As they come to the bitter end of their 2018 season, the University of Utah softball team closed out their on the road play in Eugene, Oregon against the University of Oregon. The Utes fell in all three games, but didn’t go down without a fight.
The first game of the long weekend started off on a bad note as senior Katie Donovan gave up five runs in the first two innings. Utah managed to get two runners on in the fourth inning, but Utah was shut down by Oregon’s elite pitching the rest of the game.
Oregon tacked on three more runs to close out the game with a 8-0 win to grab their first win of the series.
“We prepared for the weekend by setting goals to keep it simple in the box, put a lot of balls in play, and make adjustments,” sophomore Kelly Martinez said. “We learned a lot from this weekend and I think going into next weekend we’ll continue to keep it simple and make adjustments while also enjoying our last time playing at home with our seniors.”
Saturday brought game two and a little more action from the Utah bats as the Ducks grabbed a 5-2 victory. Miranda Viramontes earned five strikeouts and a complete game.
Oregon was unable to get a hit until the fifth, and Ally Dickman doubled in the third inning to put the Utes in scoring position, but was not moved home. Heather Bowen and Kelly Martinez both got hits in the next inning, but once again were not helped home by the rest of the lineup.
Abby Robertson put the Utes on the board in the fifth with a two run double, but Oregon took back those two runs in the next half of the inning, along with two insurance runs to go up by two. Oregon scored one more in the sixth to solidify their win.
The final game on Sunday afternoon brought one final win to Oregon, despite some very strong hiring from the Utes. Dickman hit three singles in the game and drove in the only run for Utah.
Oregon had a 5-0 lead going into the third inning, and the Utes scored their only run in the fourth, but that was not enough to compete with three more runs from the Ducks.
All three of the Utah pitchers contributed in the game, but had eight walks between them, and some timely hitting from the Ducks gave them the 8-1 win to walk away with the series.
“I think we made great adjustments at the plate this weekend and improved each game. In the final game we outhit Oregon, we were just unable to string them together and produce runs,” said Dickman. “Oregon has a great pitching staff and we made adjustments with every batter. Playing in front of a sold out stadium against a very good team provided energy and made for a fun atmosphere and the team handled it well.”
Utah returns for their final PAC-12 series at home against Oregon State University. The senior weekend festivities will start off on Thursday evening with a 7 p.m. first pitch.