U softball exacts revenge on Cougars, falls to Spartans

By and

Just two weeks ago, the U softball team suffered two close losses to BYU in Provo, each by two runs, but this time, the Utes got the Cougars back.

Sparked by the crippling pitching of Meghan Dyer and Karina Cannon, along with sound hitting by Andrea Hoffman, Jackie Wong, Jessica Shiery and Devina Quintero, the Utes swept the doubleheader Saturday on their own turf against BYU.

Dyer began the first game by retiring the first 10 Cougar batters she faced, including six strikeouts, to hold off the usually strong BYU bats while the Ute offense built a 6-0 lead through four innings.

The Cougars rallied in the fifth inning, however, scoring four runs on five hits to pull within two of the Utes (6-4), but the Utes responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 8-4.

After relieving Dyer in the fourth inning, Cannon allowed BYU’s Paige Paramore to hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, but she took care of the rest of the Cougar batters to give the Utes an 8-5 victory.

Dyer earned her 12th win of the season, while Cannon collected her fourth save for the Utes.

Cannon remained in the circle to take on the pitching duties for the Utes in the second game, and she continued to excel.

Helped by a three-run second inning, the Utes built a 3-1 lead early in the game, then blew the game open in the fourth inning when Quintero blasted a two-out grand slam to hand the Utes a 7-1 advantage.

The Cougars scored one more run in the sixth inning because of an error, and the Utes went on to win 7-2.

Cannon finished the game allowing just five hits and two runs, both unearned, for her 13th win of the season.

Her strong pitching helped her to improve her season ERA to 1.87, second best in the Mountain West Conference.

The usually solid Daniella Urincho absorbed all seven runs for the Cougars (31-16, 8-4 MWC) and took her sixth loss of the year.

The Utes luck changed on Sunday, however, when they seemed to run out of steam in a match up against San Jose State.

Utah built a 3-1 lead after five innings, but the Spartans poured on the offense in the sixth and seventh innings when they scored six runs to take a 7-3 lead.

Wong scored a run on an error in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it a three-run game, but the Utes couldn’t score any more points and fell to the Spartans 7-4.

Both Lindsie Nielsen and Sheri Shrock had a tough day pitching, as they each allowed three runs in a combined three innings of relief for the Utes.

The Utes (28-14, 7-3 MWC) will prepare this week for a busy schedule this weekend.

They’ll take on MWC foes New Mexico and Colorado State in a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, and then they’ll take on New Mexico State in a single contest on Sunday.

All the games will be played at Ute Field, with the first game against the Lobos scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Kamil Krzaczynski

Utah second baseman Jackie Wong tries to tag out a Cougar baserunner during the U’s win over BYU on Saturday.