Hoping to continue on strong after opening its Pac-12 season with a win, the No. 11 University of Utah softball team played its home opener against Oregon during a three-game series starting on Saturday, March 25. The Utes weren’t able to secure a win against their Pac-12 rival, and they dropped both games.
“We played a really tough Oregon team and couldn’t find a way to get the momentum going our direction,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “We were trailing early in both games and didn’t recover well.”
When Saturday’s game was postponed due to weather conditions, the three-game stretch began on Sunday, March 26 with a doubleheader scheduled. During the first game, Utah failed to stop Oregon, and lost 12-3.
“It was a tough loss,” said senior Bridget Castro. “We didn’t do what we thought we were going to do, but it’s always good to figure it out now and not face it later down the road, so I think it was really good for us to see what we need to work on, what are weak points are, and just push forward.”
The Ducks got hits in every inning against the Utes, but the Utes managed to put some scores on the board. In the third inning, Oregon was up 6-0 by the time senior Delilah Pacheco stepped up to the plate and scored the first run for her team.
Senior Hannah Flippen and freshman Alyssa Barrera also put runs up for the Utes but Oregon held them off, and after the fifth inning the game was brought to an end.
The Utes were hoping for better luck in the second game that was scheduled later Sunday, but this time they couldn’t score against the Ducks. Utah was close to putting some runs on the board when Flippen got out on the bases for a single, but with multiple errors on the Utes’ part the game was kept to a shutout and the Utes took a 3-0 loss.
Unfortunately, Utah couldn’t salvage its third game against Oregon when Monday’s game was canceled due to weather conditions and not rescheduled, and the matchup between the schools ended with Utah’s double defeat.
“The second game we pitched and played defense well enough to give ourselves a chance, but [we] never got things going offensively,” Hogue said. “Oregon is a really strong team, and we just got outplayed.”
Up next, the Utes will be on the road to California as they are set to compete against Stanford this Friday through Sunday, March 31-April 1. Friday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. MT with Saturday and Sunday’s games at 3 p.m. MT.