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Shutout of BYU Caps Pair of One-Run Wins for Utah Friday at Kajikawa Classic

Feb 12, 2021

Box Score 2 | Box Score 1 | Boxscore

TEMPE, Ariz. – The 2021 Utah Utes have shown incredible resolve through three games, winning each by just one run and overcoming adversity to secure those victories. Friday brought a 2-1 win over Seattle and a 1-0 shutout of BYU on the opening day of the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium to help Utah improve to 3-0.
Playing three times in 24 hours after not playing a game in 11 months—and winning all three by one run—is an incredibly positive sign for the Utes as they embark on head coach Amy Hogue's 14th season. It's the second consecutive season Utah has opened the season 3-0, following last year's 6-0 start.
Head Coach Amy Hogue
"One thing that every great team needs to learn how to do is win the close games. We're definitely checking that off the list right now! (Three)-0 and all of the wins have been by one run. Our pitching staff is killing it right now, and our defense has been improving each game. Tomorrow we're going to need our hitters to start to square some balls up."
Utah 2, Seattle 1
Ellessa Bonstrom hit Utah's first home run of the season—a solo shot in the top of the third—to extend the Utes' lead to 2-0 and Mary Beth Feldman went 5 2/3 without allowing an earned run to take the win in her first start of the season, in Utah's first game of the Kajikawa Classic.
Utah scored first when Haley Denning opened the game with a single, advanced to second on an error, stole third and came home on a Julia Noskin single. It marked the second game in a row that Denning singled and scored in the first.
Seattle pushed across an unearned run in the sixth, and Feldman was replaced by Sydney Sandez who shut things down for the final four outs. Feldman struck out 5 and did not allow a walk in her impressive first start of the season.
Utah 1, BYU 0
The Utes took down the Cougars in a rivalry matchup in Tempe behind a sterling performance from starter Sydney Sandez, who struck out six and did not issue a walk in her complete-game shutout win. It was the second career shutout for the junior who has not allowed an earned run in her 16.0 innings of work on the young season.
Pitching and defense carried the Utes in the Friday afternoon victory. Utah mustered just three hits but did reach base five times by walks, and ultimately stranded seven runners. The game's only run came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Savanah Whatley pinch hit for Alyssa Palacios, walked, and advanced to second before coming home on a ball hit by Alyssa Barrera.
Utah carried that slim 1-0 lead into the top of the sixth when BYU led off with a single, but a double-play snuffed out the threat, and Sandez got the final four outs in succession to secure the shutout.
Utah's starting pitchers have not allowed an earned run in a combined 21.2 innings through three games (Sydney Sandez, 16.0 inn.; Mary Beth Feldman, 5.2).

  • Utah's 1-0 victory in game 2, over BYU, is the team's first shutout since Feb. 24, 2020 (at San Diego, 8-0 in 6 innings).
  • The Utes posted four shutout wins in 14 games last season.
  • Bonstrom's home run that proved to be the difference in the 2-1 win over Seattle was the Utes' first of the season. She led the team last year with five in the 18-game season.
  • Four true freshmen have seen their first collegiate action for the Utes through the season's first three games: Sophie Jacquez, Mariah Lopez, Shelbi Ortiz and Savanah Whatley.

Utah continues play Saturday in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, facing a second matchup with Seattle at 3 p.m. and a clash with Pac-12 foe and tournament host No. 16 Arizona State at 6. The ASU game will be livestreamed. Learn more about the tournament at ASU's Kajikawa Classic Tournament Central.