Barrera Powers Utes to 10-4 Win over Seattle
TEMPE, Ariz. – Alyssa Barrera went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI and Utah racked up a season-high 11 hits to take down Seattle 10-4 on the final day of the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium. The Utes finish the season-opening road trip with five wins in six games, including a 4-1 record in the three-day tournament.
Junior Ellessa Bonstrom homered for the third day in a row, a solo shot in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Barrera's two-run single keyed a six-run third inning that allowed Utah to build a 7-2 lead, en route to the Utes' third win over Seattle in three days. Barrera's solo home run followed in the sixth inning to push the Utes' lead to 10-3.
Starter Sydney Sandez pitched her first 18 innings of the season without allowing an earned run before Seattle broke through for one run apiece in the second and third innings. Sandez struck out three in her three innings of work before giving way to Mary Beth Feldman who sprinkled seven hits and two earned runs to go with five strikeouts in her four innings of effective relief work.
Head Coach Amy Hogue
"I'm proud of our team to close out the tournament with another win against Seattle. That's a good team that is well coached and doesn't ever give in. To beat them three times was a big deal for us this weekend."
"We waited a long time to play and we definitely don't seem conditioned to play four straight days of softball. We ran out of gas partway through that last game and we need to learn to do a better job than that by next weekend. I was proud of our pitching staff. Especially our three returners who put us in position to win all 5 games they started. It was fun to see Ellessa Bonstrom hit essentially her midseason stride by Saturday. She is already so dangerous at the plate."
Utah racked up a season-high 11 hits—including two home runs—and has had 10 or more hits in three of their first six games of the season. The Utes notched 10 in the season-opening win at Grand Canyon and another 10 today.
- Alyssa Barrera crushed her 11th career home run, and first of the season, with a solo shot to right field to lead off the sixth inning. That followed her two-run single in the third-inning that drove in Haley Denning and Julia Noskin to give Utah a 3-2 lead and spark a six-run inning.
- Barrera now has 202 career hits. 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 has three HRs in the season's first 6 games. She led Utah in 2020 with five HRs in 18 games.
- Haley Denning singled to open today's game, then was caught stealing for the first time in her career, attempting to swipe second. Denning is now 4-5 in stolen bases in 2021, to lead the team, and 16-17 for her career.
- Utah scored 10 runs in each of its final two games against Seattle in the tournament, the team's most since a 13-6 win over Mercer on March 7, 2020. Last year Utah had three games with 10 or more runs and already has two in the first six games of this season.
- Freshman Savanah Whatley swiped her first career stolen base in second inning after pinch-running for Julia Scardina.
- Five true freshmen have seen their first collegiate action for the Utes through the season's first six games: Alicia Estrada, Sophie Jacquez, Mariah Lopez, Shelbi Ortiz and Savanah Whatley.
Utah (5-1) will now prepare for next weekend's UNLV Desert Classic, to be played Feb. 19-21 in Las Vegas. The Utes open play Friday at 11 a.m. MT vs. Weber State, and also will face California Baptist and UNLV twice each. For more information on the UNLV Desert Classic click here.