Wolverines unable to stop Aggies’ rally, fall 5-4 to UC Davis

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Utah Valley Wolverines concluded their opening weekend with a 2-3 record at the Northern California Kickoff Tournament to start the season.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley University women’s softball team (2-3) fell 5-4 in extra innings to the University of California Davis Aggies (4-1) on Sunday, Feb. 12, in the Northern California Kickoff Tournament at La Rue Field in Davis, California. 

After the Wolverines jumped out to an early 4-0 lead following the first three innings, the Aggies rallied back into the game with a four-run fifth inning to even the score. Both teams remained tied throughout the rest of regulation, forcing extra innings where the Aggies used a sacrifice flyout to score the game-winning run in the eighth inning.

UVU batted at a .218 hitting clip, scoring four runs off seven hits and three runners batted in. 

Catcher Kalena Shepherd led the way for the Wolverines, going 2-4, including a double, from the plate, and accounted for all three of UVU’s RBIs. Libbie Hawker, Britney Moreno, Rylee Thorpe, Jaeden Barajas, and Kassidy Stiles had a hit.

Brooke Saili had a fantastic start to the game, only allowing three base hits and stranding five runners through the first four innings. However, after five hits and four runs scored to start the fifth inning, Katie Zuniga relieved Saili.

Zuniga kept UC Davis scoreless until Rylie Costa hit the game-winning sacrifice fly that scored Maddie Grissom in the eighth inning.

Despite stranding eight Aggies on base, the Wolverines surrendered a .303 hitting percentage, 10 hits, five runs, and five RBIs.

After some miscues by the Aggies, the Wolverines opened the first inning with two runners in scoring position in Hawker and Thrope. After Shepherd grounded out, Hawker and Thorpe, respectively, were able to score following another infield miscue, to give the Wolverines an early 2-0 lead.

The Wolverines began the third inning with two runners in scoring position once again in Hawker and Moreno with only one out. Shepherd followed with another scoring stroke, bringing in Hawker and Moreno to give UVU a 4-0 lead early.

The Aggies tried to respond in the third and fourth innings, but Saili was able to strand four runners total from both innings. However, following two quick outs to start the bottom of the fifth inning, UC Davis scored four runs off five-straight hits, with four consecutive extra-base hits that scored a run, to tie the score 4-4.

Both sides held strong defensively throughout the remainder of the game to force extra innings. 

Aggies’ pitcher Kenedi Brown silenced the Wolverines in a quick 1-2-3 out inning to start the eighth for UC Davis. With Grissom in scoring position to start the bottom of the eight for the Aggies, Costa hit the game-winning sacrifice fly to bring home Grissom and give UC Davis a 5-4 win over the Wolverines.

Since the start of the series on March 5, 2011, UC Davis is 4-0 against the Wolverines. All four games have been played in California with three at home for UC Davis.

The Wolverines next play against the No. 24 University of Oregon Ducks on Friday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m. MT to start their five-game tournament at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, California.