Softball: Utah Ready to Face Oregon State

By Emilee White

In its final Pac-12 road trip, the No. 10 University of Utah softball team will head to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers in a three-game series that begins on Friday, May 5.

The Utes took a break from Pac-12 play when they faced Grand Canyon University on Tuesday, where they snatched both wins of the doubleheader. Outfielder Kay Kay Fronda believes that clinching those victories was exactly what her team needed.

“It helped us to play loose, get ready and trust in our abilities, our skills and our teammates even more,” Fronda said. “We just went in there and did what we knew how to without having to think about it too much.”

Shortstop Anissa Urtez agreed with Fronda and noted that after the back-to-back victories, the Utes felt like they were in a great spot. The wins made them feel confident in their own game as they were able to see their pitchers perform on the mound and their offense step up.

With the positive energy Utah possess right now, it is looking forward to that momentum continuing against the Beavers. Catcher Bella Secaira said they will approach the weekend contests with the same game plan they had against GCU, which was to attack at bats and pitches.

“We know who we are going to face and we know our ability and what we can do,” Secaira said. “Going into this weekend, we just need to keep playing our game and stay within our Utah bubble and handle business.”

According to second baseman Hannah Flippen, Oregon State has been a “scrappy team” this year as they have pulled off surprising wins against great teams. So in order to come out on top this weekend, Flippen said her team needs to stay focused on the series and take it one game at a time. As for Secaira, she believes it is all about staying in tune with each other and being aware of what needs to be done on the field.

“It’s really all about getting our pitchers dialed in to attack batters with strikes,” Secaira said. “On the offensive side, we need to attack the pitchers with good swings, but defense is looking solid as always.”

Something that Fronda has noticed and would love to continue seeing her team be able to do, is watch a different person step up each night. It is not the same person scoring the winning run or hitting the ball at the right time, it is someone new, and Fronda loves the fact that her and her team can trust anyone in the lineup to get the job done.

“Everyone is so skilled and it’s just that time of the year that everyone knows how to play with each other,” Fronda said. “We know what to do on and off the field, and what’s expected of us, and I think that we are just ready to go and put it all out there.”

First pitch on Friday and Saturday are set to begin at 2 p.m. MT, with the final game of the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT.

“I just think we need to keep doing what we are doing,” Urtez said. “We need to just have that mindset of staying in our bubble and worrying about what we are doing instead of who we are playing.”

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