OREM, Utah - Amanda Robinson crushed a three-run walk-off home run in game one as Utah Valley University earned a Saturday split with CSU Bakersfield in the latter half of a Pacific Coast Softball Conference series at Wolverine Field.
Having claimed the first two games of the series Friday, UVU (20-12, 5-3) won the series 3-1.
The Wolverines needed an eleventh-hour rally to pull out the win in game one. Trailing 1-0 and down to its last out in the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Charlee Cisneros took the first pitch of the at-bat off her right thigh to give UVU a base runner. Left fielder Morgan Summers worked the count to 3-1 in a patient at-bat before chopping a single up the middle to bring around the top of the order.
Summers' single set the stage for Robinson, who approached the plate having gone 7-for-10 in her first ten at-bats of the series. On the very first pitch, the junior put barrel to ball and lifted a high fly ball to center field that soared over the wall to lift the Wolverines to a 3-1 win.
"That seventh inning was awesome for the team," UVU head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Charlee came in and took one for the team and Morgan came up big to get on and bring up A-Rob, our big bat. She got it done. That's the kind of play we all know she is capable of and that was big."
Robinson's fourth home run of the year capped the Wolveirnes only scoring inning in a game that saw runs come at a premium. After pitching five scoreless innings, CSUB (7-22, 3-5) finally broke through against Josi Summers in the top of the sixth. Karissa Veiga led off the inning with a double, and after Laura King popped out to third base, Shay Fryer ripped her second double of the day off the left-centerfield wall. Veiga came around to score on the drive, putting the Roadrunners ahead 1-0.
Josi Summers (7-5) escaped the inning without further damage and came away with the win after keeping CSUB off the board in the seventh. `Runner pitcher Kelsie Monroe took the tough-luck loss, pitching six and two-thirds innings of scoreless softball until the late UVU rally. Despite the loss, it was a solid bounce-back performance for Monroe (7-12) who had surrendered 10 runs to UVU in her first outing Friday.
After tagging CSUB for 20 combined runs through the first three games of the series, the Wolverines failed to push a run across in Saturday's second game, falling 2-0.
Pitcher Amber Mills went the distance for the `Runners, besting her counterpart in position and namesake - UVU pitcher Tiffany Mills - to pick up her first win of the season. CSUB's Mills allowed just four hits in seven scoreless innings and helped her own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run.
For UVU's Mills, the loss snaps a three-game win streak over her last four outings.
"After that comeback win I thought we would have all the momentum headed into the second game," Hartgrove said. "But we ended up just resting on our laurels and we weren't able to get it done. We made some simple mistakes that hurt us and our offense was nowhere to be found. It's disappointing to only have one scoring inning all day."
Both Roadrunner tallies came in the second inning. Amber Mills got things going with a one-out single up the middle. First baseman Amy Ricciardi then lined a double into left field, advancing Mills to third and placing two runners in scoring position. In the next at-bat, catcher Ashley Carter attempted a squeeze bunt but came up empty on the attempt. The miss left Amber Mills in no-man's land down the third base line. Caught in a rundown, Mills was able to duck Cortinas' tag near the plate to score the games first run.
Carter eventually went down swinging, but with two outs second baseman Adrianna Cardoza found the outfield grass for an RBI single to double the score.
Utah Valley hits the road but remains in the Beehive State for its next two contests, traveling up I-15 to Ogden for a Tuesday doubleheader with Weber State. From there, the Wolverines return home for a four-game, PCSC series with crosstown rival BYU.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.