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Softball Comes Up Short in Doubleheader with No. 2 UCLA

May 1, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah softball team received solid pitching in both games of today's doubleheader with No. 2 UCLA, but could not come up with timely hits on enough occasions, and was defeated, 4-0 and 4-2 on Saturday at Dumke Family Stadium.
 
The Utes managed just three hits in each game, but carried a two-run lead in the second game through five innings before the visiting Bruins broke through with three runs to take a 3-2 lead en route to the 4-2 victory.
 
Utah's record is 19-26 (2-15 Pac-12), while UCLA improves to 31-3 (12-2 Pac-12).
 
STANDOUT STAT
Starting pitching Mariah Lopez struck out seven batters in game two, and catcher Katie Faulk threw out three potential base-stealers in game one.
 
Game 1: UCLA 4, Utah 0
The game was scoreless through three innings until UCLA plated its first run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth. The Bruins extended the lead to 2-0 when Briana Perez homered to right field in the fifth inning.
 
Utah's first hit came in the bottom of the third, from Jordyn Gasper, who also lined Utah's second hit in the sixth. The Utes, however, could not gain any momentum, even when putting two on in the bottom of the seventh, and fell UCLA tallied two more on a home run in the sixth to build a 4-0 lead.
 
Starter Sydney Sandez pitched 4-1/3 innings and scattered six hits and two walks, while striking out one. She was replaced with one out in the fifth by Halle Morris, who pitched out of a jam to get the third out on a strikeout with two on to hold the Bruins to a 2-0 lead for the time being.
 
Game 2: UCLA 4, Utah 2
Utah took command early, manufacturing two runs in the bottom of the first inning with timely hitting and aggressive baserunning. Haley Denning led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and stole third before coming in to score on a fielder's choice by Ellessa Bonstrom. Bonstrom then scored on a deep single to dead center by Halle Morris for a 2-0 lead.
 
Starter Mariah Lopez was masterful through much of the game striking out seven batters and allowing just four runs in her 6-2/3 innings of work. Her effort helped Utah carry a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning before UCLA erupted for three runs on a bases-clearing double by Rachel Garcia. The Bruins added one more in the seventh for the 4-2 win.
 
Denning, Halle Morris and Destiny Quiles recorded Utah's three hits for the game.

NOTABLE

  • Haley Denning successfully stole third base in the first inning of game two, her 29th stolen base of the year, most by a Utah player since 2001 when Molly McLean stole 37 (in 46 att.).
  • Catcher Katie Faulk threw out three would-be base-stealers in game one today.
  • Jordyn Gasper had two of Utah's three hits in game one, going 2-2.
  • With seven strikeouts today, Mariah Lopez increased her team-leading total to 60 for the season.

ON DECK
The Utes and Bruins conclude their four-game Pac-12 series with a single game on Sunday beginning at 12 p.m. Two seniors from the 2020 team, who were unable to have a Senior Day recognition because of the pandemic will be honored. BreOnna Castaneda and Claire Feldman will take part in a ceremonial pregame first pitch.