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Utes Fall to No. 2 Oklahoma

Justin Prather
The Ute’s softball team defended the diamond in a three game series against UCLA. (Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle)

The University of Utah softball team hosted the No. 2 Oklahoma University in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 31. The Utes fell in both afternoon games to the Sooners.

The first game was a tough loss for the Utes as they put up only two runs compared to 11 from the Sooners.

Oklahoma is the third most successful team on offense in the nation, earning an average of 7.74 runs each game and batting with the highest average of .3868. They showed this off by scoring two early runs off of the Utes, thanks to two early doubles and a single.  

Both teams were unable to score again until the fourth when Oklahoma tacked on four more runs from a home run and an advancement on a sacrifice fly.

Utah answered back and earned back two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Makayla Hurst scored on BreOnna Castaneda’s double and Hailey Hilburn flew out for one RBI.

Oklahoma rallied in the next two innings, scoring five additional runs including one three-run home run to solidify their 11-2 victory after only six innings.

The Utes were down by the third batter in game two, when Caleigh Clifton sent a two-run shot over the right center fence, her second of the series.

Oklahoma put one more run across in the top of the third off of an RBI, and Utah closed out the inning by catching the Sooners in a rundown to keep the score at 3-0.

The Utes started off their half of the inning with a walk from Katie Faulk. Two batters later, Julia Noskin came up and lined a triple into the left field gap, scoring one to put Utah on the board. Ally Dickman followed up with a sacrifice fly to put another run across, and the game went into the fourth inning, Utah trailing 3-2.

“My slapping wasn’t having successful outcomes so I thought I would change it up and see what would happen,” Noskin commented about her triple.

Jocelyn Alo kicked off the top of the fourth with a solo bomb to extend Oklahoma’s lead to two runs. Sydney Romero followed up with a two-run triple and she came home after a single.

Oklahoma put up two more runs on a home run, their fourth of the game and sixth of the afternoon, to put the Sooners up 9-2.

Utah’s Sydney Sandez lasted 3.1 innings before she was replaced with Jess Lynch. Chantelle Ladner came in just a few batters later to pick up in the top of the fourth with one out.

A grand slam by Clifton in the same inning sent Oklahoma up to a 13-2 lead. Ellessa Bonstrom got the Utes out of the inning and the Utes finally got their fourth inning at bats.

Barrera started off the bottom of the fourth with her fifth triple of the year and Hurst knocked her in with a single, where Utah scored their third run of the game.  

Hilburn got the Utes out of the fifth inning with a strikeout and she allowed no runs heading into the bottom of the inning.  

Noskin was the first runner and only runner on in Utah’s half of the inning when she managed to beat out a light slap hit.

The game ended at the end of five innings, and Oklahoma extended their season record to 32-2.  

The Utes will be back in action on Tuesday, April 2 when they host the Utah Valley University Wolverines at home.  

Utah has not played the Wolverines since the 2014 season, when they faced them in a doubleheader. The Utes came away victorious in both games and they scored 14 runs and allowed only three.

Tuesday’s game will begin at 6 p.m. in Dumke Family Softball Stadium.

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About the Contributors
Casey Overfield, Sports Editor
Casey Overfield is the sports editor.
Justin Prather, Sports Writer
Justin Prather is a sports writer.

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