Softball returns to the Dumke Family Softball Complex as the University of Utah hosts the No. 2 University of Oklahoma in their second home series of the year.
This will be the second non-conference team that the Utes will face this week. On Tuesday, Utah matched up with Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
The Utes are holding onto a 13-18 overall record and a 2-4 record in Pac-12 play so far this season.
Scouting the Utes
Earlier this week, the Utes frustratingly fell to the Weber State Wildcats in a 5-1 loss that resulted in only five hits for the visiting team. This is only the second of fourteen games that Utah has lost to Weber State.
Freshman Ellessa Bonstrom had another strong showing in Ogden as she got on base twice. This brought her team-high hitting streak up to six games. She was also the only Ute to cross home in the seven-inning game.
Ally Dickman managed two of the five hits in the game to round out the hitting side of the play. In the circle, Sydney Sandez pitched the majority of the game and recorded five strikeouts to tie her career high.
In their most recent Pac-12 matchup, the Utes were wiped out by Arizona State University in three games. The Utah pitchers gave up 45 runs in the series, but the 17 runs scored by the Utes in the final game was the most that they have scored since joining the Pac-12 conference in 2012.
As a team, the Utes have a total of 18 double plays. They are leading the Pac-12 with this number, and they rank seventh nationally. Additionally, Sandez has appeared in 23 games, which is the most in the conference, and Chantelle Ladner comes in third with 20 games.
Scouting the Sooners
Oklahoma is sitting on a 30-2 overall record, and they are currently undefeated in Big 12 play with a 2-0 record. Their most recent matchup was against Tulsa. The Sooners’ mercy ruled the Golden Hurricane 10-1 in five innings.
Giselle Juarez recorded her 14th win this season as a pitcher, and she has yet to lose a game. Three home runs were hit in this game, and the team continued their winning streak.
The only two losses that Oklahoma has this season are against Florida State University and UCLA during their preseason run.
The Sooners have come out on top of the Big 12 in each of the past seven seasons, and they are looking to make that eight this season.
Utah Players to Watch Out For
Bonstrom has been tearing it up in the box, and this past weekend she recorded her sixth straight game of getting a hit. So far in Pac-12 play, she is leading the league, having reached base on walks seven times. She is also third in on-base percentage with .652 and fourth for home runs with three total.
Julia Noskin is coming into this season strong with an 11th place conference batting average at .370 and 37 total hits, which put her in seventh place. She is stepping up all over the field as both an infielder and an outfielder, and she is picking up the slack from where players graduated last year.
Alyssa Barrera is continuing to impress in her third season on the field, and she is currently leading the conference in triples with four. She has an overall batting average of .379, and she has a total of 36 hits on the season already.
Oklahoma Players to Watch Out For
Last week, Sydney Romero sent two hits over the fence, making her a force to be reckoned with.
Juarez, a left-handed pitcher, is controlling in the circle, and she is dominating as a junior on the team. She transferred to Oklahoma from Arizona State University where she was on the All-Pac-12 First Team as well as the NFCA First-Team All-American. In 224.1 innings of play, she allowed only 39 runs off of 91 hits.
The first game of the two-game series will be played on Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. at Dumke Family Softball Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah. Game two will follow on Sunday, March 31 at 12 p.m.