Returning to Salt Lake, the University of Utah (14-26 overall, 3-9 conference) softball team is preparing to host the No. 3 University of Washington (35-6 overall, 12-3 conference) in a three-game series.
The Huskies won the last four series in which the two teams have competed.
Scouting the Utes
Utah had a successful outing last weekend in Palo Alto against Stanford. They only won one game against the No. 25-ranked Cardinal, but they put up a strong fight with four team home runs.
The Utes are holding down the sixth spot in the Pac-12, and they remain above Oregon State, Oregon and California in the rankings. This is an improvement from last year when Utah went 2-21 on the season, earning them the last place in Pac-12 play.
Scouting the Huskies
Washington is riding high after a weekend sweep of Arizona State in which they scored 23 runs and extended their winning streak to 13 straight games. Their only three conference losses came against UCLA.
The Huskies are third in the Pac-12 as well as nationally, falling behind only Arizona and UCLA. Last season, Washington was ranked fourth in the conference.
Utes to Watch Out For
Ally Dickman is on fire in the box — she hit a key two-run home run last weekend to lift the Utes over Stanford in their only win for the series. She is leading the team with seven home runs, and she has gotten hits in each of the last 10 games and owns a 12 game on-base streak. Dickman is hitting .372 in 25 games, and she has only five strikeouts in her last 100 at-bats.
Hailey Hilburn is a force to be reckoned with on the mound as well as in the batter’s box. She threw her second career complete game and had plenty of success against Stanford hitters. In the box, Hilburn launched two home runs in Game 2 of the series and she is currently third place in the conference with five doubles.
Ellessa Bonstrom has also seen a lot of success as a batter, and she hit her fourth home run of the season this past weekend. She has a .500 on base percentage and has worked eight walks this season. She is an up-and-coming freshman on the team and has nowhere to go but up in future seasons.
Huskies to Watch Out For
Gabbie Plain is a Huskie pitcher who has seen immense success this season. She is 15-1 this year, only a sophomore. Last weekend against the Sun Devils, she earned two wins and struck out 22 batters over 13 innings of play. Last week, Plain was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
Sis Bates is a junior infielder who is a strong hitter for the Huskies. She is hitting .545 in her last 10 games and provides a solid line of defense on the field. Bates competed with the USA national softball team last summer.
Morganne Flores is a redshirt junior who recorded her third game with multiple home runs this season against the Sun Devils. She has nine home runs in Pac-12 play. When she is not competing with the Huskies, Flores is a member of the Puerto Rico national softball team.
Game 1 of the series will be on Thursday, Apr. 18 at 6 p.m. in Dumke Family Softball Complex. Games 2 and 3 will follow on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m.