Softball: Utes Stay Put In Pac-12 Standings, Earn Awards After ASU Sweep

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Utah Women's Softball junior Kay Kay Fronda (11), junior Delilah Pacheco (4), and sophomore Heather Bowen (37) talk in the outfield during the game vs. the ASU Sun Devils at the Dumke Family Softball Stadium on campus on Saturday, April 16, 2016

Utah has remained stagnant in the Pac-12 standings despite the sweep of No. 22 Arizona State over the weekend. The Utes are currently tied for third in the Conference of Champions with a Pac-12 record of 8-4.

The Utes’ next chance to move up in the standings comes on Friday against the last-place Stanford Cardinal. Stanford, 0-12 in conference play, will be looking for its first Pac-12 win during the Utah series, while the Utes will be trying to complete a second straight Pac-12 sweep.

 

Walk it off

After suffering so many close losses – the Utes were 0-7 in one-run games coming into the Arizona State series – Utah finally broke through on Monday night, beating the Sun Devils 6-5 on a late rally and walk-off single by Bridget Castro. It was Utah’s first walk-off of the season.

“That was exciting. We needed that,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “We want us to flip the tune a little bit and consider ourselves the comeback team.”

Castro was all smiles after her game winning walk-off.

“I was so happy. I just had a smile right away, I just knew that we had won that game and we had scored,” Castro said of her thoughts right after the ball landed in left field.

 

Awards aplenty for Utah

Three Utah softball players were selected for weekly awards this week. On Monday, Kay Kay Fronda was selected as the Pac-12 Player of the Week, and Katie Donovan was selected as the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. On Tuesday, Hannah Flippen was named College Sports Madness’s Pac-12 Player of the Week.

Fronda hit .667 in the past week and also had four hits and a huge opposite field home run, while Donovan notched two wins – one against Weber State and one against No. 22 Arizona State. She also earned her second save of the season against the Sun Devils on Sunday night.

Flippen hit .375 in the sweep over ASU and was 2-for-2 with four RBIs, two runs and a home run on Saturday against the Sun Devils.

 

Home, Sweet Home

Utah is now 9-1 at Dumke Family Softball Stadium on campus, with the only home loss of the season coming at the hands of rival BYU. At home, the Utes have swept two ranked teams in three game series – No. 24 Oregon State and No. 22 Arizona State.

j.coles@dailyutahchronicle.com

@JoeColesChrony

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