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Softballs Shuts Out USD & UC Riverside on First Day of Mary Nutter

Feb 25, 2022

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.­- It was a great day to be a Ute as the softball team was victorious in both of their games today, shutting out the University of San Diego and UC Riverside at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. 

Utah is now 9-4 overall and has shutout their last three opponents, scoring 17 runs on 29 hits.

Game 1 vs. San Diego (7-7)
Facing the Toreros for the second time in four days, the Utes once again shutout San Diego scoring three runs on seven hits. Shi Smith was given the ball in the circle and was in command striking out five in 5.1 innings pitched, the longest outing of the season for her.

The game stayed relatively quite until the third inning when junior Haley Denning took the game into her own hands singling up the left side and stealing both second and third for her team leading 10 stolen bags on the season. Three batters later, junior Julia Jimenez was able to reach on an error by the Torero shortstop, allowing Denning to score and break the 0-0 tie. The following batter, senior Jordyn Gasper, singled and scored sophomore Aliya Belarde to extend the Utah lead, 2-0.

In the bottom half of the fifth, senior Ellessa Bonstrom hit her third double of the season and advanced to third off of a fly out from Jimenez. It was once again Gasper with her second hit of the game up the middle to score Bonstrom and give Utah the 3-0 advantage.

Senior Sydney Sandez closed out the game on the mound striking out one and issuing a classic 5-4-3 double play to end the game.

Game 2 vs. UC Riverside (3-8)
The bats were on fire for Utah in their second game of the day scoring nine runs on 15 hits in a five-inning run rule effort. Bonstrom started the home run party barreling up her fourth big fly of the year to put the Utes on top 3-0 early in the game.

Both Jimenez and Gasper followed with singles but a ground out from Elicia Espinosa allowed a 5-3 double play to take place. With a Gasper still on second, Halle Morris stepped into the box and singled through the left side to score the fourth run of the inning.

Freshman Kendall Lundberg started behind the plate this afternoon and joined Bonstrom with her first collegiate bomb over the left field fence, making it 6-0 after just the first frame.  

Sophomore Mariah Lopez got the start and was spinning it well sitting down the Highlanders in order to start the game. Collecting five strike outs in the first three innings, Espinosa added on to the Utah lead sitting on an off-speed pitch and driving it over the right center fence for the solo shot.

Later in the inning, Lundberg and Denning singled to drive in two more runs and extend the lead, 9-0 and put the game out of reach for the Highlanders.

Up Next
Utah softball will be back on the diamond tomorrow for another two games against CSUN at 1:00pm MT and UC Davis at 6:30pm MT.

Fans can keep up with live game action with all games being streamed live on  FLOSOFTBALL. Live stats will also be available for each game and fans can also keep up with live game action throughout the weekend by following @Utah_Softball on Twitter.

Follow the Utes
For fans of the Utah softball program, follow the Utes on Twitter (@Utah_Softball), Instagram (@utahsoftball) and Facebook (@utesoftball).