Utah competes in fall exhibitions to prepare for upcoming season

By Whitney O’Bannon, Staff Writer

The exhibition has commenced8212;for softball, that is.

The Utah softball team usually gets underway in the spring, but this season, the games are beginning in the fall. Utah is competing in eight exhibition games to prepare for the 2009 Spring Season.

These games are designed to prepare the team for its regular season opponents, considering the Utes will have their hands full when they compete against six teams that finished the 2008 season ranked in the top 25.

“I’m excited about the schedule we’ve been able to put together,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “The best way to find out where we stand as a team is to go against the teams that consistently make it to NCAA regionals and finals.”

These exhibition games include double-headers against Snow College, Utah State and SLCC. They will also face Utah Valley in the last game of their preseason play.

Last year, the Utes’ first season under Hogue, Utah went 28-27 overall and 10-10 in conference play, which was good enough to finish third in the Mountain West Conference.

Before Hogue started running the show, Angie Jacobs led the team to a mediocre 5-14 record in conference play. In Hogue’s first season, the team started to come around and respond to her. They did have troubles on the mound, however, which often made it difficult to win games, even with the big hitters on the team.

That is changing now and the team has a lot of depth in pitching, Hogue said.

As the Utes come closer to the end of their preseason, a long winter stands in between them and their regular season play. The Utes hope they can use this fall preseason to blossom some team chemistry that will last through the winter and come through in February.

Utah hosts SLCC today beginning at 4 p.m. at the Ute Softball Field for exhibition play.

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