May 21, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - UC Davis began its first NCAA Division I Softball Tournament, Friday, with a 10-2 setback to No. 19 Hawai'i in the first game of the Stanford Regional at Smith Family Stadium. The Rainbow Wahine took an early 5-0 lead and then scored four unearned runs to end the game in the fifth inning. Kylie Fan drove in both runs for the Aggies. Fan, Elizabeth Santana, Alex Holmes, Sarah Axelson and JJ Wagoner each had hits for UC Davis (26-28).

UH (45-13) , the top seed in the four-team regional, pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Alexandra Aguirre had a two-run single in the frame as the Rainbow Wahine also took advantage of an Aggie error to score an unearned run. Hawai'i scored two more runs in the second to lead 5-0 heading to the third.

After a scoreless third, UC Davis broke through in the fourth. Holmes and Axelson started the inning with consecutive singles, and Axelson's base hit put runners at second and third with no outs. Fan stepped up next and delivered an RBI-single to center to drive in Holmes with the Aggies' first run. A foul-out, strikeout and fielder's choice groundout prevented UC Davis from scoring more in the inning.

Trailing 5-1, UC Davis put together another scoring opportunity in he fifth. Wagoner and Santana each had singles to start the inning. With two outs, Axelson and Fan drew back-to-back walks. Fan's walk forced home Santana to make it 5-2. Heather Zimmerman then lined out to third base to end the inning.

Hawai'i would then score five runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game. Amanda Tauali'i started the scoring with a one-out solo homer to make it 6-2. A fielding error with two outs helped keep the inning going, and UH took advantage with four more unearned runs.

Hawai'i entered the game with an NCAA single-season record 141 homeruns. The only round-tripper surrendered by the Aggie staff was the fifth-inning solo shot by Tauali'i. Holmes started and suffered the loss. She threw two innings and allowed five runs on six hits. Four runs were earned, and she struck out two with one walk. Freshman Dana Waldusky pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed just one earned run on three hits. She struck out three and walked five.

"We have a tremendous amount of freshmen and sophomores in starting positions so this is nothing but a great opportunity for them to learn and grow," said head coach Karen Yoder after the game. "I'm excited and proud of the girls. I'm proud of where the program has come in three years of Division I. That is amazing. You have to look at the big picture because this is a huge learning opportunity for them. To go against (Hawai'i) that's put up that many homeruns challenges you. And that's what we've done all year is to challenge ourselves against the best in the country."

UC Davis will next play Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in an elimination game against the loser of Friday night's Stanford-Texas Tech game. The double-elimination regional concludes Sunday.