Big West Road Swing Concludes at Cal Poly

Only five Big West players have successfully dropped more sacrifice bunts than Chandler Wagner (pictured) and Cat Guidry who lead UC Davis with six apiece.
 
Only five Big West players have successfully dropped more sacrifice bunts than Chandler Wagner (pictured) and Cat Guidry who lead UC Davis with six apiece.
 

April 9, 2014

THIS WEEK'S GAMES 

Saturday, April 12
UC Davis Aggies (12-24, 1-5 BWC) at Cal Poly Mustangs (21-14, 3-3 BWC)
4/6 p.m. PT (DH)
Bob Janssen Field - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Video Stream (Both Games)
Live Audio (Cal Poly Feed, Gm. 1)
Live Audio (Cal Poly Feed, Gm. 2)
Live Stats (Both Games)

Sunday, April 13
UC Davis Aggies at Cal Poly Mustangs
12 p.m.
Bob Janssen Field - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Video Stream
Live Audio (Cal Poly Feed)
Live Stats


DAVIS, Calif. - Victorious in nine of its last 12 head-to-head games, UC Davis will end its current six-game Big West road swing this weekend at Cal Poly. Saturday's doubleheader from Bob Janssen Field in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will start at 4 p.m. with Sunday's series finale set for noon. Live stream, live audio (Cal Poly's feed) and live stats links for all three games are available on ucdavisaggies.com and calpolymustangs.com.

ANNUAL TEAM SAMMIE BUNNY DRIVE ARRIVES TO UC DAVIS
For the third straight season, UC Davis softball will host its annual Team Sammie Bunny Drive on April 18th. Taking place throughout that day's doubleheader against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, fans from either team are encouraged to donate a new bunny, or stuffed animal, at the entrance of La Rue Field. 

Before passing at the age of 12 to Osteosarcoma, Samantha "Sammie" Hartsfield bravely battled Osteosarcoma for nearly three years. Created when she noticed that local hospitals ran out of comforting plush toys after the holiday season, Sammie's Bunny Drive is intended to bring a smile to children, like herself, in the form of a cuddly stuffed animal friend.

For additional information or to contribute to Sammie's Bunny Drive, contact a Team Sammie coordinator at teamsammie@yahoo.com or visit www.facebook.com/SammiesBunnyDrive

STRIKE OUT CANCER
The 10th-annual Strike Out Cancer fundraiser and awareness event will take place on Saturday, April 19, in UC Davis' series finale versus UC Santa Barbara. Cancer survivor Lauren B. Tehrani, from UC Davis Athletics, will throw the first pitch in a pregame ceremony, all Aggie softball players will also don pink jerseys to help raise awareness. All donations received that day will benefit cancer research; fans are also encouraged to show their support and wear pink to La Rue Field that day.

THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM?
Originally scheduled for March 19, UC Davis' non-conference home doubleheader against Saint Mary's was postponed once again on March 26, its makeup date. Called once again due to inclement weather, the Gaels-Aggies twinbill will now take place at La Rue Field on May 7. First pitch for is scheduled for 1 p.m. with a 3 p.m. start tentatively set for Gm. 2. 

HELLO AMERICA!
ESPN3 will air two UC Davis softball games this season as part of its broadcast package with the Big West as announced by the league office. On Saturday, May 3, the network will air both games of the Aggies' doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton; a 4 p.m. first pitch is scheduled for the series opener with the second matchup starting 30 minutes after the after the conclusion of the first game.

Every game on ESPN's platforms will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, on Apple TV and Roku to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. 

WELCOME BACK
UC Davis has set its annual Alumnae Day, an event that provides Aggie alums to compete against, and interact with current softball members. Scheduled for Sunday, April 27, Alumnae Day will commence shortly after the series finale between UC Davis and UC Riverside.

Food and drinks will be provided to former softball student-athletes in addition to admission to that day's Big West Conference game. First pitch between the Aggies and Highlanders is scheduled for 12 p.m. 

Alumnae, their friends, family members and guests who interested in attending this year's event are asked to RSVP assistant coach Vicky Rios at vmrrios@ucdavis.edu.

SCOUTING CAL POLY

After last weekend's series at Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly will return home to host UC Davis this weekend. In its 14-1 victory against the Gauchos, the Mustangs' bats were on fire as the team set new season highs with 13 RBI, two triples and tied another 2014 mark by recording 15 hits. In that same game, freshman right-handed pitcher/infielder Sierra Hyland finished 5-for-5, hit a home run and added another four RBI to her total.

Joining a team that finished eighth in 2013, Hyland is the primary reason why the Mustangs already surpassed last year's win total, and will experience one of the biggest turnarounds of any Big West team this year. Cal Poly finished eighth last season with a 19-34 overall and 8-16 record against conference teams; this year's squad enters this weekend 21-14 and 3-3 respectively with  17 games remaining. 

THIS LOOKS FAMILIAR
Last weekend's series against Cal State Northridge struck a deeper personal chord for Caitlin Voss and assistant coach Vicky Rios, two members of UC Davis softball who were also part of the Matadors' program at one point of their playing careers.

Rios transferred to Cal State Northridge in 1993, where she earned All-Western Athletic Conference honorable mention, helped her team win the conference title and reach the final eight of the Women's College World Series. As a senior in 1994, she capped her career by leading the Matadors to another WAC championship and a second-place finish at the Women's CWS. 

Once again, Rios garnered All-WAC honorable mention and received her team's Most Inspirational and Outstanding Defense awards.

Voss, a junior catcher/infielder for UC Davis, attended CSUN in 2009-10 and did not compete due to injury before transferring to Hancock College the following season.

FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME
A stellar performance at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic (3/8-9) helped sophomore utility player Kelly Zboralske earn Field Player of the Week accolades from the Big West Conference. With the announcement, Zboralske became the first UC Davis field player since Alex Holmes was recognized on March 14, 2011, to garner softball weekly honors.

Throughout her team's four games played, the Orangevale, Calif., native drove in five of her team's 11 runs and hit 7-for-14 (.500). Of her seven hits, five were for extra bases as she recorded four doubles in addition to cranking her team-high fifth home run of the season. 

What started with a 2-for-4 batting effort at Sacramento State, one of three multi-hit performances last week, continued during her team's stay in Stanford. Against her team's cross-Causeway rivals, Zboralske was responsible for the Aggies' lone double. Against North Dakota State and Portland State, she smacked another three hits-all doubles.

In a 4-2 win against the Bison, Zboralske drove in more runs (3) than North Dakota's entire roster combined. When UC Davis faced Portland State, her run-scoring double was a key element in the Aggies' 4-3, eighth-inning victory. Zboralske hit 2-for-3, scored a run scored and hit her team-high fifth home run in a narrow 3-2 loss to No. 22/17 Stanford.  Her solo shot tied the game at 2-2 and nearly forced a second straight extra-inning game for the Aggies.

TOUCH `EM ALL
Last season, UC Davis hit 10 home runs, the second-lowest total of any Big West team. This year, the Aggies have already surpassed this total and have hit 15 over the fence. Led by Kelly Zboralske with five and Lauren Saunders with four, five different players have gone long for UC Davis in 2014. Including Zboralske and Saunders, Krista Bava, Amy Nunez and Caitlin Voss have each hit two.

AGGIES VS. THE NATION
Through games played as of April 6, numerous Aggies possess NCAA national rankings in a variety of categories.

Christa Castello
Hit by Pitch Per Game: No. 85 (0.22/gm.)
Toughest to Strikeout: No. 128 (1K/15.4 AB)

Dana Cruse
Shutouts: No. 137 (2)

Leah Munden
Saves: No. 40 (2)

Kelly Zboralske
Triples: No. 114 (2)

HOME SWEET HOME
When UC Davis took the field against Long Beach State for its inaugural Big West series on March 30, the team played its first games at La Rue Field after competing in 17 straight away from Davis. As a reward for their travels, the Aggies are in the midst of a six-game road swing that will conclude this weekend at Cal Poly.

UC Davis' lengthy road trip is second only to UC Santa Barbara and its 20-game road trip among the eight Big West softball teams.

IT'S A HIT! SORT OF...
The Aggies' toughness has also been displayed throughout the 2014 season as evident by its league-high 36 hit-by-pitches.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
One double shy of UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara who are tied for No. 3 at 41, UC Davis has recorded 40 doubles this season. With 18 games remaining, the Aggies have already hit more two-baggers this season than the entire 2013 campaign (35). Junior first baseman Amy Nunez leads all Aggies with eight doubles and possesses a slight lead over teammates Kelly Zboralske and Christa Castello who each have seven.

With 60 doubles to its credit, the 2009 roster is responsible for setting the Division I school record; the 2004 season was UC Davis' first as a D-1 program. 

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Ranked No. 2 in the conference behind only UC Riverside's 39, UC Davis has successfully dropped 35 sacrifice bunts this season. Nearly one-sixth of that total have been earned by sophomore outfielder Cat Guidry and senior second baseman Chandler Wagner; only five Big West players have recorded more sacrifice bunts than Guidry and Wagner's six.  

SHE'S SAFE! IN THE CIRCLE?
Thanks to Leah Munden and her team-high two, UC Davis is ranked No. 3 in the Big West alongside UC Riverside with three saves. 

REACHING BASE, AND THEN SOME
Climbing her way up the Big West Conference's list of top sluggers is Kelly Zboralske as the sophomore utility player is No. 9 among all Big West players with her .550 slugging percentage.

ACE OF BASE(S)
Named a starter in every game played this season, Kelly Zboralske is also tied for No. 8 among all conference players with 60 total bases. 

THE LEADERS OF UC DAVIS' HIT SQUAD
Christa Castello and Kelly Zboralske lead all Aggies with 35 and 34 hits respectively; collectively, the pair is responsible for more than 30 percent of their team's total. Entering this weekend's series in San Luis Obispo, Zboralske also holds the Aggies' top batting average (.312).

FAST AS LIGHTNING
In her 32 appearances, Brianna Warner has successfully stolen a base in all 10 of her attempts. Her team-high total is also doubles as the league's fourth-highest mark.

NO RUNS FOR YOU!
Freshman right-hander Andrea Reynolds is now ranked No. 7 among all Big West pitchers with her 3.69 earned run average.

VOSS AND C. GUIDRY PROVIDE 1-2 PUNCH
Throughout the Aggies' stay in Cathedral City, Calif. (2/21-23), as a participant in the prestigious Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Cat Guidry and Caitlin Voss led the way for their team at the plate throughout the entire weekend. In her four games played, sophomore outfielder Cat Guidry hit 5-for-9 (.556) and scored four runs; Voss, a senior catcher and designated player, hit 5-for-11 (.455), drove in four runs, scored twice and hit a home run. 

ONE STEP CLOSER TO CLINCHING
Freshman right-hander Dana Cruse surrendered just two hits in five-plus innings for her first collegiate win while sophomore shortstop Christa Castello collected two singles and drove in the game's only run, leading UC Davis to a 1-0 victory over Sacramento State in this season's home Causeway Cup event (2/12). The victory added another 2.50 points in the Aggies' Causeway column; two weeks later, UC Davis collected enough points to defend its title and earn its sixth Causeway championship in the Cup's 10-year history.

COACH YODER COLLECTS NO. 200
When UC Davis stepped off the diamond after capturing a 2-1 win against Robert Morris on Feb. 15, at the Stacy Winsburg Memorial Tournament, head coach Karen Yoder recorded victory No. 200 as an Aggie.

AGGIES SELECTED FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL
Even though six position starters, two starting pitchers and both All-Big West selections return for UC Davis in 2014, the Aggies received a fifth-place result in this season's preseason coaches poll as released by the Big West Conference on Monday. 

Hawai'i, the defending conference champion, narrowly captured first place by finishing with 59 points and four first-place votes, four more points than second-place Long Beach State who received 55 in addition to its three first-place votes. Cal State Fullerton, a team the Aggies defeated in two of three matchups last year, rounded out the top three with its 46-point total and one first-place vote.

UC Santa Barbara finished fourth with 40 points, followed by UC Davis and its 30 points; Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside completed the list in sixth, seventh and eighth place with their respective totals of 25, 24 and nine points.

LISTEN LIVE FROM LA RUE FIELD
KDVS, UC Davis' campus radio station, will simulcast eight home games from La Rue Field this season both online at ucdavisaggies.com, and on terrestrial radio at 90.3 FM. Games on its broadcast schedule include:

Feb. 11 vs. Pacific
Feb. 12 vs. Sacramento State
Feb. 18 vs. Stanford
April 18 vs. UC Santa Barbara (both games of that day's doubleheader)
Apr. 19 vs. UC Santa Barbara
May 9 vs. Hawai'i (both games)

"We have not finalized our schedule since we have softball fans at the station and are working on scheduling additional extra internet-only broadcasts as the season progresses," said Samuel Meckler, co-director for KDVS.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
The last time a no- or one-hitter (since the Aggies became a Division I program in 2005) involving UC Davis, or one of its opponents, took place on:

No-Hitter
UC Davis: March 11, 2012, thrown by Justine Vela vs. Idaho State
Aggie opponent: March 25, 2012, vs. CSU-Bakersfield

One-Hitter
UC Davis: March 10, 2013, thrown by Justine Vela vs. Pittsburgh at the Diamond Devil Invitational (Hosted by ASU in Tempe, Ariz.)
Aggie opponent: Feb. 14, 2014, at UCLA

Perfect Game
UC Davis: None
Aggie opponent: None