Utah Softball’s Historic Season Comes to a Bitter End


The University of Utah women’s softball team takes the field against the SDSU Aztecs on Saturday, May 27, 2023. (Photo by CJ Alexander | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Elijah Murray, Sports Writer


After defying the odds throughout the season, the Lady Utes bowed out of the Women’s College World Series in the double-elimination round, ending their storybook run to reach the most hallowed ground in women’s Softball.

After the Utes made history by lifting the Pac-12 Championship after defeating conference favorite UCLA, they earned home-field advantage throughout their regional play. A week after completing what seemed like an impossible task at the beginning of the year, the Lady Utes embarked on their next conquest. Opening their regional stretch against Southern Illinois, the Utes won 11-9. Only needing two more wins to reach the NCAA Super Regional, Utah had a two-game slate against Ole Miss in which they won both matches 7-1 and 4-1.

After advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals, the Lady Utes found themselves one three-game stretch away from playing in the holy grail of softball, the Women’s College World Series. However, standing in their way were the San Diego State Aztecs, who made the path to the world series a tough one. Despite the incredible home atmosphere at the Dumke Family Softball Stadium, the Aztecs managed to take the first game 3-4. Luckily, the girls and the fans weren’t deflated and they came out in full force the following night with the fans propelling the team to a statement 10-1 victory. With only one game left to win, the Utah faithful filled the stadium to the brim, breaking the attendance record and making it known that the entire university was behind the Lady Utes and the team reciprocated the energy winning 7-2 and booking their ticket to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 1994.

The Utes had achieved more than they could’ve ever hoped for when the first pitch was thrown on opening day but the Lady Utes weren’t content with just being there, they wanted to try their best to continue this historic season not only for themselves but also for the fans. Despite the sentiment, the odds were against the Utes from the jump, facing a weather delay that pushed their opener against Washington to Friday, where Utah faced a prospective doubleheader. Sadly, the Utes lost to the Huskies 1-4 and that prospective doubleheader became a reality. Facing a quick trip home, the Lady Utes were up against Oklahoma State who had the advantage of rest since their game was finished despite the bad weather. With tired pitchers for Utah and a home game atmosphere for the Cowgirls, the Utes got mercy-ruled in the 5th inning 0-8, creating a bitter end to what was a historic season.

Despite the loss, the Lady Utes made the entire university proud and they can keep their heads high knowing that what they accomplished this season will be remembered for years to come. The ups and downs, the good and the bad will be etched in Utah Softball history and will set the precedent for future teams to look up to and dream of one day surpassing.


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