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Jimenez's Two Home Runs Push Utes Past Fullerton, 4-3

Mar 5, 2022

FULLERTON, Calif.- Junior transfer, Julia Jimenez, did it all for the Utes this evening as she went 2-2 with 2 walks and two home runs to help push Utah past Cal State Fullerton in extra innings, 4-3. In a back and forth affair, Jimenez ended the game fielding a ground ball, stepping on third and firing to first for the double-play.

Both teams were held scoreless after the first inning but Jimenez quickly ended that driving a ball over the right field fence for the solo home run, her second of the year to put the Utes on top, 1-0. Three batters later, Sophie Jacquez hit her team leading fifth double of the season, but wasn't able to get driven in as Utah left two on base to end the frame.

Fullerton responded in the bottom half loading up the bases and scoring two off of a single to right field. Starter Sydney Sandez was able to minimize the damage striking and grounding out the following batters. At the end of the second inning, the Titans held a 2-1 lead over the Utes.

Remaining 2-1 until the top of the fifth, Utah was finally able to break through after Aliya Belarde snagged her 19th hit of the season and later advanced to second off a wild pitch to set up Ellessa Bonstrom for the RBI opportunity. Bonstrom took full advantage and knocked a single up the middle to score Belarde and knot the game up at two apiece, also advancing to second on the throw to keep the Utes threatening in the inning. Moving over to third off a wild pitch, Utah was unable to score leaving two more stranded.

Fullerton once again had another runner on base in the bottom of the fifth, but the alert Ute defense was able to get the lead runner out on back to back occasions as Katie Faulk gunned out the runner heading to second and Jimenez scooped up the ground ball and immediately went to second for the force out.  

Still tied at two entering the top of the seventh, Jimenez again put the Utes ahead after crushing a ball deep over the left field fence for her eighth home run of her career. It would be the only run Utah would score with a chance to end the game in the bottom frame, but the Titans weren't going down without a fight hitting a triple to start off the inning.

The next batter then singled to through the gap in the left infield to score and tie the game again at three. Sandez's day then came to an end and Halle Morris was called upon to close this one out. In a wild series of events, Faulk and Haley Denning would team up for an inning ending double-play that featured to perfect throws by Denning and two perfect tags by Faulk to keep the game tied and prevent the Titans from securing the win.

In extra's, Jacquez walked and Stella Bennett reached on a fielding error to put Utah in a prime position to take the lead and Denning did just that slapping a base hit to bring in a runner and extend the lead 4-3. But the Titans continued to put runners on base and were threatening to possibly even win the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth. But Utah's defense again came through in the clutch as Morris issued a ground ball to Jimenez for the double-play to end the game.

Starter Sandez went six full innings, striking out five as Halle Morris secured the victory. Offensively, it was all about Jimenez and Jacquez with each having multi-hit games.

Up Next
Softball will be back in action tomorrow morning to take on Kansas at 11:00am MT and Texas A&M at 1:30pm MT for a Saturday double-header.  

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