The Utah Valley University softball team suffered a pair of shutout losses Saturday at the Red Desert Classic, falling to Omaha, 4-0, in game one before suffering an 8-0 setback at the hands of Weber State in game two. The Wolverines tallied just seven hits on the day and stranded 13 runners on base.
"To put it simply, that just wasn't us out there today," UVU head coach Nikki Palmer said. "That's not who we are. We've got to be better going forward. It's as easy as that."
The Wolverines (0-3) were undone by big innings from the opposition in both games. Getting her first career start, Kelsey Lawton worked out of early jams in the first and second innings against Omaha but couldn't keep the Mavericks off the board in the third. Omaha tallied three runs in the bottom half of the frame, forcing Lawton from the game after loading the bases with just one out. Coming on in relief, Josi Summers got the first Maverick to line out to third but surrendered a walk and a two-RBI single in the subsequent at-bats.
Lawton suffered her first career loss, allowing three earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched.
Omaha got another run in the fourth to make the score 4-0, but UVU got itself into a position to cut into the deficit, if not erase it entirely, in the top of the fifth. Amanda Robinson came to the plate with the bases loaded and two gone in the frame but lined out to second base to end the threat. Brittney Vansway got things going for UVU with a one-out single, immediately followed by another basehit from Dynasty Lauvai. After Jamie North struck out, Brianna Gatlin worked a walk to chock the bases full, but Robinson's sharply hit line drive flew straight at Omaha second baseman Tara Trede.
Three of UVU's five runners left on base came from that sequence as Omaha went on to claim its third win in as many games at the Classic.
Summers got the starting nod against Weber State and looked strong early, limiting the Wildcats to three hits and no runs over the first three innings. But the Wildcat bats came alive in the fourth, tagging the junior for five runs — four of which came on Krystin Kubo's pinch-hit grand slam. Summers threw 3.2 innings, allowing five earned runs before giving way to true freshman Bailey Moore.
Moore finished the final 4.0 innings of the contest, allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out four.
The loss snapped UVU's five-game winning streak against its in-state rival.
No Wolverines posted a multi-hit outing on the day, and only Lauvai and Vansway posted more than one between the two games. Each finished the day with two hits.
Utah Valley will wrap up its time at the Red Desert Classic with two more games Sunday. UT-Arlington awaits the Wolverines at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, and the tournament finale comes against Nevada at 1:30 p.m. UVU has never faced the Mavericks of UTA but topped the Wolf Pack last season in St. George, 11-1.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.