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PITCHING CONTINUES TO FALTER IN SOFTBALLâ€™S LOSS TO UC DAVIS
DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis erased a two-run deficit with a four-run fifth inning on the way to a 7-5 victory over Sacramento State in the third round of the Aggie Softball Invitational Sunday afternoon at La Rue Field. The game was stopped after six innings because of darkness, but is an official game after going the necessary five innings.
The Hornets were also supposed to play Saint Mary’s today as part of their final game of the tournament, but that game was cancelled completely because of darkness. La Rue Field, which is the home of UC Davis softball, does not have lights.
Sacramento State has now lost nine of its last 11 games while dropping to 4-9 this season. The Hornets had won 11 consecutive games over UC Davis dating back to 2004 prior to today’s loss. In fact, since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990, Sacramento State had been 13-4-1 against the Aggies until the loss.
UC Davis improved to 6-5 this season with the victory.
It appeared the Hornets had taken control of the game with four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. The inning was highlighted by an RBI-single from Jamie Schloredt, a sacrifice fly from Rachel Miles, and a two-out, two-run double from Amy Jo McKenzie which scored Kayla Meeks and pinch runner Katie Rhoe with the go-ahead runs.
However, UC Davis immediately responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth off Hornet pitchers Kayla Meeks and Brittani Clifford. Meeks began the inning and gave up singles to the first two batters she faced before being replaced by Clifford. A Hornet error, a hit batter, and another single eventually gave the Aggies a 7-5 lead. The big blow was struck by Mandi Salcido who singled home two runs with one out in the inning.
Sacramento State got a two-out single from Amy Tompkins in the sixth inning, but could not score before the game was called. Schloredt, McKenzie and Hilary Johnson each finished with two hits for Sacramento State as the Hornets had one more hit than UC Davis (7-6), but two less runs.
Lindsay Tognetti (3-2) got the win for UC Davis, going the first 5.1 innings, before Jessica Hancock got the final two outs of the game to notch her first save of the season.
Clifford (1-3) picked up the loss for Sacramento State, allowing one hit and two unearned runs in 1.0 inning of work. Meeks went the first 4.0 innings, allowing five hits and five runs (four earned).
In what appeared to be a team strength before the season began, the Hornets’ pitching staff has been less than stellar this year, recording an inflated season ERA of 5.87. In fact, three of the team’s four pitchers have ERA’s above 6.00. Over the last six games, opponents have scored at least seven runs five times and the team’s ERA is 8.88 over that span.
Sacramento State will have two weeks to right the ship as the team does not return to action again until taking part in a tournament hosted by Stanford on March 9-11. The Hornets will face Stanford, Loyola (Chicago), San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and an opponent to be determined during the three-day tournament.
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