander Madi Schreyer was the pitcher of record in eight games.
Led by freshman outfielder Bessie Noll and her .552 batting average, four Cardinal are hitting .400 or above this season. Trailing their teammate are junior outfielder Leah White (.455), freshman infielder Kylie Sorenson (.448) and junior outfielder Cassandra Roulund (.429).
With Stanford opening its season with six games in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday’s non-conference contest is the first true road game of the year for the Cardinal.