Softball Split Two Games on Second Day of Kajikawa Classic
TEMPE, Ariz. – Utah's bats came alive Saturday, just as head coach Amy Hogue had called for on Friday night, helping the Utes to split a pair of games in the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium. Utah defeated Seattle for the second time in the tournament, 10-1, to begin the day, but fell to the No. 15/16 host Sun Devils, 9-4, in the nightcap.
Trailing 9-0 after four innings against ASU, Utah rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth to extend the game, and again loaded the bases, but was unable to push across any more runs.
Utah hit three home runs in the win over Seattle, off the bats of Ellessa Bonstrom (second of the year), Madi Jacobus and Katie Faulk. Against ASU, fifth-year Alyssa Barrera reached the 200-hit plateau for her brilliant career with a two-run double in the fifth inning.
Head Coach Amy Hogue
"Our swings are starting to get a little more comfortable. We hit some balls hard today. It felt nice to get an early lead in the first game and to show some fight after getting behind in game two. We used our entire bench today except for a couple pitchers that we plan to throw in our last game of the tournament tomorrow. I think this team will bounce back tomorrow."
Utah blasted three home runs in the game-one win over Seattle, including solo shots by Ellessa Bonstrom and Katie Faulk and a two-run homer by Madi Jacobus. Bonstrom was 3-3 vs. Seattle with 4 RBI, and went 0-2 vs. ASU but added a sac fly for a fifth RBI on the day.
Utah 10, Seattle 1 (5 inn.)
Utah blasted three home runs as the bats came alive right out of the gate with five runs before an out was recorded in the top of the first, and cruised to the 10-1 win to move to 4-0 on the season. Junior clean-up hitter Ellessa Bonstrom (3-3) homered for the second day in a row and doubled twice, driving in four runs. Senior Katie Faulk went 2-3 with a home run and sophomore Madi Jacobus (1-2) added a home run of her own.
Sophomore Halle Morris made her first start of the season and third of her career, earning her first collegiate win. She tossed four innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out two. Freshman Alicia Estrada pitched the final inning, allowing no hits in her first collegiate appearance.
After the five-run first inning, Utah added one run in the second on the Bonstrom homer, three more in the third and another in the fourth before Seattle produced its lone run in the bottom of the fourth.
No. 15/16 ASU 9, Utah 4
The 15/16th ranked tournament-host Sun Devils built a 9-0 lead after 4 innings and held off a late Utah rally to claim the 9-4 victory at Farrington Stadium. Haley Denning and Julia Noskin each went 2-4 at the top of the order, and Alyssa Barrera slammed a two-run double into the right-field corner in the fifth inning, but it was not enough as the Utes squandered another opportunity with the bases loaded and ultimately left 10 runners on base.
After a scoreless first inning, ASU tallied eight runs in the second and third innings on the strength of four home runs, including a three-run shot in the 2nd, back-to-back solo blasts to begin the third and another 3-run shot later in the third. Utah's pitching settled down after that, allowing just one run in the fourth and no more the rest of the way.
Halle Morris, who earned the win in game one, pitched effectively over the final three innings, allowing just two hits, two walks and a run while striking out one. Freshman Mariah Lopez made her first career start and struck out the first two batters she faced, but ran into some hot ASU hitting after a clean first inning.
- Alyssa Barrera's two-run double in the nightcap vs. ASU was the 200th hit of her stellar career. She needs to reach 245 to break into Utah's all-time top 5, and 264 to break Hannah Flippen's school record.
- Ellessa Bonstrom's second home run of the season was a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the second against Seattle to extend Utah's lead to 6-0. She also homered on Friday vs. Seattle. Bonstrom hit a team-high 5 HRs last year in 18 games.
- Bonstrom had two doubles, a one home run and 4 RBI vs. Seattle:
- Most RBI since 5/11/18 (Heather Bowen, 4); last time a Ute had more was 3/26/18 (Bowen, 5)
- Most doubles since 4/16/18 (Kelly Martinez, 2); last time a Ute had more was 2/19/18 (Martinez, 3)
- Most total bases since 4/16/18 (Martinez, 8); last time a Ute had more was 3/20/18 (Bowen, 9)
- Haley Denning continued the formula of first-inning instant offense against Seattle, reaching base on a single, stealing second, and coming around to score on a base hit by Alyssa Barrera in what would turn out to be a 5-run first inning en route to the 10-1 win. Denning is 4-4 in stolen bases in 2021.
- Utah scored 10 runs against Seattle, its most since a 13-6 win over Mercer on March 7, 2020.
- Makenna Calderon made her first at-bat of the season count, knocking in two runs on a base-hit in the third inning against Seattle to extend Utah's lead to 8-0.
- Freshman Alicia Estrada made her collegiate debut in the fifth inning against Seattle and got all three outs without allowing a hit or a walk (1 HBP) to close out the five-inning win. She appeared again later vs. ASU.
- Five true freshmen have seen their first collegiate action for the Utes through the season's first five games: Alicia Estrada, Sophie Jacquez, Mariah Lopez, Shelbi Ortiz and Savanah Whatley.
Utah (4-1) will close out the Kajikawa Classic with a single game against Seattle (0-4) at 11 a.m. MT, its third against Seattle in the three-day tournament at Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Keep up on all the action in the tournament at ASU's Kajikawa Classic Tournament Central.