Davis High softball coach Tami Wilkinson said her team's hitting has been "hot and cold" as of late.
In the Spartans' key Modesto Metro Conference game against Beyer on Thursday, it was running very warm.
Davis batters hit the ball all over the field at Davis Park, racking up eight hits in a 6-2 victory over the Patriots, previously undefeated in league play.
The Spartans (5-8, 4-1) and Beyer (10-4-1, 4-1) are now tied for first place atop the MMC standings.
Davis opened the game with big hits, and Beyer was forced to play catch-up from the beginning.
Spartans leadoff hitter Riley Lemos opened the game with a short fly ball to left field that was dropped, and shortstop Jessica Pedota followed by beating out a bunt for a single. Nicole Loveland followed with a ringing triple to the right-center gap, and Davis was up 2-0 without an out.
"It was huge to set the tone like that," Wilkinson said. "(Loveland's) been so consistent for us."
Starting pitcher Desi Maldonado singled Loveland in one out later, and she had a 3-0 lead to work with.
"It was so big to open the game so well," Spartans first baseman Sam Nunes said. "We had all the momentum. And being up 3-0 we had that cushion. Everybody just played relaxed after that."
But the Patriots weren't through.
Their pitcher, Melaina Saalfeld, struck out five consecutive batters after Maldonado's hit, and held the Spartans scoreless for the next four innings.
Beyer got going at the plate as well.
Right fielder Jessica Machado lined a double into the left-center gap and was bunted to third by Natalie Shupp. She scored on a triple to deep center field by Kayla Rovig. Rovig scored when Saalfeld's fly ball to left field was dropped for an error, bringing Beyer to within 3-2.
But the Spartans put it away in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three more runs and sealing the win.
Monica Silva led off the inning with a walk and, after an out, stole second. Pedota hit a grounder to Saalfeld, who hesitated after fielding the ball and both runners were safe. After a second out, Pedota stole second and Nunes hit a short fly ball that landed fair just beyond third base, scoring both runners. Maldonado then hit a double off the third baseman's glove for the 6-2 lead and the game.
Maldonado struck out seven Beyer batters, while Saalfeld whiffed nine batters.
"This was a big game," Nunes said. "We were a little nervous heading in, but those early runs really helped.
"Now we're tied for first, we're right in it."