The CSUN softball team swept its final non-conference series, playing its first road games after a 12-game homestand, and beating the struggling UC Davis Aggies 3-2, 3-0 and 3-1 last weekend at La Rue Field in Davis, Calif.
In game one, the Aggies took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Megan De La Hoya led off with a double, and two batters later, came home on an RBI single by Ashley Johnson to make the score 1-0.
With one out in the fifth inning, CSUN got back into it as junior Emilee Moores tripled to left and junior Jan Moshier drove her in with a single to left to tie the game at one. After junior Heather Martin was hit by a pitch, senior Kia Fennell singled to center to load the bases.
Junior Jenny Cochran followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Moshier to make it 2-1. Sophomore Erin Sigala followed with a single to left, scoring Martin and giving CSUN a 3-1 lead.
The Aggies, now 5-29, got a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Marie Davies scored on an RBI single by Megan Turman, cutting the Matadors lead to 3-2.
However, Fennell would shut down the Aggies for the rest of the game, retiring the final eight batters in relief of starting pitcher Erin Sigala.
Fennell went the final 2 2/3 innings striking out three to pick up the save. Sigala recorded the win for CSUN, pitching 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, four hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
“It was great to be away from home,” Head Coach Barbara Jordan said. “It was nice to ride the bus, spend time with the girls, and see them in the spotlight.”
In game two, the Matadors took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Martin, who reached on an error, scored on a two-out, RBI single off the bat of sophomore Darcy Hillstrom.
The Matadors, now 14-10, would add two more runs in the top of the third inning. With Moores on first after reaching base on a one-out error, Moshier came up to bat. She hit her team-leading fifth homerun of the season over the left-field fence to give the Matadors a 3-0 lead.
The three-run lead was all starting pitcher Fennell needed as she went the distance for the Matadors, giving up just three hits and a walk, while striking out eight in the shutout.
“I try to go after them on every pitch,” Fennell said. “There are times where I feel I ease up on them, so I try to go into the game mentally tougher.”
Lindsay Tognetti pitched all seven innings for the Aggies, allowing one earned run on seven hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts.
In game three, played Sunday, the game was scoreless until the top of the third inning, when freshman Jen Whitcomb led off with a single. One batter later, Whitcomb scored on an RBI single to center by Moshier. Moshier then stole second and came home one batter later when Fennell singled to right, giving the Matadors a 2-0 lead.
No more runs would be scored until the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Moores and Moshier hit back-to-back singles, and Martin was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Fennell followed with a groundball to shortstop, but the Aggies were unable to get the force play at second, allowing Moores to score and giving the Matadors a 3-0 lead.
Sigala allowed three hits and one walk while striking out four to improve to 5-5 on the season. Kelly went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs and six hits with five strikeouts for UC Davis, while Lindsay Tognetti retired the final batter of the game.
“This weekend was not the most exciting in terms of run production,” Jordan said. “But the most important thing was we found ways to win. We know we can pitch, hit and play defense. How mentally tough we are will be the determining factor.”