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Softball Continues to Roll, Tops CSUN & Shuts Out UC Davis on Saturday

Feb 26, 2022

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.- Utah softball took care of business on Saturday winning both of their games against CSUN and UC Davis at the Big League Dreams Complex. The Utes scored 13 runs on 20 hits over the two games and shut out their third team of the weekend to cap off the night.

Utah moves to 11-4 overall, and will close out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic tomorrow morning against No. 1 Oklahoma.

Game 1 vs CSUN 5-1
The lefty spinner, sophomore Mariah Lopez, started her second game of the weekend and walked away with another win only giving up 1 run on three hits and striking out seven in a complete game effort.

In the top of the first, Lopez stepped into the circle and made quick work fanning the first batter she faced and issuing two groundouts to put away the Matador's in order. In the bottom half of the first, sophomore Aliya Belarde and senior Ellessa Bonstrom both singled and put runners on first and second with one out. Setting up the RBI situation for junior Julia Jimenez in the clean up spot, she drove a single down the right field line to score Belarde and advance Bonstrom over to third.

Looking to place runners on second and third, senior Jordyn Gasper laid down a bunt to do just that. Utah's next two batters couldn't convert and ended the inning with the Utes on top, 1-0.
Utah got into a bases loaded jam in the second after the Matadors drew a walk and two singles. Just focusing on the next batters, Lopez was able to get out of the inning popping up the next batter and grounding out the next with Jimenez fielding it cleanly and throwing to first for the final out.

The held the 1-0 advantage until the third when CSUN was able to tie the game off an error by Denning that scored Jaymi Steward, who got the inning started with a single to right field. Utah immediately answered the next inning threatening with a bases loaded situation and scoring the first of three in the inning off of a hit-by-pitch that Destiny White wore to extend the lead 2-1.

Sophomore Sophie Jacquez pinch hit later in the inning and in a full count, drove a shot to right field to collect to RBI on the play and give Utah the 4-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the fifth, senior Elicia Espinosa recorder her second extra base hit of the season doubling to right center. Junior Halle Morris stepped up to the plate and traded places hitting her first double of the season to score Ortiz (pinch ran for Espinosa) for the final run of the game.

Belarde led the Utes offensively going 2-4 and scoring a run to help earn the team's 10th win of the season.

Game 2 vs UC Davis 8-0
Utah extended their winning streak to five games after shutting out the Aggies, 8-0, their second shut of the weekend and fifth over the last eight games. Senior Sydney Sandez went the distance throwing a complete game, giving up four hits and fanning three as the Utes ended the game in a six innings run rule.

Like previous games, it took a couple innings for the Utah offense to come alive but in the third Denning was able to reach first off a single back to the pitcher. Belarde followed with a hard-hit single to third that got away from the defense and allowed both Denning and Belarde to advance an extra base. Putting the ball in play and forcing the defense to make a play, Bonstrom reached on a fielders choice that scored Denning to put the Utes up, 1-0.

The ensuing batter Jimenez, laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher that scored Belarde and on the errant throw, advanced Bonstrom all the way home. Gasper ended the inning with a fly out that the center fielder had to track down to make the diving catch.

Up 3-0, Utah scored two more runs in the fifth as Jimenez singled through the right side driving in two runs to make it 5-0 Utes. Jimenez continued her stellar game in the sixth driving in another two runs for her fourth and fifth RBI of the game, giving Utah the eight-run lead after five and ultimately end the game in a six-inning run rule.

Jimenez highlighted the second game going 2-3 at the plate, collecting five RBI and stealing two bags, her first two stolen bases of the season.

Up Next
Utah will close out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic bright and early tomorrow morning going up against the #1 team in the nation, Oklahoma, who comes into the game with an unblemished 14-0 record.

The game is set to start at 10:00am MT and 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.

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