Links associated with this release:
Game 1 Box Score/Play-By-Play
Game 2 Box Score/Play-By-Play
FIELDING MISCUES LEAD TO SOFTBALL DROPPING A PAIR TO UC DAVIS
DAVIS, Calif. – Sacramento State combined to commit eight errors over two games which led to seven unearned runs for UC Davis as the Aggies swept two games from the Hornets in a non-conference softball doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at La Rue Field.
The Aggies overcame three-run deficits in both games, winning the first contest, 4-3, in eight innings before taking the nightcap, 7-3, in a game that was called after six innings because of darkness.
Sacramento State (2-4) practically gave both games away defensively, as the team committed four errors in each contest. In fact, every UC Davis run scored during the doubleheader came in an inning where the Hornets committed at least one error.
At one point during the day, the rebuilding Hornets’ defense consisted of five freshmen, three sophomores and a junior. And that youth showed defensively. At least one Sacramento State error was committed at every position on the field except center field, pitcher and catcher.
That led to UC Davis (5-2) sweeping Sacramento State in a doubleheader for the first time since 1990. It also allowed the Aggies to pick up 3.3 points in the Causeway Cup (click here for standings), the annual all-sports challenge between Sacramento State and UC Davis.
One of the biggest bright spots for the Hornets was the return of sophomore Desiree Beltran, who missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Because of the ankle, she was limited to designated player duties instead of her customary spot at shortstop. But, despite the injury, the first team all-region selection combined to go 3-for-4 with two walks (one intentional), a home run and three RBIs. She is now batting .500 (5-for-10) this season with a .615 on-base percentage, and has at least one hit in all four games she has appeared.
UC Davis’ Alex Holmes (4-0) picked up the win in both games, combining to throw 10.1 innings while allowing three runs, eight hits and striking out 11 batters. She pitched 4.1 innings of shutout relief in the first game, and came back in the second to throw all six innings.
In today’s nightcap, the Hornets took an early 3-0 lead on Beltran’s second-inning, three-run home. After that, however, the Aggies scored seven unanswered runs. That included four runs in the bottom of the third (three of which were unearned because of two Hornet errors) and three more in the fifth (all unearned because of a pair of Hornet errors).
Sacramento State placed runners in scoring position in the first, fifth and sixth innings, but could not score. Junior Jacquelyn Serrano (0-1) got the loss, allowing seven hits and seven runs (only one was earned) over 5.0 innings. She threw 115 pitches and that number would have been much less with a better defensive effort.
Sophomore Alyssa Nakken finished the game 3-for-3 with a run, and combined for four hits in the doubleheader.
In the opener, Sacramento State held a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, but could not make the lead hold up. The Hornets, who had entered the game with just four errors all season, combined to commit four miscues during the final three innings.
One of those errors was committed in the top of the eighth inning that led to the Aggies scoring an unearned run. Sacramento State touched up UC Davis starter Dana Waldusky for three runs and six hits during the first 3.2 innings. One of those runs came in the third inning when freshman Erin Jones’ two-out, RBI-single scored freshman Kelli Frye from third base.
The Hornets added two more runs in the fourth inning on an RBI-double from sophomore Jessica Abelia and an RBI-single from Nakken. Things looked good for the Hornets heading into the sixth inning with a three-run cushion and starter Megan Schaefer having allowed just two hits through five innings. However, UC Davis’ Alex Holmes immediately greeted Schaefer with a sharp single to right field and Michelle Espiritu followed with a bunt single. A Hornet throwing error on the play allowed both runners to advance a base.
Sophomore right-hander Shelby Voelz was then inserted into the game for Schaefer, and she was greeted by consecutive singles from Elizabeth Santana and Sarah Alexelson. By the time the dust had settled, UC Davis had scored three runs on four hits and two Hornet errors to tie the game.
Another Hornet error, this time with one out and no one on base in the eighth inning, eventually led to UC Davis’ Megan Guzman lining a walkoff RBI-single off Nakken’s glove which allowed Kelly Harman to score the game-winning run.
Beltran and Abelia each finished the first game with two hits. Abelia combined to go 3-for-6 with a double, a run and an RBI during the doubleheader. Though she finished the day 0-for-7, sophomore Marissa Navarro hit the ball hard in nearly every at-bat. That included two balls that were caught on the warning track, and one that was gloved at the top of the center field wall.
Sacramento State returns to action for the three-day, five-game Stanford Nike Invitational this Friday-Sunday, Feb. 19-21. The Hornets are part of a powerhouse tournament lineup that includes two teams ranked among the nation’s top 17 squads in 11th-ranked Stanford and 17th-ranked Fresno State. Two other teams (Nevada and Illinois) are receiving votes but aren’t ranked.
The Hornets will play both Illinois (10 a.m.) and UC Riverside (12:15 p.m.) on Friday, Nevada (9 a.m.) and host Stanford (1:30 p.m.) on Saturday, and Fresno State (1:30 p.m.) on Sunday. The game against Fresno State on Sunday will mark the third time the two teams have met this season.
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