Utes Fall to Ranked Pacific

The drought continues for the U softball team.

The Utes lost to No. 18 Pacific 10-1 at Ute Field Thursday, extending the streak to 26 straight losses against ranked teams. The loss gives the Utes a 13-29 record, and the Tigers improve to 25-12.

After a scoreless first inning, the two teams each scored one run in the second inning. Pacific scored on a sacrifice flyball, then Utah scored when Masie Ota drove Heather Bowlin home on a single.

“I just wanted to work for the team and get on, and it just so happens that [Bowlin] scored on it,” Ota said.

The Utes had the momentum, but it only lasted momentarily.

In the top of the third inning, Tiger pitcher Cindy Ball took a change-up from Bowlin and put it over the leftfield fence, a solo shot to give the Tigers the 2-1 lead.

The Tigers never looked back.

“[That home run] sure felt like it took the wind out of our sails,” U coach Mona Stevens said. “I saw the energy change in our team. I also believe we could come back, but then it just got out of hand.”

Stevens knew Ball would be tough on the mound. Her pitching kept the Utes in check for most of the game.

But she did more than that.

Not only did Ball throw a six hitter, but she finished the game going 3-3, with two solo home runs and three runs batted in.

“She’s showed why she’s an All-American,” said Stevens. “She’s pretty much their team. If she does well, everybody else does well.”

Pacific added one more run in the fourth inning, three more in the fifth and five runs in the seventh.

“We’re not drained, but we’re trying so hard because we want to turn it around,” Bowlin said.

The Big West Conference Player of the Week Barbara Moody also had a good game for the Tigers. She went 3-5, with one RBI and one run scored.

Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Melissa Stahnke couldn’t do much, as she went 1-4 with 2 strike outs.

Bowlin got the loss for the U, which puts her at 8-12 on the year.

Ute Jen Pursell came on in relief in the fourth inning, but Pursell couldn’t seem to stop the barrage of Pacific hits.

The Utes now have back-to back doubleheaders with conference teams. New Mexico comes in today, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Colorado State plays at Ute Field Saturday, beginning at noon.

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