The University of Utah softball team closed out their 2019 season with an away series against Oregon State University. The Utes went 1-2 in the series and they ended their season with a 7-16 conference record, landing them in seventh place in the Pac-12.
The first game of the weekend was rough for the Utes as they dropped a close game to the Beavers with a score of 2-1. Utah out-hit Oregon State, but they were still unable to put across more runs than the home team.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings of play and it was not until the bottom of the third that the home team was able to score one run off of a single.
Utah tied the game up in the sixth with some help from senior Hailey Hilburn who hit her eighth home run of the season. This number ties her with fellow senior Ally Dickman for the most on the team.
The Beavers put the deciding run across in the last inning of the game after loading the bases and scoring one on a single.
Hilburn and Ellessa Bonstrom were the only two Utah players to get two hits in the game. Bonstrom hit two doubles and Alyssa Barrera had one in a game that left many runners in scoring position.
Utah evened the series in game two with a 6-2 victory on Friday afternoon. This win was the 11th for freshman pitcher Sydney Sandez, her sixth in Pac-12 play and her first seven-inning complete game in Pac-12 play.
The Utes broke out early with a three-run second inning which was made possible by freshman Makayla Hurst who hit her first career home run to score Hilburn and BreOnna Castaneda.
Utah added one more run in the next inning as Hilburn came up clutch with an RBI single.
Oregon State came up with one run in the bottom of the third, but Utah took that run right back in the top of the fourth when Bonstrom knocked in an RBI.
The bottom of the sixth brought a solo home run from Oregon State’s Frankie Hammoude, but Utah answered back again in the seventh to take one last run off of a double from Katie Faulk.
Utah’s season came to a disappointing end as the Utes fell 4-2 in the final game of the series in Corvallis. With 12 runners left on base, the story could have been different.
Each of the three seniors saw success on the diamond in their last outings wearing red and white as Dickman collected two hits, Hilburn threw a complete game and Ryley Ball got on base twice during the game.
Utah gained an early lead in the first with one run from Dickman, and they extended that lead by another in the third thanks to a sacrifice fly from Hilburn. These were the only times that the Utes would be able to score in the seven innings.
Oregon State took one run in the bottom of the fourth, and they capped the game with a three-run sixth inning that came from a bases-clearing double from Hammoude.
This series concludes Utah softball’s 2019 season, but they will be back in action next spring for another exciting season of play.