Softball Preview

Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly

Records: Aggies, 16-24 (6-3); Mustangs 11-26 (3-6)

Where: Bob Janssen Field — San Luis Obispo, Calif.

When: Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.; Sunday at noon

Who to watch: After having some tough starts in preseason competition, junior starting pitcher Jessica Thweatt is having a fantastic season.

In the Sacramento native’s last five appearances, she has averaged more than a strikeout per inning and has posted a 2.76 ERA.

Thweatt was locked in during the weekend series against Long Beach State, shutting out the 49ers through six innings in the Aggies’ 3-0 loss before earning a save in the Aggies’ 3-1 victory on Sunday.

“Her ball was just moving and dancing,” said Head Coach Karen Yoder. “I complimented her in front of the whole team [following the win].”

Did you know? The Aggies are in a three-way tie for second place in the Big West Conference. UC Davis, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara — all with 6-3 conference records — trail first-place University of Pacific by one game.

The conference season will reach its midway point following this weekend’s games, and league standings will soon begin to cement themselves.

The Aggies, who are hoping to claim their second conference title in three years, will need to play strong on the road against sixth-place Cal Poly if they hope to hold their ground with the league leaders.

Preview: UC Davis enters the middle section of their conference schedule when they travel down to the Central Coast to face Cal Poly this weekend.

The Mustangs, who are 14-7 all-time against the Aggies, are hoping to repeat the results from last year when they swept UC Davis in three games.

With a .229 team batting average, the Aggies will have a great opportunity to gain some confidence at the plate as the Mustang pitchers come into the series with an average ERA of 5.32.

After defensive struggles in last weekend’s series led to numerous unearned runs, UC Davis will need to flash the leather against Cal Poly, which leads the conference with only 39 errors and a .963 fielding percentage.

A key matchup to watch this weekend will be the Aggie pitchers when facing Mustang shortstop Kim Westlund. Westlund, who has safely reached base in 32 of 36 games, will provide a great challenge as she has the seventh-best batting average (.351) in the Big West.

Doug Bonham

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