In their first preseason appearance, the University of Utah softball team headed to Tempe, Arizona to compete in the Kajikawa Classic. The Utes won the weekend 4-1.
This three-day series kicked off on Friday with two games. The Utes started off with Western Michigan and walked away with an 8-2 victory. Hailey Hilburn was the winning pitcher.
Senior Ally Dickman had the highlight of the five-run fifth inning when she hit a three-run home run. Julia Noskin also contributed two runs to the victory. BreOnna Castaneda and Abby Robertson each put two on the board in the first inning.
In their second game of the day, Utah fell to Missouri 9-0 in six innings. Utah managed only two hits, and they came from Sydney Sandez and Chantelle Ladner. Sandez pitched five innings and Missouri earned only three runs off of her.
On Saturday, the Utes earned two victories against Cal State Northridge (CSUN) and the University of Kansas. Game one was a shutout against CSUN, and Hilburn was once again the winning pitcher.
Utah jumped on two early runs at the close of the first inning with RBI’s from Alyssa Barrera and Robertson. Hilburn also was successful in the box where she knocked out a solo home run.
In game four against Kansas, the Utes scored six runs and held Kansas to only four. Utah grabbed the lead in the first, but lost it in the bottom of the inning. Utah then came back in the fifth, and by the end of the inning they were up 6-2.
Utah closed out the weekend with a 2-1 win over Bradley on Sunday afternoon. Sandez collected her first collegiate win as well as her first complete game as a Ute. She gave up only one run and four hits.
Utah took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and they got their second and final run in the fourth inning to solidify their final win for the tournament.
The Utes will come up again this next weekend in the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational in Florida. They will kick off the weekend on Friday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. EST with No. 13 Kentucky.