ST. GEORGE, Utah — Tiffany Mills pitched a complete game five-hitter for Utah Valley Saturday and Dynasty Lauvai added a two-run homer as the Wolverines (3-1) defeated Oklahoma State, 3-1, at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
The win marked UVU's first-ever triumph over Oklahoma State (2-2) of the Big 12 Conference in two tries. Prior to the game against the Cowgirls, the Wolverines fell to Idaho State, 11-3, in six innings.
"I'm very proud of the way the girls responded back in this second game (against OSU) after getting beat pretty badly in the first game (against Idaho State)," UVU head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Tiffany Mills pitched a great game and our freshman came through at the plate by driving home all of our runs. It was just a complete game out of the whole team."
Dynasty Lauvai gave UVU a 2-0 lead over Oklahoma State as she drilled a two-run home run over the left centerfield fence in the second inning. The blast was the freshman's first collegiate round-tripper.
OSU then made it a 2-1 ballgame in the bottom of the third as Tarah Ettinger drove home a run with an RBI single to right field. The run was all the Oklahoma State would get in the game however as Mills shut down the Big 12 softball power the rest of the way.
Mills went the distance against the Cowgirls and allowed just the one run while striking out four in the contest.
Behind Mills, UVU's defense was also solid in the game as it came through in the clutch. With two outs in the fourth, OSU's Gessenia DeLaCruz delivered a sharp single to left that looked like it would score a run, but Wolverine leftfielder Kylee Brinkerhoff charged the ball and threw a strike to home plate to nail Tamara Brown for the third out of the inning. The Cowgirls then got a runner on third base with just one out the following inning, but Lauvai came through with back-to-back nice defensive plays to help strand the runner.
The Wolverines tacked on their third run of the game in the sixth inning when Morgan Summers drove home her first collegiate run with a sharp single to left center that scored pinch runner Maddy Schulz from second base. Morgan Summers led the Wolverines offensively in the game with two hits.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Bengals (2-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer by Amanda Fitzsimmons in the top of the first inning. The Wolverines then loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame but couldn't answer as Jamie North took a called third strike on the outer half to end the threat.
ISU tacked on three more runs in the third to take a 5-0 advantage.
UVU got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, as it pushed across three runs to cut the score to 5-3. The Wolverines loaded the bases in the frame and Brinkerhoff then hit a two-RBI single to right field. Morgan Summers scored later in the inning thanks to a throwing error on ISU's catcher Vicky Galasso.
The Bengals then put the game away by tacking on two more runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth to take an 11-3 lead. Galasso delivered the big blow in the sixth with the three-run homer.
Josi Summers started in the circle for Utah Valley and allowed five earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Megan Peay then pitched the final 2.2 innings of the contest for UVU and gave up five more earned runs. Josi Summers was tagged with her first loss of the season in the contest.
The Wolverines will conclude their opening weekend of play at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, by taking on Nevada on Sunday at 11 a.m. Following this weekend's action, UVU will head to Las Vegas to take part in the Easton Desert Classic on Feb. 15-17.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.