Amid Pac-12 play, the University of Utah women’s softball team played three home games against in-state competition, two Monday nights games against Weber State, and one Wednesday night game against rival BYU. Although the Utes were unable to take the rivalry game against the Cougars, they walked away winners against the Wildcats.
The wins against Weber gave the team a boost of confidence before the team dives back into conference action.
Game one against the Wildcats ended in a close 2-1 win for the Utes. Miranda Viramontes walked away with the win and earned four strikeouts in the game. The Utes were helped with big hits from Kelly Martinez, Hailey Hilburn and Julia Noskin, who contributed to scoring both runs in the game.
“We always talk about taking it pitch by pitch and stacking runs, not having big swings and trying to hit everything over the fence,” said sophomore Ryley Ball. “Just do the small things and it will add up to the bigger things and the runs.”
Weber State managed to load the bases twice in the game, once in the third and once in the fifth. But the Wildcats could never get more than one runner across home plate.
Game two on ended in five innings as the Utes came out on top with a 10-1 victory. The bats were on fire as Utah collected 14 hits with seven of those hits coming from Heather Bowen, freshman Alyssa Palacios and Martinez, who came up with a two-run shot, giving her three for the season.
“I think we were excited from the beginning and we knew a big rally was going to happen, we were just waiting for it,” said BreOnna Castaneda. “We were excited going into the game, so we had the energy to push forward.”
Weber State scored early in the first inning, but only managed to keep their one-run lead for two innings before Utah got into the game, scoring two runs in the third. Hilburn earned the win.
On Wednesday, BYU made the journey from Provo, and the Cougars were all business as they took an early lead five-run lead in the fourth inning.
The Utes started strong in the bottom of the fourth inning strong. They had two runners on with only one out when Castaneda hit a long-ball to the right-center wall to score Martinez for their first run of the game.
Ball hit a solo home run in the fifth, but Utah was unsuccessful in placing more runners across the plate during the inning.
“In my previous at-bat, I struck out, so that was a downer,” Ball said. “Because of that, I came back with a little more energy looking for some revenge with a little bit of fire in my belly.”
The Utes were unable to capitalize further, and they fell to the Cougars 5-2 after seven innings.
Utah jumps back into Pac-12 play this weekend in California as they travel to take on the Cal Golden Bears.