Davis, Calif. - Hitting the road to play at UC Davis for a midweek Big West doubleheader, the Pacific softball team battled for a split of the day's doubleheader on Wednesday, April 10. The Tigers dropped the opening game, 1-0, before coming back to take game two, 5-4. The split moved Pacific to 23-19 overall and 8-3 in the Big West while the Aggies moved to 16-19 overall and 3-5 in the conference.
UC Davis 1 – Pacific 0
In a game that predictably turned into a pitchers' duel between senior Nikki Armagost and UC Davis' Justine Vela, the Tigers were frustrated throughout the early afternoon en route to the one-run loss. In a battle of two of the top pitchers in the Big West, the deciding run came in just the first inning of play as the Aggies scratched together three hits, two bloops and a seeing-eye single, to plate their one and only run. The run against Armagost cost the senior just her fourth game of the season and first in conference play as the senior allowed just seven hits in six innings of work.
Against Vela, the Tigers had a handful of chances as Pacific squared up four balls against the reigning pitcher of the year, but could not turn them into runs. Pacific had a pair of chances to breakthrough due to singles from junior Megan Foglesong, but each time the junior was stranded in scoring position by Vela.
Pacific 5 – UC Davis 4
With the first game loss behind them, the Tigers rebounded in game two to dominate the Aggies at the plate to earn the split. Despite the final margin of one run, the Tigers were in complete control of the contest throughout the game until a pair of errors gave the Aggies a chance to rally in the seventh.
In the circle, junior Tori Shepard picked up right where her senior counterpart left off in game one as she held the Aggies off the scoreboard for six and two thirds innings before losing her shutout. Combined with Armagost, the Tigers held the Aggies scoreless for 11.2 innings on the day, giving up bookending scores to the doubleheader contest. In total, Shepard gave up five hits and four runs, none earned, while striking out three and walking one to earn her sixth win of the year.
In support of their junior in the circle, the Tigers' offense found its groove as Pacific pounded out 12 hits against the Aggies' Leah Munden and Jessica Thweatt. Spurred on by the top of the order that came up with nine of the Tigers' 12 hits, Pacific's offense scored in three different innings to do their damage. None of the Tigers' runs proved bigger than the two insurance runs in the top of the seventh that became the difference in the game.
Leading by three in the seventh, the Tigers came up with two runs when freshman Sara Anderson kicked off a four hit rally to begin the inning. After stealing second and moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, Anderson scored on a single by junior Megan Foglesong who picked up her fourth hit of the day overall. Using heads up baserunning, Foglesong moved into scoring position on the throw home, setting up senior Nikki Armagost to drive her home with a double to left center.
Armagost's RBI double in the seventh was a duplicate image of her RBI double in the third that plated the Tigers' first run of the game. Armagost would later score in the inning on a line drive to center by Petty as the throw home got away from the Aggies' catcher.
In addition to her two doubles, Armagost came up with the second of her three RBI in the fifth when the senior layed down a perfectly executed squeeze play to score senior Megan Hom from third. Hom had reached previously on one of her three singles in the game.
Pacific heads back home to Bill Simoni Field on Saturday, April 13, to take on Long Beach State in a Big West doubleheader. The first game of the day is scheduled for 12:00 pm.