In its final regular season action, the Utah Valley University softball team suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of crosstown rival BYU on Tuesday night. UVU dropped the opener 7-2 before falling 11-8 in the nightcap.
Lovell led the Wolverines (14-40) at the plate on the evening, going a combined 4-for-7 with a home run and four RBIs. The senior went deep late in game one before driving in three runs over the first two innings in game two. Morgan Summers had two hits, including her fourth triple of the season in the nightcap, while Amanda Robinson, who entered the game with seven homers over her last eight games, went 0-for-1 with four walks on the evening.
UVU looked well on its way to the program's first-ever win at Gail Miller Field when it jumped out to a 7-0 lead over BYU (30-21) over the first two innings of game two. But the Cougars came all the way back, scoring a combined 10 runs between the second and fourth innings to improve to 13-0 all-time against the Wolverines at home.
Behind three hits and four drawn walks, UVU jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead to begin the nightcap at Gail Miller Field. After Morgan Summers got things rolling with a leadoff triple, the next two Wolverines walked to load the bases and Lovell then came through with a single up the middle to plate the first run of the game. Following an out, two consecutive walks brought Robinson in to score from third, and Megan Peay delivered the big hit of the inning with a two-out, bases-loaded single into right field. The knock scored two, giving the Wolverines and starting pitcher Bailey Moore some breathing room to begin the game.
Lovell delivered another two-RBI base hit in her next appearance in the second inning, dropping a single into left field that scored Summers and Erin Romero. Hailey Kofler followed that with another single, plating Rachael Schoonmaker from third and putting UVU ahead, 7-0, after just two innings.
The big lead was short-lived, though, as the Cougars responded with seven runs of their own over the next two innings, including a five-run third. BYU's Katie Manuma — helping her own cause in the circle — hit a two-run home run, and a pair of two-out errors in the infield set the table for a bases-loaded double that drove in three unearned to cap the scoring.
Thanks to a Schoonmaker RBI single in the top of the third, just prior to the Cougars' big inning, UVU still clung to an 8-7 advantage entering the fourth.
BYU got the go-ahead runs in the fateful fourth inning, scoring three more unearned runs on a two-out miscue in the outfield. The sudden, 10-8 advantage was enough for the Cougars as they limited the Wolverines to just two hits over the final four innings to end the ballgame.
Bailey Moore (2-13) took the loss despite seeing only three of her 10 runs allowed come in as earned. Josi Summers and Dara Rahm made appearances in relief, with the former allowing one run while striking out four in 1.2 innings pitched, and the latter allowing just one hit and fanning two more in her one-inning cameo.
In game one, Utah Valley fell behind 7-0 before finally getting on the board in the seventh inning. Lovell led off the frame with a solo home run — her seventh of the season and just the second hit of the evening for the Wolverines to that point. Two batters later, Kelli Fox motored all the way around to third on a throwing error, eventually scoring when pinch-hitter Josie Flores singled up the middle.
The last ditch rally looked to be gaining steam when the Wolverines, trailing by five, loaded the bases with two outs in the frame, but Brittney Vansway went down swinging to end the game at 7-2 in favor of BYU.
The Cougars scored their seven runs on only four hits in the game, benefitting from plenty of free bases courtesy of the UVU pitching staff. The Wolverines' three pitchers combined to walk 13 batters in the game and also suffered three wild pitches. Starter Kailey Christensen (2-5) suffered the loss after surrendering six earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched.
McKenna Bull (15-9) earned the win for BYU, striking out 10 UVU hitters in her complete-game effort.
The regular season now complete, Utah Valley has a short turnaround as it makes the trek to Seattle for the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament this week. The Wolverines, seeded fourth, face fifth-seeded Bakersfield in the tournament opener Thursday at 12 p.m. MT. The winner advances to Thursday's quarterfinal against No. 1 New Mexico State at 5 p.m.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.