OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University's early spring road swing continues Tuesday as the Wolverines get set for eight games in Kissimmee, Fla., at the Rebel Spring Games.
The Games, which run from Tuesday to Saturday, will pit UVU (6-8) against an octet of opponents. Tuesday's fixtures include match ups with North Dakota (1 p.m. MT) and Youngstown State (3 p.m.), while St. Peter's (7 a.m.) and Wagner (9 a.m.) await the Wolverines on Wednesday. A day off Thursday gives way to Friday meetings with Green Bay (7 a.m.) and Fairleigh Dickinson (11 a.m.). The week wraps up Saturday as UVU faces Rider (7 a.m.) and Columbia (9 a.m.).
Each of UVU's final three contests stand as a rematch from last season's edition of the Rebel Spring Games. The Wolverines would finish that week at 7-1-1, their only blemish coming in the form of a 3-1 loss to FDU. UVU also tied 2-2 with Rider a year ago and defeated Columbia of the Ivy League, 8-5.
"We're looking forward to the Rebel Spring Games," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Last year we had a lot of success out here and we're looking to continue that. These games are crucial for us as we begin to get ready for conference play coming up at the end of the month."
UVU opens the Games against former Great West Conference rival UND. The Wolverines claimed all three meetings last season, including a win in the first round of the GWC tournament. North Dakota, which now competes in the Big Sky Conference, is 2-10 on the year.
The Phoenix of UWGB, UVU's first game Friday, are 0-5 on the season but gave No. 1 Alabama a tough game during the UNI Dome Tournament. The Phoenix hung with the Crimson Tide until the end and had the game tied at 7-7 late, but ultimately fell by a 10-7 score line.
The Wolverines also faced off with an SEC squad recently, closing up a three-game series with Arkansas on Sunday. After being shutout in the series' first two contests, UVU used a strong pitching performance from Tiffany Mills and a two-run second inning home run from second baseman Dynasty Lauvai to grab a 3-1 win over the Razorbacks.
Lauvai's homer gives her three on the season, good for the team lead. Shortstop Krystin Jachim also drove in a run Sunday, capping a week in which she batted .364 (4-for-11).
In the circle, Mills is 5-4 on the season with a 2.54 ERA. In the game three win over Arkansas, Mills allowed just one earned run, scattered seven hits and struck out six Razorbacks in a complete-game win.
Following the Games, Utah Valley returns home for its final tune-up before Pacific Coast Softball Conference play begins. Marist, of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will visit Orem on March 20, just three days prior to the PCSC opener at Saint Mary's.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.