DAVIS, Calif. – Junior third baseman Jillian Andersen and sophomore designated player Emily Ceccacci (right) finished with a team-leading three hits on Saturday afternoon, but the Cal Poly softball program dropped both ends of a doubleheader versus UC Davis, falling 5-2 in the opening game and 6-4 in the nightcap at LaRue Field.
During Friday's second contest, UC Davis (24-27, 10-13) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning through a two-out, run-scoring single from catcher J.J. Wagoner. The Aggies then furthered their lead to 3-0 in the third against Cal Poly starting lefthander Jordan Yates (5-15) as designated player Kayla Tyler doubled with two down to score right fielder Jasmine Lee and left fielder Cat Guidry.
After stranding three runners through the opening three innings, Cal Poly (19-33-1, 8-5) notched its opening runs against UC Davis starting righthander Jessica Thweatt (5-6) in the fourth with senior center fielder Whitley Gerhart doubling to score junior left fielder Lauren Moreno and freshman pinch runner Jessie Hinojosa.
The Aggies required just another half-inning to regain their multiple-run cushion as successive two-out, run-scoring singles from center fielder Krista Bava and third baseman Christina Guidry bumped the UC Davis lead to 5-2.
Cal Poly, however, immediately grabbed both runs back during the top of the fifth, beginning with a two-out double from Ceccacci that scored junior catcher Mariah Cochiolo. The next Mustang, freshman first baseman Breana West, then tucked a single inside the left field foul line to score Ceccacci and cut the Mustang deficit to 5-4.
After UC Davis fortified its lead during the bottom of the sixth through a one-out, run-scoring single from Bava, Cal Poly enjoyed one final chance to deadlock the scoreline in the seventh. However, after a Ceccacci sacrifice bunt placed junior shortstop Kim Westlund on third and Cochiolo on second, Aggie righthanded reliever Justine Vela earned her first save of 2013 but forcing West into a line out and Moreno into a game-ending ground out.
Andersen, Westlund, Ceccacci and West all finished with two hits for Cal Poly, which stranded nine Mustangs during the second game.
During Friday's opening contest, UC Davis produced all of the offense required against Mustang starting lefthander Chloe Wurst (11-15) during the bottom of the first inning. Aggie second baseman Chandler Wagner followed a Tyler run-scoring single with a one-out base hit to plate pinch runner Gretchen Diekman and Tyler for a 3-0 lead. Three batters later, Christina Guidry drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Wagner for a 4-0 advantage.
With the Mustangs held to a solitary baserunner through the opening five innings, UC Davis upped its lead to 5-0 during the fourth as Bava lined her first home run of 2013 over the right field fence.
Cal Poly was held without a hit until Andersen singled with two down during the top of the sixth and the Mustangs eventually broke through against UC Davis in the seventh. Vela (15-8), the UC Davis opening-game starter, was lifted after six innings in favor of lefthander Leah Mundin, who immediately allowed a leadoff double to Cochiolo and a run-scoring double to Ceccacci.
Mundin recovered to strike out Moreno, but West cut the UC Davis lead to 5-2 by singling into right center to score Ceccacci. After successive singles from Gerhart and Andersen, however, Thweatt – on in relief – collected her first career save by forcing Hinojosa out at home on a fielder's choice before striking out Mustang junior second baseman Ashley Romano to end the game.
Cal Poly and UC Davis both close the 2013 regular season with a 12 noon single contest on Saturday, May 11.