Utah Softball Standing Firm Despite Weather


David Chenoweth

Catcher Julia Scardina (#28) swings away as the Utes take on No. 11 Oregon at the Dumke Family Softball Stadium at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, on Friday, March 18, 2022. (Photo by David Chenoweth | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Elijah Murray, Sports Writer


The season is fully underway for the University of Utah softball team and, despite the inconsistent weather, the Lady Utes find themselves second in the Pac-12.

Utah won their first three games of the season against last-place Oregon State and then had the two following games canceled due to poor weather conditions. Then, the Utes headed down to sunny Tucson, Arizona in a three-game series against the University of Arizona. They split the first two games, with Utah winning the first and Arizona winning the second, but the third game in the series put the Utes on the map nationally. At the time, Arizona was ranked No. 17 in the nation and Utah was on the verge of the top 25, so splitting the first two games was a feat in and of itself.

At the end of the fourth inning, the Wildcats led 11-5 and it seemed a miracle would be needed to come out on top with only three innings remaining. However, that is exactly what the Lady Utes did, scoring eight unanswered runs and taking the series with a 13-11 win. This prompted a ton of exposure on social media, and it wasn’t just a confidence boost for the team moving forward — it was their declaration that their team is ready to take on any team and no matter the odds, they will fight till the end.

Sadly, due to the weather, the Utes had their next four games canceled, which killed all of the hype and momentum from the comeback win. Then from March 31 to April 2, they traveled to Berkeley to face California for a three-game series in which the Utes won the first game but lost the other two. Despite all of the cancelations and lost momentum, the Lady Utes are No. 30 in the nation and sit second in the Pac-12 behind UCLA.

On the season, the Utes boast a .335 batting average, .894 OPS, and a .498 SLG% with 24 home runs and 182 RBIs. On the mound, the Utes sport a 2.55 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP with 178 strikeouts in 192.1 innings pitched so far.

Aliya Belarde leads the team with a .438 batting average and 46 hits in 105 at-bats. Ellessa Bonstrom leads the team with a 1.316 OPS and 36 RBIs while also leading the team with eight home runs, a .523 OB% and a SLG% of .793.

Overall, the Utes have five players batting above .350 and four players with a plus 1.0 SLG%. This team is well-rounded and should have no problem finding their groove again, making them a feared opponent on both sides of the ball for any team who is unlucky enough to cross paths with them.


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