DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis will end the 2014 season with a five-game homestand beginning Wednesday, May 7 against the Saint Mary's Gaels. Once completed, the Aggies will experience a short turnaround before facing the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors, in their final Big West Conference series of the weekend, starting with a doubleheader on Friday, May 9. First pitch for both doubleheaders is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Prior to its final game of the year, a pregame ceremony will take place honoring the four members of UC Davis' senior class. Jessica Barrett, Kimberly Pena, Caitlin Voss and Chandler Wagner will be recognized for their contributions to the program prior to Saturday's 12 p.m. first pitch.
Live stats for all five game are available for fans to access at ucdavisaggies.com, that website will also provide internet audio links for Friday's doubleheader versus Hawai'i. UC Davis softball fans can also listen to Joey Kistler's simulcast on KDVS 90.3 FM.
THANK YOU SENIORS!
On Saturday UC Davis will honor Jessica Barrett, Kimberly Pena, Caitlin Voss and Chandler Wagner as part of Senior Day. During a pregame ceremony, all four will be recognized for their contribution to the program; first pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.
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 is scheduled for 1 p.m.
DON'T LEAVE YOUR SEAT
Last weekend at Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis made its inaugural appearance on ESPN3 in Saturday's doubleheader against the Titans. In an action-packed twinbill, the Aggies and Titans hit five home runs and scored 24 runs combined. The following day, UC Davis was responsible for four of the five pitches that left Anderson Family Field and nine of the 14 runs recorded in the series finale.
YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST
UC Davis third baseman Christina Guidry scored her team's first two runs, and commenced the Aggies' offensive exhibition by hitting her first career home run in the top of the third inning. Before Guidry's swing, UC Davis trailed 3-0; afterwards, those two runs were the first of eight unanswered en route to a 9-6 victory.
Christina Guidry's round-tripper was the first of four home runs hit by UC Davis in its series finale at Cal State Fullerton. Amy Nunez nearly dented the lower left-hand corner of the scoreboard with her shot, also to left field like Guidry's, with Lauryn Saunders blasting solo shots in back-to-back innings (4th and 5th), both to the gap in right.
The Aggies last hit four home runs in a single game on March 15, 2012, when UC Davis faced Virginia at the Judi Garman Classic. Ironically, both occasions took place at Anderson Family Field on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
PITCH TO HER AT YOUR OWN RISK
Last Sunday's series finale also featured another rare feat when Lauryn Saunders hit two home runs in the same game to push her total to a team-high seven. February 15, 2009 was the last time an Aggie accomplished this feat when Kelly Harman homered twice against Hawai'i (ironically, UC Davis' upcoming and final Big West opponent of 2014) at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Classic in Las Vegas.
Unlike Harman, who hit two within a three-inning timespan, Saunders hit her solo shots in the fourth and fifth innings.
THAT'S PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE
In its previously played Big West series at Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis hit a total of six home runs; the Aggies recorded 10 throughout the entire 2013 season. Also going long against the Titans were Kelly Zboralske and Krista Bava.
YOU WILL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT
Going the distance in series opener versus UC Riverside on April 26, Dana Cruse earned her third complete-game shutout victory of the season. The freshman right-hander threw a gem for the Aggies, allowing only one hit to the Highlanders throughout the first four frames. Even though UCR recorded another two hits throughout the final three innings, no player ever came close to scoring thanks to the Cruse's effort.
TWO TIMES THE FUN
Shortly after recording her shutout victory in the first of two games against the UC Riverside Highlanders, Dana Cruse returned to the circle at La Rue Field as the Aggies' Gm. 2 starter. By giving up only two hits through five full innings, Cruse collected her second victory in as many games to help UC Davis win the weekend series.
AGGIES VS. THE NATION
Through games played on May 4, UC Davis, and its players hold numerous national rankings.
Hit by Pitch Per Game: No. 118 (0.18/gm.)
Toughest to Strikeout: No. 47 (1K/20.6 AB)
Triples: No. 97 (3)
Shutouts: No. 148 (3)
Saves: No. 33 (3)
Sacrifice Flies: No. 71 (3)
The Aggies are also ranked No. 43 in the nation with their 0.39 double plays per game average.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S
A road-heavy portion of Saint Mary's schedule continues Wednesday afternoon when the Gaels visit Davis to compete in their final non-conference games of the year. The twice-postponed (due to weather) doubleheader starts a week that will see SMC travel to Provo, Utah, to face BYU in the final games of the season-a series that will determine this year's West Coast Conference softball champion.
Including this week's five-game road swing, Saint Mary's will end the regular season with eight road games out of its final nine played. In its previously played WCC weekend series, the Gaels swept Santa Clara on its own diamond; only a home game against Stanford, one SMC lost 2-1 on April 30, provided the only respite from three weeks of road action.
Sporting the best pitching staff in the WCC, sophomore right-hander Lujane Mussadi and freshman utility player Katie Moss are the top two pitchers in the conference with their 0.61 ad 0.62 ERA in conference games only and 2.12 and 2.91 overall ERAs. The pair also sport respective overall records of 13-12 and 2-4.
At the plate, sophomore catcher Andrea Hazel possesses one of her league's top-five batting averages with her .346 percentage. The Gaels' top offensive threat, Hazel also holds team-high totals with her 46 hits, 25 RBI, six home runs and .399 on-base percentage. Sophomore infielder Erica Musgrave and Hazel have each scored 16 runs, trailing only senior outfielder Brittany Sabatini and her team-high total of 18.
UC Davis leads the all-time series, 30-11.
In their first season since rejoining the Big West Conference, Hawai'i hosted UC Davis in its inaugural league weekend series, a set of games that featured two one-run contests and the league's marquee pitchers.
One year later, the Rainbow Wahine will visit La Rue Field to compete in their final games of the 2014 season beginning with Friday's doubleheader.
UC Davis is 1-7 all-time against Hawai'i and recorded its only victory over the Rainbow Wahine on Feb. 15, 2009, at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Classic in Las Vegas.
As was the cast with UC Davis, UH dropped the first two games of last weekend's league doubleheader, vs. Cal State Northridge, before recording a victory in its final home game of the year in Sunday's series finale. The previous week also saw the Rainbow Wahine with one of three; that victory, in Santa Barbara, snapped an eight-game slide.
Entering the weekend in seventh place, trailing UC Davis by one game in the conference standings, Hawai'i is led by junior first baseman Leisha Li'ili'i and her six team-high figures. In addition to leading the team with her .392 batting average and .777 slugging percentage, Li'ili'i also leads all Rainbow Wahine with 101 total bases, 51 hits, 14 home runs and 31 walks. Including her eight doubles, more that 40 percent of Li'ili'i's hits have been for extra bases.
Freshman Heather Morales and sophomore Loie Kesterson each have started 22 games for head coach Bob Coolen, the latter is responsible for three of the team's four shutouts thrown. Right-hander Morales enters the weekend with an 11-10 overall record and 5.46 ERA, her teammate is 10-13, with a 4.15 ERA and has struck out eight more batters (60) compared to her southpaw teammate.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!!
Christa Castello will carry her current seven-game hit streak into Wednesday's doubleheader against Saint Mary's, and the final three games of the 2014 season versus Hawai'i on Friday and Saturday. Castello's streak, her longest of the year, trails Kelly Zboralske and her team-high 10-game hitting streak.
Zboralske also holds the team's longest reach base streak at 11, sharing the team's top total with Amy Nunez, her current 11 game streak and Lauryn Saunders who also reached safely in 11 straight games earlier this year. Saunders has also reached base safely in the Aggies' last eight games, Castello can top her season best of eight by reaching in each game played against Saint Mary's.
LIKE A BOTTLE OF FINE WINE
Freshman right-hander Andrea Reynolds has become more comfortable in the circle as the season progressed as evident by her ERA in recent games. Since Big West action began, Reynolds has recorded a 1.73 ERA and a .233 opposing batting average, the second-lowest figures of all Big West pitchers in league games only.
The freshman right-hander remains among the Big West's top three thanks to her five-hit, five inning effort at Cal State Fullerton
Joining Reynolds in the Big West's top 10 is Dana Cruse and her .245 opposing batting average. Ranked No. 4 in that category in conference games only, Cruse also possesses the ninth-lowest ERA against league opposition at 3.08.
ANNUAL TEAM SAMMIE BUNNY DRIVE ARRIVES TO UC DAVIS
For the third straight season, UC Davis softball hosted its annual Team Sammie Bunny Drive. Taking place throughout April 18th's doubleheader against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, fans from both teams donated stuffed animals for patients in local children's hospitals.
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 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. Even though the event may have passed, you can still support Team Sammie in myriad ways. For additional information, or to contribute your time and/or additional plush toys, contact a Team Sammie coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/SammiesBunnyDrive
UC Davis Softball thanks everyone who stepped up and made a donation to Team Sammie.
STRIKE OUT CANCER
Also taking place the same weekend as Team Sammie's Bunny Drive was the 10th-annual Strike Out Cancer fundraiser and awareness event. Cancer survivor Lauren B. Tehrani, from UC Davis Athletics, threw out the first pitch in a pregame ceremony and the Aggies donned pink jerseys to help raise awareness. Also in attendance were members from the Triumph Cancer Foundation.
A non-profit organization based in Sacramento, Triumph designs 12-week strength and fitness programs for individuals who have completed cancer treatments. Through its efforts, Triumph helps patients reduce the severity of side effects suffered through treatment and helps design in-home regimens once individuals complete their program.
Aggie Softball would like to thank everyone who supported UC Davis' efforts at this season's Strike Out Cancer.
EFFICIENCY AT ITS BEST
Entering the bottom of the fourth inning in UC Davis' series opener against UC Santa Barbara, the Aggies trailed 2-0. That changed in, literally, less than a minute when A leadoff home run from Amy Nunez was followed by another solo shot on the very next pitch by Kelly Zboralske. Those back-to-back jacks fueled a five-run fifth for the Aggies en route to a 5-2 victory over the Gauchos.
A LOSS ONLY ON PAPER
Aggie freshman right-hander Dana Cruse matched all-Big West counterpart Shelby Wisdom in the Aggies' series finale vs. UCSB (4/19). Even though Cruse suffered the loss in that 1-0 matchup, the freshman pitched an outstanding game since UCSB was able to record only three hits. Unlike Cruse's previous appearance in the series opener, she did not walk a batter the entire game or allow a hit in the final three frames.
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 more than doubled that total and have hit 25 over the fence in 2014.
Led by Lauryn Saunders and Kelly Zboralske with seven, six different players have gone long for UC Davis this year. Including Zboralske and Saunders, Amy Nunez has hit all four of her long balls as an Aggie this season; Krista Bava hit her third last weekend at Cal State Fullerton; Caitlin Voss has two to her name; Christina Guidry joined this list last week by hitting her first career home run against the Titans.
Even though the all-time series points to UC Davis by a slim 26-24 margin, including a 17-13 head-to-head Division I mark, the Aggies' successful weekend in San Luis Obispo helped extend the team's recent success over the Mustangs. Including the two wins earned this season, the Aggies have won 11 of their last 15 games against Cal Poly.
By winning this year's series, UC Davis also broke a deadlock in games played at Cal Poly; in the 12 previously played games in San Luis Obispo, six were won by each team.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Returning to San Luis Obispo for the first time since arriving to Davis, freshman right-hander Andrea Reynolds picked up her inaugural save as an Aggie in her team's 3-2 victory in the first of two games played on April 12. Reynolds also started that day's second game and allowed only two hits throughout her 4.1 innings in the circle en route to another 3-2, UC Davis win.
A RUN GENERATING MACHINE
UC Davis took two of three when the Aggies visited San Luis Obispo April 12-13 and senior second baseman Chandler Wagner was the primary reason why. Responsible for all three of UC Davis' RBI in Saturday's series-clinching victory, Wagner earned four of her team's five RBI, led the team at the plate by finishing 4-for-9 with a team-high .444 average, posted a team-high .444 on base and .556 slugging percentage.
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.
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. 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 41 hit-by-pitches. Sophomore shortstop Christa Castello has been plunked a team-high nine times this year, Kelly Zboralske and Chandler Wagner are second on the squad and trail their teammate by three.
With five games remaining, the Aggies have already hit more doubles this season (51) than the entire 2013 campaign (35); Amy Nunez leads all Aggies with 11. Christa Castello and Kelly Zboralske are tied for second with eight doubles, Lauryn Saunders and Chandler Wagner have hit seven apiece.
The 2009 roster is responsible for setting the Division I school record with 60 doubles.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Ranked No. 2 in the conference behind only Cal Poly (51), UC Davis has successfully dropped 50 sacrifice bunts this season. More than 40 percent of that total have been earned collectively by sophomore outfielder Cat Guidry, junior first baseman Amy Nunez and senior second baseman Chandler Wagner as each lead the team with seven; sophomore third baseman Christina Guidry narrowly trails this trio with six.
SHE'S SAFE! IN THE CIRCLE?
Trailing only Cal State Northridge and its seven, UC Davis is No. 2 in the conference with its six saves. Freshman right-hander Andrea Reynolds is one of three players responsible for a league-high three saves, southpaw sophomore Leah Munden is also tied with two others at the No. 4 spot with two.
REACHING BASE, AND THEN SOME
Sophomore third baseman/utility player Kelly Zboralske is holding her own against the Big West's elite as she is now No. 9 in the league with her .514 slugging percentage. Trailing Zboralske by one-thousandth of a point and also holding a top slugging mark is catcher Lauryn Saunders as her .513 percentage is worth of a No. 10 ranking.
THE LEADERS OF UC DAVIS' HIT SQUAD
Christa Castello and Kelly Zboralske lead all Aggies with 51 and 43 hits respectively; collectively, the pair is responsible for 30 percent (.304) of their team's total. Entering this weekend's series, Castello also holds the Aggies' top batting average (.309) with her counterpart possessing the highest slugging percentage (.514).
FAST AS LIGHTNING
Freshman outfielder Brianna Warner has successfully stolen a base in all but one of her 11 attempts; her team-high total also doubles as the league's seventh-highest total.
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.