Utah Softball Dominates in First Fall League Game

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University of Utah Softball team player and junior Jordyn Gasper (11) hits the ball during an NCAA dual meet against Stanford University at the Dumke Family Softball Stadium in Salt Lake City on 27 March 2021 (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Chase Mullin, Sports Writer

 

It was a warm, picture-perfect evening at Dumke Family Softball Stadium on the University of Utah campus, as the University of Utah softball team slugged their way to a dominating 14-1 victory over the Utah Valley Wolverines in their first fall league game.

“It just felt really good to be back. Last year having not played fall games and our season in the spring being cut shorter than we wanted [it] to, it just felt good to be back on the field doing the most for each other” said catcher Katie Faulk.

While this was just an exhibition match, essentially the equivalent of a Major League Baseball spring training game, the Utah softball team played about as close to a perfect game as anyone could ask. The Utes offense was, quite frankly, explosive, going off for 14 runs on 21 hits in Thursday evening’s contest, and the pitching was lights out throughout the entire game, allowing just one run on six hits. Although it is irrational to make any conclusions about what one preseason game might entail for the rest of the Utes season, the Utes showed today that they could be a serious force to be reckoned with going forward.

The Wolverines struck first in the top of the first inning, but from that point on, this game was all Utah. Utah’s pitching staff only allowed one hit after the third inning. Down 1-0 in the third, the Utes put together a two-run third inning, one-run fourth inning, and two-run fifth inning to give them a relatively comfortable 5-1 lead. Because this was an exhibition game, the game lasted ten innings as opposed to the traditional seven. The Utes essentially put the game out of reach with a five-run seventh inning and a three-run eighth inning, turning what would have been an impressive 5-1 victory in a standard game into a 14-1 ten-inning blowout.

Utah’s runs early in the game came primarily through stringing together walks, singles and stolen bases, demonstrating the team’s ability to score runs by playing small ball. Later in the game, however, Utah showcased their ability to hit for power, with many of their runs coming from extra-base hits as well as a home run in the eighth inning by junior Julia Scardina.

Overall, this was an excellent team win for Utah, as essentially everyone did their part. Not only did the starters have a great performance both defensively and offensively, but a large portion of Utah’s onslaught of runs came from the bench, showcasing the team’s depth.

“It was great to see some of our girls come off the bench and be fresh and really square up some balls,” Faulk said. “It really got us going.”

The Utes now look forward to their next fall league game at home against Boise State on Oct. 2.

 

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