UC Riverside Highlanders (28-14-1, 4-5 BWC)
UC Davis Aggies (14-22, 3-6 BWC)
Saturday, April 23 - 1 p.m. (DH)
Sunday, April 24 - 1 p.m.
La Rue Field (500) - Davis, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. - Before UC Davis opens its final five-game road swing of the season, softball will host three games at La Rue Field against UC Riverside. Both Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s season finale will begin at 1 p.m.; live stats and internet radio broadcasts links for each game are available at ucdavisaggies.com.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE
- Last weekend, UC Riverside dropped two of three home games against Hawai’i
- By winning the series finale, the Highlanders prevented the Rainbow Wahine from recording a road sweep
- UCR enters this weekend’s series tied for third place alongside three other teams
- With just two wins separating second place CSUN and the rest of the conference, this week’s series will help either UC Riverside or UC Davis climb the Big West standings
- UC Davis is 22-12 all-time vs. UC Riverside, and 13-5 in games played at La Rue Field
- The Highlanders have won the last four straight games; prior to UCR’s current streak, UC Davis won four in a row
- UC Riverside’s .314 batting average is the highest in the conference
- The Highlanders’ .386 on base percentage is the second-highest among all Big West squads
- UC Riverside’s 74 stolen bases is the second-highest total in the BWC, second only to the Aggies’ 76; UCSB, Hawai’i, Cal Poly and Long Beach State have swiped 77 combined
- The Highlanders won 11 straight games from February 26-March 11, the longest winning streak for the program since the team made the move to the Big West Conference in 2002
- The Highlanders haven’t had two pitchers record double digit wins in the same season since joining the Big West Conference in 2002, but that might change this season since sophomore right-hander Tayler Misfeldt is 18-8 on the year and sophomore right-hander Kaylynn Pierce is 9-4
This weekend’s series between UC Davis and UC Riverside will feature four of the top eight base stealers in the league. League-leader Brianna Warner enters with 34 steals, trailing her by one bag is Madeline Richard. Ranked No. 3 in the league with 23 stolen bases is Jenna Curtain; UC Davis’ Taylor Peters is tied for No. 5 with her 16 steals.
THAT’S A WAY TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
By batting .500 throughout last weekend’s series at Cal State Fullerton, including a 3-for-3 effort in the series opener, first-year Aggie Taiya McInnes now holds a team-high .326 batting average. The junior transfer from Alabama A&M has started 17 of 18 games played; of those starts, she was the team’s DP in 12 games, caught another four and started another at first.
ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH, NADA
For the second time as a Division I program, UC Davis recorded shutouts in both games of a league doubleheader when the Aggies blanked Hawai’i, 1-0 and 3-0 on April 2. This occasion first took place when UC Davis visited CSUN during the 2012 season. The Aggies posted scores of 1-0 and 2-0 en route to a road sweep against the Matadors.
DIVISION I CLEAN SHEET SWEEPS
UC Davis’ shutout sweep against the Rainbow Wahine also marked the ninth time that shutouts were recorded in back-to-back games since the Aggies began competing as a Division I program during the 2007-08 season. The other eight attempts are:
Winthrop (3-0) at the Cathedral City Classic - 2/10/08
vs. Seton Hall (4-0) at the UNLV Desert Classic - 2/15/08
vs. Canisius (1-0) - 3/13/09
vs. Sacramento State (5-0) - 3/13/09
at Saint Mary’s (1-0 and 11-0) - 2/21/09
Utah Valley (6-0 and 1-0) - 3/5/11
at Pacific (3-0) - 5/5/12
at Cal State Fullerton (5-0) - 5/11/12
at CSUN (1-0 and 2-0) - 4/6/12
at UC Riverside (1-0) - 4/12/13
vs. Cal State Fullerton (1-0) - 4/27/13
Sacramento State (1-0) - 2/12/14
vs. Western Kentucky (2-0) at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Classic - 2/14/14
MOVIN’ ON UP
Twenty-two games into the season, junior centerfielder Brianna Warner set a new all-time single-season record for stolen bases when she swiped her 21st and 22nd vs. Stony Brook (3/12). By doing so, she topped the previous high of 20 bases originally set by Megan Turman during the 2004 season.
WARNER WRITES HER NAME ONCE AGAIN
Six games after setting a new all-time single season stolen base record, Brianna Warner became the Aggies’ new No. 1 mark when she swiped her 55th career bag when Hawai’i visited La Rue Field on April 1.
Entering UC Davis’ Big West opener against the Rainbow Wahine, the junior centerfielder and Belinda Paine (2006-09) shared the all-time record with 54 steals apiece.
BASE-SWIPING HAT TRICK
At her current pace Warner will set a new Big West single-season stolen base record, topping the current high of 47 set by UC Riverside’s Dionne Anderson in 2014.
MANY TRIED, ALL OF THEM FAILED
Brianna Warner has successfully stolen a base in all 34 attempts this season, and is approaching the one-year anniversary since she was last caught stealing: April 25, in the Aggies’ series opener at UC Riverside. Since that occasion, this season’s No. 1 base stealer in the Big West Conference has swiped 37 straight bags throughout a 43-game block of action.
ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST
Brianna Warner is one of the top base stealers in the nation, and the numbers prove it since her 0.94 stolen base per game average is the sixth-highest among all Division I players in the country.
THE AGGIES’ POTENT 1-2 PUNCH
Also giving opponents fits on the basepaths this season is junior utility player Taylor Peters. Entering this weekend’s games with 15 steals, Peters is tied for No. 5 in the Big West with 15 stolen bases and No. 86 in the nation averaging 0.47 stolen bases per game.
With a league-high 76 bags to their credit so far this season, thanks to the base-swiping efforts of 11 different players, the Aggies are ranked No. 15 among all Division I teams in stolen bases per game (2.11).
TRULY TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Warner is not the only Aggie who will (most likely) set a new all-time program mark since Christina Guidry will tie the program’s Division I single-season and career sacrifice fly records on her next occasion.
Guidry has already hit a league-high three this year, which bumped her career total to four; Chandler Wagner hit four as a junior during the 2013 season, and is one of three Aggies with a career-high five to her credit.
That trio is comprised of Wagner (2011-14), Rachel Miller (2009-12) and Alex Holmes (2008-11).
LIGHTS OUT FROM START TO FINISH
Against Stony Brook (3/12) and Dartmouth (3/26), Andrea Reynolds collected the first two complete-game victories of her career in consecutive appearances. The San Luis Obispo native was nearly perfect, allowing only two hits through seven full innings to help her team record a 5-0 shutout against Stony Brook, then returned to the circle and allowed only four hits against the Ivy League’s defending champion and 2015 NCAA Tournament participant.
THAT DID NOT LAST LONG
Led by Brianna Warner with three, UC Davis stole nine bases against Iona (3/25) to set another new all-time single-game record, topping the previous total of seven, which was set in the Aggies’ preceding game on March 12 vs. Stony Brook. Also swiping bags against the Gaels were Taylor Peters (2), Christina Guidry, Kaila Olson, Taiya McInnes and Alicia Paine.
YOU BETTER NOT LEAVE EARLY
UC Davis will compete from the opening pitch, until the final out, as evident by its three come-from-behind victories during its non-conference schedule. Down 8-6 against Weber State (2/21), in the Aggies’ DeMarini Desert Classic finale, UC Davis scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to record a 9-8 result.
The following week at its own tournament, the Aggie Invitational II, UC Davis allowed Idaho State (2/26) to score its only run of the game, only to tie the game shortly thereafter and snap that tie in the bottom of the seventh when Kelly Zboralske drove in Ashley Lotoszynski from first base.
The late-game heroics continued for UC Davis the following day; after spotting South Dakota six runs in the top of the first, the Aggies battled back, forced extra innings after the score was tied in 8-8 through seven frames. UC Davis then gave up another two runs in the top of the eighth, only to battle back and score three unanswered, in the bottom half of that inning, to collect a dramatic 11-10 win.
Freshman infielder Meghan Bradbury drove in a team-high five of the Aggies’ six RBI when UC Davis faced Nevada (2/19) in the opening game of the DeMarini Desert Classic. She is the first player to record five RBI since Christa Castello accomplished this feat in the first game of a March 22 doubleheader at Saint Mary’s.
TWO TIMES THE TROUBLE FOR OPPONENTS
In the same game where she recorded a season-high five RBI vs. the Wolf Pack, Bradbury also hit two home runs. This is the first time a player recorded two jacks, in the same game, since Lauryn Saunders hit two over the fence at Cal State Fullerton, in that series finale on May 4, 2014.
FOUR IS FINE BY ME
UC Davis won the final game at the DeMarini Desert Classic in comeback fashion, against Weber State (2/21) thanks to a four-RBI effort from junior catcher Katie Robertson. She drove in her first two by hitting the first home run of her career; the final two capped the Aggies’ sixth-inning comeback when two runs scored on her single.
Robertson entered that matchup, against Weber State, with four career RBI.
THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME
UC Davis softball fans will have plenty of opportunities to watch their team compete at La Rue Field with 31 games taking place on campus in 2016. By comparison, 30 home games took place throughout the last two years combined.
TO PLAY YOUR BEST YOU NEED TO PLAY THE BEST
Softball’s 2016 schedule features games against six teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
UC Davis faced two squads, Utah, a regional finalist, and Weber State, the winner of the Big Sky Tournament, during the DeMarini Desert Classic — the Aggies’ first road tournament Matchups against Florida State, the ACC’s tournament champion, No. 9 NCAA national seed and Super Regional participant, and UCLA, a team that received a No. 7 national playoff ranking and advanced to the Second Round of the Women’s College World Series, took place at the Aggies’ other road pre-league event, the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.
Ivy Conference Tournament winner Dartmouth visited Davis in the program’s final home tournament, the Aggie Spring Swing Invitational. A three-game series at CSUN, the Big West Conference’s playoff representative and defending league champion, will take place during the final week of the regular season.