Two for two: Softball holds on for doubleheader sweep of UVSC

Practice makes perfect, and not practicing exposes imperfections. After 25 games without consistent outdoor practice, that may partially explain why the Utes (11-16) were able to get back on track in Orem on Wednesday, sweeping a doubleheader from Utah Valley State (8-25-1).

A shining sun in Salt Lake City allowed the Utes to practice outdoors on team defense and pitching this week, and the extra work showed Wednesday afternoon.

“Both of our pitchers need to practice off of live hitting and in-game situations,” said head coach Mona Stevens.

“We need to see our pitchers performing as well as they did at the beginning of the season in order to be successful,” she added.

No doubt Stevens was thrilled with Brianna Gourdin’s (7-7) performance in the first game. The junior held the Wolverines to just three hits and a single walk, while striking out 10 in the 5-0 shutout.

Junior centerfielder Sarah Lyman provided the only extra base hit in the game for the Utes with a two RBI double.

In game two, Lindsie Nielsen (4-8) held on for the 5-3 win despite allowing two runs with one out in the seventh inning, as the Wolverines were able to scrap back from a four-run deficit. Nielsen mowed down 12 UVSC batters and surrendered nine hits and just one walk.

Junior Lynsey Wall smacked a two-run homer and freshman Meghan Crouse added a two RBI triple as the Utes again managed to plate more than half of their baserunners.

UVSC stretched its winless streak to 15 games.

The Utes meet another slumping squad at San Diego State (22-16) in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Aztecs have lost five straight games and are winless in four other Mountain West Conference match-ups.

UNLV (26-13) is second in the MWC standings at 3-1, and the Utes stop by on the way back from San Diego for yet another doubleheader with the Rebels on Sunday.

Coach Stevens hopes the Utes will gain some faith with a little luck on the weekend.

“We were in numerous one-run games earlier in the season and now the team is doing things that indicate it doesn’t believe in itself.”

“We need to push the determination button and find the leaders on this team that can step up and get everyone ready to play.”

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