TEMPE, Ariz. — The Utes set a new season high with 10 hits and the University of Utah softball team defeated Portland State, 3-1, in the final game of the of the Kajikawa Classic Sunday at the Tempe Sports Complex.
Utah (2-2) outhit Portland State, 10-5, as junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina, senior first baseman Tia Palauni and senior designated player Joni Cook each had two-hit efforts.
Palauni went 2-for-2 with an RBI, while Cook was 2-for-3 on the day with a run driven in as well. Hoopiiaina also posted a double and single in the first two innings of play.
On the mound, senior Generra Nielson made her third start of the season and picked up her second win over the opening weekend of the season. The Blanding, Utah native did not allow an earned run in her second consecutive complete game. She yielded five hits to PSU, including only one hit through the first three innings. Nielson now owns two complete games this season and 13 over her Utah career.
Utah got off to a quick start as Hoopiiaina looped a leadoff double to right-center to lead off Utah's first inning then Cook cracked an RBI single up the middle of the Viking defense. A sacrifice bunt laid down by freshman Kate Dickman advanced Cook to second base then a PSU fielder's choice put the runners on second and third base. Palauni then hit a perfectly-place pop fly to short left field to score Cook and put Utah ahead 2-0.
The Utes added a third run in the third frame, starting with a leadoff walk by Palauni. Senior Hannah Clements came on to pinch run as junior Katelyn Elliott came up with a pinch-hit single through the left side of the PSU defensive alignment to put runners on first and second base. Freshman Marissa Mendenhall then knocked a solid single for her second RBI of the season. Mendenhall's first career hit gave Utah a 3-0 advantage.
The next three innings were scoreless before Portland State managed to push one run across to set the final margin at 3-1 in favor of Utah.
Portland State (2-3) got a 2-for-3 afternoon from its pitcher, Karmen Holladay. Holladay also threw a complete game for PSU as she struck out one and issued one walk.
Tournament play continues next weekend as the Utes will be in Las Vegas for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, starting Friday against San Jose State at 11:15 a.m. PT.
TEMPE, Ariz. — Junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina had two hits and two runs driven in, but the University of Utah softball team fell to UC Santa Barbara, 6-5, in its third game of the Kajikawa Classic on Saturday at the Tempe Sports Complex.
As the designated visiting team, Utah (1-2) tied the game in the top of the seventh inning when second baseman Jackie Sweet drew a two-out walk then Hoopiiaina blooped a single into shallow right field that allowed Sweet to plate the game-tying run. Unfortunately, the Gauchos were able to score the walk-off run in the bottom half of the frame after a play at the plate went in UCSB's favor.
Hoopiiaina, a Riverton, Utah native, went 2-for-4 at the plate with her first two RBI of the season on a solo home run in addition to her game-tying single.
Senior third baseman Whitney Holm drove in two runs during a 1-for-2 night at the plate. Holm, a native of Spanish Fork, Utah, leads the Utes with five RBI and four runs scored in three games this year and is tied for team-high honors with four hits. Holm now needs just one more homer to tie Niki Hayhurst (32 from 2000-03) for fifth place in school history.
Senior designated player Joni Cook and junior catcher Shay Wallace also registered hits for the Utes.
In the circle, sophomore Naomi Amu pitched 6.2 innings for a complete game in her first start of the season. Amu allowed two earned runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking four.
In the top of the first inning, Cook hit a one-out single then Holm lined her third home run of the season and the 31st of her career over the left-center field to give the Utes a 2-0 lead.
UC Santa Barbara responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to assume a 3-2 edge.
Hoopiiaina came through with her first homer of the season as she led off the third inning with a solo home run over the right-field fence to tie the game at three runs apiece. Cook followed by hitting a single then Sandi Bowles came on to pinch run and scored Utah's fourth run of the game after a UCSB throwing error.
The Gauchos fought back with two more runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning to grab a 5-3 lead, but Bowles did her part to keep UCSB from extending its lead as she came in for a diving catch on a pop fly from left field for the second out of the fifth inning.
UC Santa Barbara (1-3) was led by a three-RBI, two-hit night by second baseman Kathryn Pilpil, while pitcher Shelby Wisdom picked up the complete-game victory.
The Utes wrap up the Kajikawa Classic tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against Portland State.
SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah women's tennis team (2-2) defeated Denver (5-2) Sunday, at the Eccles Tennis Center. After going 3-0 in doubles, the Utes swept all six of their singles matches for the 7-0 win over the Pioneers. Sophomore Callie Craig captured the match-clinching point for Utah by besting Steffi Rath 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 3 singles spot.
"Today was a good win," said head coach Mat Iandolo. "We benefitted greatly from the absence Elena Najera. She is an important part of Denver's lineup and we were happy to take advantage of the fact that she was out."
In doubles play, the freshmen team of Danielle Flores and Natasha Smith downed Emma Isberg and Michelle Garpenlov 8-2 at the No. 3 position.
The sophomore duo of Sarah Pham and Lucia Kovarcikova defeated Natalie Dunn and Caroline Schnell at the No. 2 spot, 8-3, to secure the doubles point for the Utes.
The team of Craig and senior Anastasia Putilina then topped Rath and Sophia Bergner 8-2 at the No 1 position.
In singles play, Kovarcikova defeated Garpenlov at the No. 5 spot, 6-0, 6-1, to put Utah up 2-0 over Denver.
Flores downed Dunn 6-2, 6-1, at the No. 4 position, to give the Utes a 3-0 lead.
Craig then clinched the match for Utah at 4-0, from the No. 3 spot.
Pham topped Schnell at the No. 2 position, 7-5, 6-1, to make the score 5-0.
Smith bested Gabriella Boboc 6-0, 4-6, 6-0, at the No. 6 spot, to put the Utes up 6-0 over the Pioneers.
Putilina, ranked No. 90, then defeated Bergner at the No. 1 position, 4-6, 7-5, 10-8, to make the final score 7-0 in favor of Utah.
The Utes return to action next weekend when they host No. 75 Wyoming Friday, followed by Wisconsin Sunday.
TRACK AND FIELD
SEATTLE, Wash. — The University of Utah women's track and field team wrapped up the second day of the Flotrack Husky Invitational Saturday.
"Overall we had a good meet," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We had kids step up and across the board. I was pleased with how we did, and our kids performed at a high level. We are excited where things are going."
The Utes began the second day of action with a solid start in the 60m hurdles. Junior Angela Kaplar finished first in her respective heat, and 24th overall with a time of 8.95 seconds. Senior Brianna LeRoy clocked a time of 9..12 seconds to earn 32nd.
Senior Lucy Yates clocked a time of 2:09.34 to finish 15th in the 800m invitational race.
In the 800m open, Rosalie Griffin led the charge for the Utes, with a time of 2:10.95 for 11th. Freshman Ali Eisenbeiss earned 18th with a time of 2:12.32.
Junior Lauryn McKay finished eighth with a personal-best time of 56.72 seconds in the open 400m race.
Making her season debut, junior Amanda Mergaert ran in the one-mile invitational. Mergaert clocked a time of 4:46.29 finishing 24th overall.
In the jumping events, LeRoy led the way for the Utes. LeRoy cleared the barrier of 5-7.75 to finish tied for third place in the high jump. In the long jump, LeRoy finished ninth with a jump of 18-7.00.
The Utes had three athletes finish in the top-20 spots of the weight throw. Anneli Stahl finished first for the Utes and 11th overall with a throw of 57-0.25. Cynthia Sanchez posted a throw of 54-5.25 to finish 18th. Junior Nikkie Rudder rounded out the top-three finishers for the Utes, posting a mark of 54-3.25 (20th place).
In the shot put, Rudder qualified for the final round for the Utes. She finished the event tied for seventh with a throw of 46-6.75. Destanae Howerton-Davis and Candus Aiello earned 21st and 24th, respectively for the Utes.
In the final event of the day, the Utah 4x400 relay team capped off a good weekend. The relay comprised of McKay, Eisenbeiss, Griffin, and Yates recorded a third-place time of 3:45.56, which was .21 of a second shy of the school record.
The Utes will compete next on February 16 at the Wildcat Tune-Up in Ogden, Utah.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Junior Anna Kocken and sophomore Julie Bordeau claimed podium finishes in the slalom Saturday to help the Utes clinch the Seawolf Invitational title at the Alyeska Ski Resort.
The Utes totaled 209 points in today's slalom races to push their overall team total to 858 points for their fourth straight meet victory to start this season.
"When I look back at all the results we posted during the two meets, I am certainly impressed," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "We scored podiums consistently in every discipline in every day of competition. When one group was a bit down, another rallied 100 percent. This went on through every race and I really think each person keyed off of each other's success. It's impressive how balanced we are as a team as well as seeing our new recruits really enjoying skiing for a team. The staff is doing a great job as well taking care of the details."
The Utes put two skiers on the podium of the women's slalom as Utah led the way with 121 points. Kocken finished as the runner-up for the second time this season. This tied for Kocken's highest finish of the season as she also placed second in the GS of the RMISA Qualifier. The J?pen, Sweden native has now finished on the podium five times over her career.
Bordeau earned her fourth podium appearance in the last five races. The Mrozine, France native has been on the podium five times during her first season with the Ute program.
Senior Tii-Maria Romar followed in 11th place, while sophomore Jaime DuPratt was 16th. Romar has now finished 20th or better 20 times over her career and DuPratt has been in the top 20 10 times as a Ute and did post the fastest second-run time of the day.
In the men's slalom, Utah tallied 88 points in the team standings as senior Torjus Krogdahl posted Utah's top finish for the second straight day with a fourth-place effort.
Senior Nick Cohee joined Krogdahl in the top 10 with a ninth-place effort. The Gardnerville, Nev., native has finished 10th or better 16 times this season and 32 times during his Utah career. Ryan Wilson rounded out the Ute effort with a 29th-place finish.
"We will now use this next week to rest, rebuild and catch up on academics," Sweeney said. "I think it would be an understatement if I said we were not pleased with the results we just put up in some really crazy weather in Alaska. Rest, recover and reload for the regional. That's the plan this week.. It was a great job by everyone and I want to send a thank you to our fans and supporters for all the great emails and texts. Your support is much appreciated."
The Utes will have a week off before their next competition, the RMISA
NCAA West Region Championships on Feb. 24-25 in Big Sky and Bozeman, Mont.
Henderson, NV- The 16th ranked SLCC Baseball team erased Bethesda College 12-0 in five innings to complete the weekend a perfect 4-0. Salt Lake used tight defense and clutch hitting to earn the four consecutive wins. The Bruins are now 7-1 overall.
Salt Lake recorded multiple extra base hits in the game led by Bryan Heward with a homerun and three RBI's. Dominque Taylor was 2 for 2 with a double, Steven Adams picked up an RBI triple while Kelton Cronquist went 2 for 3 at the plate.
The Bruins take their seven game winning streak down to Phoenix, Arizona to face off with Glendale and Phoenix College.
St. George — Tiffany Mills pitched her second straight complete game in as many days for Utah Valley Sunday afternoon in St. George, Utah, as the Wolverines cruised to an 11-3 victory over Southern Utah.
The win helped the Wolverines sweep the two-game series over SUU and improve to 2-0 on the young season while the Thunderbirds dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
"Mills' line is not indicative of how well she threw today. She had allowed just one hit and was shutting them (SUU) out before the rain delay," said UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne "She was in total control."
Mills, who picked up a complete game victory in the circle for UVU on Saturday, followed it up with another start-to-finish outing on Sunday. The junior transfer from Louisiana-Monroe allowed just three runs on five hits while striking out seven.
UVU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead over the T-Birds with two runs in the first and three more in the second. The scoring didn't stop there for the Wolverines however as they pushed across one more run in the third and five more runs in the fourth to pull ahead 11-0.
LAS VEGAS — The Weber State University softball team wrapped up its participation in the Sportco Kickoff Classic on Sunday afternoon with 8-0, five-inning setback to Minnesota.
After scoring 18 runs in their first four games, the Wildcats' bats struggled to connect, garnering just two hits against the Gophers.
Senior third baseman Lyndsey Minnich and freshman catcher Janel Cunningham each had a hit, while sophomore first baseman Ashley Huddleston reached on a walk, as Weber State got just three runners on base.
Minnesota (2-1) scored twice in the first inning and once in the second to take a 3-0 lead, before closing the game out with a five-run fifth.
Weber State (2-3) will return to action on Friday against New Mexico State, opening up a five-game stay at the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M.
ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah University softball encountered problems in the field, committing five errors and allowing Utah Valley University to build an 11-0 lead before eventually falling 11-3 in five innings.. The loss drops the T-Birds to 0-2 on the year with the Wolverines moving to 2-0 after the series sweep.
UVU scored runs in the first, second, third and fourth innings, making the most of T-Bird errors in the first, second and fourth frames. Only four of the Wolverines' 11 runs ended up being earned because of the defensive miscues.
Southern Utah finally put its own lights on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth on a Cora Cordova two-run, two-out single with the bases loaded.. The runs put the score at 11-2 with the teams heading into the fifth inning.
Freshman Ashley Ostler threw a scoreless frame, including a strikeout in her first collegiate appearance. Another freshman, Tessa Loewen, then led off the Thunderbird order in the bottom of the fifth with a double into the left center gap and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly ball off the bat of fellow Canadian Kelsey Bryant. The final run punctuated scoring on the day as a ground ball and strikeout ended the game 11-3.
Danielle Axe suffered the loss in the circle, throwing 3.2 innings and allowing 11 runs (four earned) on 11 hits and three walks with three strikeouts.. Utah Valley's Tiffany Mills picked up her second victory of the weekend in 5.0 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.
Southern Utah's season will continue next weekend when the Thunderbirds take part in the Hillenbrand Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona. SUU is slated to face Western Kentucky, UAB, North Dakota and Arizona, playing six games over the space of three days.
LAS VEGAS — Playing in the final day of the Las Vegas Desert Stinger Tournament the Dixie State softball team defeated host Montana State Billings 6-3 and Cal State San Bernardino 12- in six innings.
The Red Storm improved to 5-2 on the season and finished the tournament 4-1 and set a new tournament record with 12 home runs. The previous record was 10 by Augustana College in 2011.
Dixie State had two strong pitching performances today. In game one sophomore Mattie Snow (Tooele, UT
Tooele High School) pitched a complete game to improve to 3-0 on the season. In game two, senior Lauren Folta (Erda. UT/Tooele High School) picked her first win of the season in five innings of work..
"Our pitchers had 26 strikeouts and only six walks in the tournament. I am very pleased the way we pitched the ball this weekend," said Coach Randy Simkins.
On the offensive side, the Red Storm hit 12 home runs. Senior Kelsey Mendenhall (Tooele. UT
Tooele High School) and junior Johnna Brown (Las Vegas, NV/Centennial High School) each had three and junior Kylee Bufton (Spanish Fork, UT/Spanish Fork High School) had two. Freshman Courtney Sherwin (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain High School), senior Kylee Higgins (Layton. UT/Layton High School) and freshman Nicole Chavez (Chino Hills, CA/Ayala High School) each had solo shots.
In today's games the Red Storm rattled off 17 hits, five in game one and 12 in game two.
Coach Simkins, "We're very happy we've had so many players jump in and contribute. 12 different players had at least two hits. Obviously we are happy for Kyle Bartlett's 2-2 performance."
In game one against the Yellow Jackets, Brown hit a solo shot to right field to give DSC a 1-0 lead. Mendehall and Anna Cue (Murrieta Valley, CA
Murrieta Valley High School) followed with walks and Sherwin tripled giving DSC a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.
In the fifth Chavez homered to give the Red Storm a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the seventh, pinch hitter and freshman Kylee Bartlett, making her first collegiate at bat deposited her pitch over the centerfield fence to give DSC a 6-3 lead.
In game two against CSU San Bernardino, the Red Storm erupted for 12 hits. Brown, Mendenhall, Sherwin and Higgins each had two hits.
Sherwin had three RBI to lead DSC and Mendenhall, Judkins and pinch hitter Bartlett each had two RBI.
"It was a great weekend for Red Storm softball," concluded Randy Simkins.