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One-Run Loss to No. 10 Wildcats Caps Softball Weekend Series

Apr 25, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. – Ellessa Bonstrom homered in the first inning to give the visiting Utes a 1-0 lead at No. 10 Arizona for the second game in a row, and starter Sydney Sandez pitched five solid innings to keep Utah within striking distance, but the host Wildcats scored just enough to hold off the Utes, 3-2, Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
 
The loss capped a four-game series sweep for Arizona, dropping Utah's season record to 17-23 (2-13 Pac-12). Arizona is now 31-8 (9-5 Pac-12). Bonstrom, who also walked twice, added to her team-leading total with her 13th round-tripper of the year, and served notice that the visiting Utes had no intention of surrendering in their series finale.
 
Arizona tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning and added two more in the fifth, but Utah battled back to manufacture a run in the top of the sixth after Haley Denning led off the inning with a triple to center field and Bonstrom walked. Destiny Quiles lifted a ball high and deep to right field for a sacrifice fly to score Denning to cut the Arizona lead to 3-2. Denning went 2-3 on the day, as did Elicia Espinosa.
 
Utah, however, was unable to tie the game or go ahead despite putting one more runner on in the inning. Arizona starter Hanah Bowen then closed the door in the seventh with a three-up, three-down inning to record a complete-game win.

STANDOUT STAT
Haley Denning went 2-3 and scored after a sixth-inning triple, her team-leading fifth three-bagger of the season. She entered the weekend ranked third in the Pac-12 in triples.
 
QUOTABLE
Head Coach Amy Hogue
"Syd (Sandez) threw great here in Tucson and we should have gotten the win for Syd today. We had the last two games within reach, which was completely opposite of the first two games against them. And Syd was the difference. But we don't want to have close games, we want to win. So we need to find a way to have one or two more clutch moments in these games to get those victories."
 
NOTABLE

  • Starting pitcher Sydney Sandez had one of her strongest outings of late, scattering seven hits over five innings, with two strikeouts, and allowing three earned runs.
  • Ellessa Bonstrom has been on a home-run tear over the last nine games, hitting five HRs in that span.
  • She hit a grand slam last Wednesday night at BYU which marked her third game in a row with a home run, and she now has five in her last nine games to give her 13 for the season.
  • That's the most home runs by a Utah player since 2016 (Hannah Flippen, 13), and the last time a Ute had more was 2009 when Kara Foster hit 18.
  • Bonstrom regained the team RBI lead with 32 now, one more than Alyssa Barrera.

ON DECK
Utah returns home for six games at Dumke Family Stadium over the next week. Idaho State comes in for a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 28, followed by a four-game weekend series beginning Friday against UCLA.