Dec. 14, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The ninth-annual Strike Out Cancer event, four tournaments, three Causeway Classic matchups, three Pac-12 opponents, games against two Big East teams and one Big 12 school highlight UC Davis softball's 2013 schedule.
Starting with the first game of the season against Southern Miss (Feb. 8) at the Fresno State Kick-Off, 26 of the first 29 games on the Aggies' schedule will take place away from La Rue Field.
In its first doubleheader of the season, UC Davis will face tournament host Fresno State in the marquee matchup of the day before ending its evening against UTEP (Feb. 9). The final day of competition at the Kick-Off includes another game against Southern Miss and the first of three head-to-head meetings against Causeway rival Sacramento State (Feb. 10).
The final opportunity to earn Causeway Cup points will take place 17 days later when the Aggies make the brief trek to downtown Sacramento for a doubleheader against the Hornets (Feb. 27). One and two-thirds of a point will be awarded to the winner of each game in pursuit of this year's Cup.
La Rue Field will host its first home event of the season on Feb. 13; the first of four games against Pac-12 opposition, UC Davis will battle California before competing in its second tournament of the season three days later at the Stanford Invitational.
During their four-game, two-day stint in Palo Alto, the Aggies will face Santa Clara in the first game of each day's doubleheader (2 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 17). UC Davis will end day one at the Invitational against CSU Bakersfield (Feb. 16) and wrap-up its weekend less than 24 hours later in the final game of the tournament against Stanford (Feb. 17).
In 2012, UC Davis earned a 2-1 home victory over Stanford in a thrilling game that also served as the only meeting of the season between the two. Possessing the lead in their season finale against the Cardinal, inclement weather ended the Aggies' hopes of completing their sweep against Stanford as the game was called before the middle of the fifth inning — the threshold teams need to reach in order for a game to become official.
Once the Stanford Invitational concludes, head coach Karen Yoder and her squad will have nearly a week to prepare for its next group of games against a challenging field of teams at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla.
One of 14 teams competing at the Leadoff Classic, UC Davis will play six games in three days starting with its Feb. 22 doubleheader against Southern Illinois and James Madison. The action will continue the following day against Michigan and USF (Feb. 23) with the Aggies ending their weekend with games against Illinois State and Fordham (Feb. 24).
Clearwater will serve as the site of UC Davis' first-ever game against Michigan and USF, the second meeting against Illinois State, James Madison and Southern Illinois and the third versus Fordham.
This year's meeting against Fordham is also the second in as many seasons for the Aggies; in last year's Cathedral City Classic, UC Davis defeated the Rams by a score of 6-2.
The NFCA Leadoff Classic will also mark the first meeting between UC Davis and James Madison since Feb. 8, 2009. Also taking place at the Cathedral City Classic, that game that saw the Aggies shutout the Dukes 5-0.
Another two games against the Hornets await the Aggies once the team returns from Florida; shortly thereafter, UC Davis will complete its string of 14 consecutive road games in an afternoon doubleheader at Saint Mary's (Mar. 2).
Twenty-one days after taking the diamond in its inaugural home game of the season, the Aggies will return to La Rue Field to complete their season series against Stanford (Mar. 6).
Just two days after taking the field against Stanford, UC Davis will participate in its final tournament of the season at the Diamond Devil Invitational - a three-day, five-game event hosted by Arizona State.
UC Davis will start its schedule of games against New Mexico State and Arizona State (Mar. 8), before ending its time in Tempe, Ariz., against Big East competition.
Notre Dame (Mar. 9) is the first of two Big East teams that will face UC Davis throughout the final two days of the tournament as the Aggies' weekend will conclude with back-to-back games against Pittsburgh (1 p.m. on Mar. 9 and 9 a.m. on Mar. 10).
Seven years have passed since Arizona State and UC Davis competed against each other; the Diamond Devil Invitational will also set the scene for the Aggies' second-ever game against Notre Dame and their inaugural matchups versus Pittsburgh.
UC Davis will end its non-conference schedule with its road doubleheader at CSU Bakersfield (Mar. 16), and a home game against Oregon State (Mar. 24); in addition to beginning their Big West schedule at Hawai'i on Mar. 29, the Aggies will face the Rainbow Wahine in their first Big West Conference home game in 17 years.
Prior to joining the Western Athletic Conference, Hawai'i was a member of the Big West from 1989-1996.
In 2012, UC Davis won six of its seven conference series and entered the final weekend of the season engaged in a four-way fight for the conference championship. Currently preparing for another Big West title run in 2013, the Aggies will host Cal State Northridge (Apr. 6-7), Pacific (Apr. 10 (DH) and 17) and Cal State Fullerton (Apr. 27-28) before closing out the 2013 campaign at La Rue Field against Cal Poly (May 10-11).
Organized to raise funds and awareness for the fight against cancer, the ninth-annual Strike Out Cancer event will highlight UC Davis' weekend series against Cal State Fullerton. Held in conjunction with the NFCA's nationwide cancer-awareness campaign, Aggie softball will host this year's event on Apr. 27. All proceeds collected will benefit the UC Davis Cancer Center.
In addition to its first Big West road trip at Hawai'i (Mar. 29-30), the Aggies will also travel to UC Santa Barbara (Apr. 13-14), UC Riverside (Apr. 20-21) and Long Beach State (May 4-5).
Last season, the Aggies finished with 14 conference victories and fell just shy of winning their second Big West crown within a three-year timespan. However, UC Davis' 2012 conference record included a seven-game improvement from the previous season as the team recorded its highest total of Big West wins since capturing the conference title in 2010.