Softball: Utah heads back to Calif. for double-header

Utah softball is heading to Walnut, Calif. for a pair of games on Tuesday, where it will play the College of Charleston in a double-header at a neutral site at Mt. SAC College Softball Stadium.

Utah will enter these games on a high note, carrying an eight-game win streak after going 5-0 in their last tournament in California.

RELATED: UTE’S NEVER-DIE ATTITUDE STARTING TO PRODUCE WINS

The Utes are also doing the right things mentally. The confidence that the team has had is turning into a real belief that has been shown by their play on the field. Part of this could be attributed to the fact that the Utes recently had a sports psychologist come talk to them.

“Its been fun to learn the difference between confidence and belief,” head coach Amy Hogue said. “The belief comes when you’ve seen the results.”

But it has been more than just a psychologist that has helped the Utes recently.

“[Hogue] just doesn’t panic,” third baseman Kristen Stewart said. “She plays a big role in helping the team stay collected as a whole.”

Hogue recorded her 200th win in Utah’s last game, and will be looking for more this weekend.

The Cougars are 9-5 overall this season and will provide a good matchup and measuring stick for the Utes as conference play draws nearer. But no matter the opponent, the Utes definitely feel that they are ready to match up and compete against anybody.

The bats of the Utes will face a team that is holding opponents to a small .274 batting average. They will need to outperform the pitching staff of their counterparts in order to give them the best chance of victory.

The Cougars are seeing some success themselves at the plate and has a team batting average of .313. They also sport a .400 on-base percentage, which takes into account walks and errors allowed by the opposing team.

Coach Hogue has wanted to see her team get off to quick starts in their recent games and the players have responded to that request. The stats definitely validate Hogue’s thinking that starting quick is important.

Utah is 10-1 this season when they score the first run of the game, and are outscoring opponents 28-6 in the first two innings of games. Starting fast and getting ahead clearly is, and will continue to be, one of the keys to Utah’s future success this season.

The double header against College of Charleston will start at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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