The University of Utah softball team came back from a week off of conference play to host another Pac-12 foe. The No. 5 University of Arizona team swept the Utes in three games.
Overall this weekend, Arizona outscored Utah 48-3, and they allowed the Utes only six hits, while the Wildcats tallied 40 over the weekend series. These 48 runs are the most that have been scored in a Pac-12 conference series since 2010 when the conference transitioned into three-game series.
Friday evening brought Game 1 of the series and a 13-0 loss for the Utes. In this five-inning game, Utah managed only two hits, one each from Ally Dickman and Hailey Hilburn.
The rest of the game was strong for the Wildcat offense as they racked up 11 hits off of the Utah pitchers. The Wildcats have outscored their Pac-12 opponents 79-8 with 24 home runs over the past 10 games. A five-run fifth inning solidified the win for Arizona as Jessie Harper hit her 20th home run.
Arizona’s senior pitcher, Taylor McQuillan recorded her third straight shutout, and this was the fifth straight for the team. They have not given up a run to an opposing team in 33 and two-thirds innings.
Day two of playing did not look great for the Utes, and they fell once again with a score of 22-1. Arizona scored two runs early, but Utah came back in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run from Dickman. This was her sixth home run of the season, and she leads the team with this number. The Utes weren’t able to put any more runners across after this.
The Wildcats hit three home runs in the second inning, and by the time Utah managed three outs, Arizona had added 12 more runs to the board. In total, the Wildcats hit five home runs in the game, to keep them as one of the strongest offensive teams in the nation.
The 22-run game is the most that Arizona has put up since 2015.
The final game of the series brought another five-inning game, and Utah fell one last time to Arizona 13-2.
Hilburn was the starting pitcher for the afternoon, and she did not allow any runs through the first four innings of the game. She helped herself in the fourth inning with a two-run home run that marked the first runs scored on McQuillan in five Pac-12 appearances.
Utah kept Arizona scoreless until the third inning when four Wildcat players crossed home. The Utes came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Hilburn, but that was not enough to help Utah out, as they were unable to put any more runs on the board.
The Wildcats pulled out of the fifth inning with nine runs to solidify their third straight win against Utah and their 14th straight victory.
Next week, the Utes will travel to Palo Alto, California where they will face off against Stanford University in a three-game series starting on Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m.