Effects of weather not all bad for Utah

By Paige Fieldsted, Staff Writer

Snow, snow, snow, and more snow.

After a snowstorm forced the Utah softball team to postpone all three of its games last week, the team is finally ready to get back on the field after not playing for almost two weeks.

“We’re ready to play, especially after last week where we didn’t have practice or only practiced for an hour, so we haven’t really played at all,” said right fielder Angie Boardman. “It’s like, “Let’s get out there, let’s get out of the snow and let’s get playing.'”

The Utes had planned on using last week’s games to help build their confidence and improve their batting before starting into Mountain West Conference play this week.

Despite not being able to improve their on-field game because of the game cancellations, the Utes feel confident because of some extra practice time put in.

“We needed the practice and not playing those games gave us the opportunity to run some practices we wouldn’t have been able to,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “I think the kids feel more prepared to get out there and show their improvements over the last few weeks of practice.”

Batting, which has been Utah’s Achilles’ heel all season, was the main focus of the extra practices.

Utah hasn’t just been working on swing and technique8212;an even larger part of the team’s batting practice incorporates their mentality in the box.
“We’ve been working a lot on hitting in the past couple of weeks,” Boardman said. “We’re trying to play smarter, not harder and I think we feel confident.”

The Utes will be traveling to New Mexico on Thursday to take on the Lobos in their first MWC matchup of the season, before heading to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Colorado State on Friday and Saturday.

The Utes are hoping to take the confidence they found during practices last week on the road with them.

“I think we scheduled practices that helped us build confidence, just like those games would’ve, and hopefully they take some of that with them,” Hogue said. “Whether or not we are on the road, we are facing two teams that are ranked below us and we need to go in confident and believe in ourselves.”

Although not playing last week’s games could’ve been a setback for the Utes, they have used the time off to get more prepared for their conference games.

“It just gave us more time to be able to focus on conference starting,” Boardman said. “There are a lot of things we want to ace before going into conference, but we had some fabulous practices and I’m confident going in without those games.”

The Utes will begin their conference schedule Thursday at 7 p.m. in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Tyler Cobb

At the softball field snow has covered the outfield and a tarp has covered the infield for over a week. The team has used the off time to get extra practice before starting their conference games.