Ute softball drops three of five

Like something out of acomic strip, storm cloudshave followed the U softballteam around the Americanwest, and their play of latehas been as dreary as theweather.While the Salt Lake Valleycontinued to enjoy anotherweekend of unseasonablesunshine and dryness, the Udropped three of five gamesin College Station at the rainyTexas A&M Invitational overthe weekend.The Utes lost twice to theNo. 11 host in games on Fridayand Saturday and fell 5-2 onSunday to Miami. They did,however, manage to salvagetwo wins against McNeeseState in additional contestson Friday and Saturday.In the opening gameagainst the Cowgirls, LindiseNielsen and Brianna Gourdincombined to hold McNeeseState to one run while theU rallied to score two in thebottom of the seventh.With runners on secondand third, McNeese State’sJenny Clay threw the ballaway, giving the U a 2-1 victoryin their final at-bat.Texas A&M’s AmandaScarborough stole any momentumthe U might havegained with their late-inningcomeback, pitching a two-hitshutout for the Aggies laterFriday afternoon. Gourdinwent the distance in the 3-0loss.The Utes made quick workof McNeese State in theirsecond match-up, benefitingfrom six Cowgirl errors in a6-1 win. Gourdin pitched inher third consecutive game,striking out eight and gettingthe win. Diana Phillips was theonly Ute withmultiple hits onthe day, scoring and drivingina runafter an RBI triple in thefifth. TheAggieswereeventougherthesecondtimeonSaturdayafternoon,winningeasily 9-1. The game only wentfiveinningsbeforeaneightrunmercyrulewentintoeffect.Lindsie Nielsen (3-5) tookthe loss for the U.Sundaywouldhavebeenafittingtimeforarecovery,but Miami(Ohio) didn’t allowone,winning5-2.JamieArundelhitathreerunbomboffGourdin (5-6) in the third, andthe Utes never recovered. KateNygaardhit a two-run shotinthebottomoftheseventhinthe loss.TheUtesfaceSouthernUtahintheirhomeopenernext Tuesday. [email protected]