STANFORD — The UC Davis women’s softball team entered the bottom of the final inning at Stanford with the lead, but could not hold on against the nationally ranked Cardinal.
Michelle Prong’s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the seventh gave No. 12 Stanford just enough to defeat the Aggies, 4-3, on Tuesday at Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium.
UCD (12-11) gave the Cardinal (20-3) all it could handle, taking a 3-1 lead in the first inning that would hold up all the way until the game’s final at-bat.
Heather Zimmerman led the Aggie offense with a two-RBI hit in the first, while Kylie Fan posted two hits on the day. Even with the early runs, the Aggies managed just five hits in the contest.
For Stanford, Jenna Rich was a perfect 4-for-4, while Ashley Hansen and Danielle Miller also posted multi-hit games.
UCD’s three-run first-inning rally was started by Alex Holmes’ lead-off single. A hit by pitch and two consecutive walks forced in the Aggies’ first run, then Zimmerman followed with a clutch, two-out two-run single to right.
Alix Van Zandt’s solo home run off of Holmes in the bottom of the inning made it 3-1, but no more runs were scored until the seventh.
Holmes kept the Stanford offense guessing through six innings. After allowing the home run, Holmes stranded five batters and scattered five hits, holding the Cardinal scoreless in the next four innings. This against a Stanford lineup that entered the game ranked eighth in the nation in runs scored at 7.39 per contest.
Leading 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, UCD’s trouble started with a Sarah Hassman single. Two more singles loaded the bases for the Cardinal with just one out in the inning, and Prong handled the rest with her game-winning three-run double.
Stanford hurler Teagan Gerhart picked up the win to improve to 12-3 after throwing a complete game and allowing three runs on five hits. Holmes took the loss, dropping to 7-8 by allowing 12 hits and striking out five in 6 1/3 innings of work.
UCD will return home for five games this weekend as it hosts the Aggie Stampede. St. Mary’s, Santa Clara, Oregon State and California are in town for the event, and the Aggies will play at 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. Friday. UCD also takes the field on Saturday at 3:45 p.m., then Sunday at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The complete tournament schedule can be found at http://www.ucdavisaggies.com.