Ute softball loses four of five games at Palm Springs Classic

Close games haven’t been kind to the Utes this season, and karma still hasn’t quite lived up to its end of the deal.

The U dropped four out of five games at the Palm Springs Classic in California this weekend, and are 6-9 on the season.

Oklahoma State and Kansas outlasted the U in one-run affairs, bringing their losing streak to five on Friday.

The Cowgirls won 3-2 after taking an early 3-0 lead and withstanding Ivette Hernandez’s two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Marjorie Johnson secured the win, limiting the U to three hits and one walk while striking out 10 Ute batters.

The Jayhawks displayed the correct way to mount a comeback in the afternoon’s second game, winning 2-1 in extra innings against a downtrodden Ute squad.

Kansas scored in the sixth and eighth innings to secure a win against Brianna Gourdin, who allowed eight hits and no walks in the loss.

Bryanne Durrence went 2-for-4 and Ivette Hernandez continued her torrid hitting pace, plating the lone Ute run with an RBI single in the first.

The Utes stranded 12 runners in a game brimming with squandered opportunities. The loss marked their fourth straight one-run loss.

On Saturday, they finally overcame their penchant for choking, topping Bethune-Cookman 2-1 in another extra inning contest.

Brianna Gourdin took the mound again for the U and went the distance, striking out two and yielding only seven base runners in the win.

Ute Jackie Wong scored Sharee Fonoti from third on a blooper to shortstop to take a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The Wildcats scored again in the bottom of the third, and no runs were scored again, until Wong stepped up with Fonoti on third base again in the eighth.

She hit a slow roller to the same shortstop, who threw the ball away and gave the Utes a much-needed victory.

Any inspiration they gained didn’t go very far, however, and the U lost 10-3 against Mississippi State later that afternoon.

Only five Bulldog runs were earned in a game that saw the U commit eight errors.

Diana Phillips garnered a short-lived 3-2 lead with a bases-clearing three-run double in the third, but the Ute bats were silent for the remainder of the game.

Samantha Schroeder got the start, but only went a third of an inning before Lindsie Nielsen came on in relief for the loss, bringing her to 3-4 on the campaign.

The atrocious defense didn’t improve on Sunday, when Brianna Gourdin managed to allow no earned runs in a complete game, a 9-5 loss to Wisconsin.

The Badgers scored three in the first inning and six in the fifth, benefiting from three costly Ute errors.

When Wisconsin’s Katie Layne relieved Eden Brock for the Badgers, the Utes held a 5-3 lead in the early shootout.

Unfortunately their guns stopped firing against Layne, who pitched three perfect innings and struck out four, while the Wisconsin offense scored six unanswered runs.

The U will next travel to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Tournament March 4-6.

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