Aggies Bid For Big West Title At Cal State Fullerton

Rachel Miller highlighted her senior season with a 4 for 4, 4 RBI performance in game one at Pacific last week

May 9, 2012

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Cal State Fullerton - Friday, May 11, 4 p.m. (DH) • Saturday, May 12, 12 p.m.
Fullerton, Calif. (Anderson Family Field)

- UC Davis added its third consecutive series win last week, taking two victories at top-ranked Pacific after 6-4 and 3-0 wins.   
- The Aggies moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Big West standings with Long Beach State holding the top spot.  
- Rachel Miller had a career game in game one at Pacific, going 4 for 4 with three doubles and four RBIs to lead UC Davis to a 6-4 win.  
- Kelly Harman provided the offense in game three, going 3 for 3 with two two doubles, two RBIs, one walk and one run scored.
- Justine Vela continued her outstanding play with three impressive appearances and two wins. She had 11 strikeouts in a game one win before taking a tough luck loss in game two. Vela capped the weekend off with a masterful complete game shutout in a 3-0 win.
- The Aggies will now face Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series to close out the regular season.
- There are two scenarios in which UC Davis can win a share of the conference title and advance to the NCAA tournament. If the Aggies sweep the Titans and LBSU is swept by Pacific, UC Davis will win a tiebreaker over Pacific. If the Aggies sweep Cal State Fullerton, LBSU losses two out of three to Pacific and UCSB sweeps Cal State Northridge, then UC Davis will be in a three-way tie for first and win the tiebreaker to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

OPPONENT SCOUTING REPORT                          
Cal State Fullerton: The Titans enter the weekend with a four-game losing streak, having dropped a nonconference matchup against San Diego State last week before being swept by Long Beach State on the weekend. Cal State Fullerton holds a 19-29 overall record with a 7-11 mark in Big West games. The Titans were also swept this season by Pacific but took two out of three games over UC Santa Barbara. Nicole Johnson leads Cal State Fullerton at the plate with a .327 batting average and .664 slugging percentage after a team-best 12 doubles and eight home runs. Desiree Ybarra has seen the most time in the circle, recording a 13-15 overall record with a 4.72 ERA.

UC Davis/Cal State Fullerton all-time series: Cal State Fullerton leads 15-6.

FANTASTIC FROSH                                
Justine Vela continued a standout freshman campaign last week, taking two victories and 25 strikeouts on the weekend. Vela moved into third place in the UC Davis record books for single season strikeouts, tallying 248 on the year. She also broke into the top-10 in the Big West all-time single season records and is just 10 strikeouts away from being in a three-way tie for eighth. Vela is the only UC Davis player to have reached the top-10 in Big West single season strikeouts. Vela continues to lead the Big West in nearly every pitching category during the conference season, including ERA (0.83), strikeouts (121), opposing batting avg. (.169) and wins (11).

BIG WEST UPDATE                                
The Big West race comes down to the final weekend of the season. Long Beach State has a two-game lead in the top spot over Pacific, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, who are all tied for second with 12-6 records. The 49ers can clinch an outright conference title with a series win or a sweep. Pacific will put Long Beach State to the test in the final weekend while UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara will look to hold serve against Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge, respectively. There are multiple scenarios that could result in any of the top four teams claiming a share of the conference title and a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Aggies will have to sweep the Titans in any scenario to have a shot at the title.