Softball: Rollercoaster season continues

By By Jason Peterson

By Jason Peterson

Same story, different venue.

The Utah softball team (20-19) relived last week’s rollercoaster of emotions again by losing 3-2 in the final inning to No. 18 San Diego State (30-11), then rebounding for a 1-0 win in the second game of Thursday’s double-header in San Diego, Calif.

It was a virtual replay of last Thursday’s doubleheader against Colorado State. Then, the Rams beat Utah in extra innings in the first game, then the Utes returned the favor in the latter game.

In the first game against SDSU, Utah freshman pitcher Brittany Parker went head-to-head with Aztec senior Christina Ross — already a six-time MWC Pitcher of the Week winner this season — and they dueled to a draw.

Each allowed seven hits and Parker had five strikeouts while Ross struck out seven.

Parker allowed four walks in the first inning to put the Utes in a quick 2-0 hole.

Utah scored its first run in the third when Angie Boardman singled up the middle to bring home Diana Phillips.

Andrea Hoffman had the team’s only other RBI when she brought home Devina Quintero.

Hoffman’s RBI tied the game at 2-2 and it stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh when the Utes were hit with another heartbreaking, game-ending play with two outs and one on base.

SDSU’s Tonye McCorkle crossed home plate when Megan McDonald connected on a single to left field, giving the Aztecs their 30th win of the season.

The Utes earned a measure of payback in the second game. Both teams were scoreless until the fourth inning when Kristie Keller hit a double. Andrea Hoffman ripped a single into center field to bring her home and score the only run of the game.

Utah got a scare in the bottom of the seventh inning though. McCorkle led off the inning with a triple and McDonald walked to first and it appeared for a moment that the Utes would replay another nightmare.

Utah’s Ashley Smuda put an end to the rally though, recording two of her eight strikeouts in the final inning. Smuda pitched a complete game and allowed just one hit.

The Utes are in Las Vegas today for the first of two games against UNLV.

The Rebels (21-23) come into the game after splitting a two-game series as well as they faced BYU earlier in the week.

UNLV is led by shortstop Jaci Hull — a prolific batter at the plate with a .333 average, 10 home runs, 28 RBIs and a conference-leading 31 walks.

Today’s game is set for 7 p.m. Both teams will square off again tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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