Softball notebook: Utah improves at the plate over weekend

Utah experienced some early season struggles at the plate over the weekend at the So-Cal Collegiate Classic. The Utes weren’t seeing the ball well and head coach Amy Hogue expressed disappointment regarding the hitting.

RELATED: UTES STRUGGLE AT THE PLATE, GO 2-3 AT THE SO-CAL COLLEGIATE CLASSIC

But things did get better.

After averaging just 4.5 hits per game in its first four contests, Utah, seemingly out of nowhere busted out 10 hits in its final game of the tournament to beat Long Beach State.

Though the Utes struggled in their first few games, Hogue’s confidence in her team didn’t waiver.

“I really believe in our hitters,” Hogue said. “I was really proud of the fight we had.”

The hitting struggles didn’t plague the seniors on the team, whose experience showed when they finished the tournament with a cumulative batting average of .400 — a big difference from the overall team average of .220.

It may do the underclassmen some good to take a few extra minutes practicing with the seniors.

With the early struggles, the promise and success Utah showed at the plate in its last game was a welcoming relief. The team can hit, it just took a little bit to find it.

 

Injury report

Though the season just began, the injury bug has already bitten.

Freshman pitcher Miranda Viramontes planted her foot awkwardly while fielding a ground ball and rolled her ankle.

Following the injury, Viramontes went into the dugout, got the ankle taped and ran back out onto the mound. It didn’t appear to affect her very much, but the heart and dedication of the freshman pitcher from Chino, Calif. was clearly on display.

According to Hogue, there weren’t any other major injuries suffered over the weekend.

 

Freshmen shine

During the tournament Utah was able to size up how it fares against some tough opponents and get the early-season nerves out. It also provided a glimpse of some of the new freshmen pitchers.

Hogue liked what she saw.

“I thought they [Katie Donovan and Viramontes] would do really well,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how far they’ve come. I was very proud of the pitching efforts.”

 

Utah will have the week to prepare before it goes down to Vegas for another tournament this weekend.

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