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Campus briefs for SLCC, Weber State, Westminister, Utah Utes, Utah Valley, and Dixie State

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 3 2012 12:49 a.m. MST

SLCC

HENDERSON, Nev. — SLCC Baseball (11-2, 2-0 SWAC) picked up two wins Friday night, defeating the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) (13-5, 0-2 SWAC) by scores of 13-0 in game one and 4-2 in game two. The Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) opening doubleheader sweep marks SLCC's third and fourth consecutive victories.

The Bruins routed the Coyotes in game one behind stout pitching from sophomore ace Tanner Banks. Banks pitched five of the game's six innings allowing no runs, just one hit and struck out seven CSN batters in the mercy-rule victory. The game was close through five innings, but the Bruin bats exploded in the sixth frame for seven hits and 10 runs. SLCC sophomore Braden Anderson was 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple and a double, freshman JC Snyder was 2-for-3, and sophomore Dalton Gust went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and 2 RBIs.

In game two, SLCC sophomore pitcher AJ Carman threw five innings and allowed just one run. Bruin sophomore reliever Aaron Robbs picked up the win, throwing two innings and notching three strikeouts, and freshman pitcher Dane Fuller tallied the save in a two inning, three strikeout outing. JC Snyder turned in a perfect performance at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and a triple to his credit.

SLCC Baseball will be back in action on Saturday, March 3rd for another doubleheader with CSN in Henderson, NV. First pitch for game one is slated for Noon.

WEBER STATE

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Weber State University softball team earned a two-game split on the opening day of the Colorado State Classic, downing Northern Iowa 12-10 before falling 11-2 in five to St. Mary's, Calif.

In the opening game, the Wildcats pounded out a season high-tying 15 hits, with senior Kami Holley and freshman Janel Cunningham each going 3-for-3 at the plate. Holley had four RBIs in the contest, including three on a fourth-inning home run. Holley also had a run-scoring double, as Weber State won the see-saw battle with 10 runs over the final three innings.

Cunningham had two RBIs, as did senior Lyndsey Minnich, who hit her team-best ninth home run of the season. Seniors Symbree Minniear and Erika Dixon each had doubles against the Panthers (7-4).

Freshman Cydnee Clarke, playing in the designated hitter role, also had a strong game at the plate as she went 3-for-4 for the Wildcats.

Weber State went up 2-1 in the third inning, but fell behind 6-2 after Northern Iowa scored five runs in the top of the fourth. The Wildcats rallied back with six runs on the bottom half of the inning to take an 8-6 lead. The Panthers scored three in the top of the fifth to make it 9-8, with Weber State plating one run to make it 9-9 after five.

The Wildcats brought in three in the sixth to go ahead 12-9, and then held the Panthers to just one run in the seventh to close it out.

Senior Sarah Clark picked up the win, improving to 4-4 as she struck out four in six innings of work.

In the second game, the Wildcats went ahead of the Gaels, a member of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Coastal Division, 2-0 in top of the second, but St. Mary's three in the bottom half of the inning and then three in the third to make it 6-2.

The Gaels (5-5) ended the game on run rule with a walk-off grand slam in the fifth.

Weber State (5-10) managed just three hits against St. Mary's, with one of those coming on Clark's two-run homer in second inning. Brooke Silva and London Clarke each had singles for the Wildcats.

Weber State remains at the Colorado State Classic today, facing the Gaels for a second time at 9 a.m. and then a rematch with the Panthers on tap at 11:15 a.m. The Wildcats will wrap up the tournament on Sunday against host Colorado State.

WESTMINSTER

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Westminster College women's lacrosse team picked up a sweep of two games on Friday afternoon. The No. 1 ranked

Griffins opened the day by defeating Air Force 19-9. That was followed a short time later with an 18-6 win over Denver University.

Westminster is now 5-0 in the season. This is the second straight year the Griffins have opened the year with five consecutive wins. The school record for consecutive wins to begin a year is the eight straight they won last year.

The Griffins will now return home for the home opener on Tuesday against Weber State. The first Rocky Mountain Women's Lacrosse League game of the season will begin at 5 p.m. on Dumke Field.

DILLON, Mont. — The Westminster College men's basketball team saw its run in the Frontier Conference Tournament come to an end on Friday night against No. 2 Montana Western. Brandon Brown of Western hit a pull-up jumper as time expired to win the game for Western, 70-68.

Westminster, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, sees its tournament run come to an end in the semi-finals for the second straight season. They are now 21-11 on the season and must wait to see if they receive an at-large invite to the NAIA National Championships. The field of 32 will be announced on Wednesday with Westminster currently ranked 33rd in the latest poll.

The Griffins only lead once in the game, 4-3, and trailed by as many as 11 during the first half. Western (24-8) eventually carried a 34-31 lead into the locker room at halftime. The No. 2 seeded Bulldogs led throughout the second half and with 1:12 remaining the Griffins trailed 68-62. Ben Walker would make two free throws to cut the deficit to two and then Tyler Hurley missed two freebies. A Walker layup with 49.4 seconds left put Westminster within 68-66.

After an excellent defensive possession forced Bridger Chambers into a long three that was rebounded by Walker, the Griffins watched Jordan Hayter tie the game at 68-68 with 4.4 seconds to play on a jumper in the key. Following a Western timeout, Brown took the inbounds pass the length of the floor before pulling up for a 21-footer as time expired that hit nothing but net to win the game.

Westminster shot 43.9% from the floor in the game and scored 28 points in the paint. They were at 50% in the second half and finished 6-of-16 from beyond the arc in the contest. Westminster held a 31-29 rebounding advantage and scored 11 second chance points from 10 offensive rebounds.

Walker led three Griffins in double figures with 15 points while also grabbing a team-best nine rebounds. In maybe his final collegiate game, Walker went 5-of-10 from the floor with two blocks and one steal. Hayter scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. Senior Chris Cassity scored 12 points.

Brown led all scorers with 31 points. The Frontier's leading scorer shot 12-of-15 from the floor and had three makes from beyond the arc. Hurley added 12 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Western will now face top-seeded Montana State-Northern on Monday in Havre, Mont. in the championship game. The Griffins will wait for Wednesday to see if their season will continue.

UTAH

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After breaking the school record at the Alex Wilson Invitational for the second-consecutive year, the University of Utah distance medley relay team fell short of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

"We ran great tonight and did everything right," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We crushed the school record and I couldn't more proud of this group. Unfortunately, we didn't finish in the top-12 of the country and don't get to compete at the NCAA Championships. It is a numb feeling to run that fast and not make it, but credit to the rest of the country for their performances this season."

The distance medley relay featured all four members clocking lifetime-best splits. Senior Alyssa Abbott led off the race and finished the 1200m split with a time of 3:24.5. Lauryn McKay took the baton for the second leg and posted a 400m split time of 54.5 seconds. With the Utes near the front of the pack, senior Lucy Yates took the baton and finished the 800m with a time of 2:06.98. Amanda Mergaert ran the final 1600m of the relay clocking a time of 4:39, capturing third place overall for the Utes. The relay had a combined time of 11:05.78, which is a new school record.

The overall winner of the event was Nebraska with a time of 10:58.74 followed by Notre Dame (11:04.45).

Unfortunately, the Utes finished just shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The final team to qualify for the national meet was the University of Michigan with a time of 11:04.29.

"This is the fastest ever qualifying times for the distance medley relay," Kepler said. "If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that we would have performed the way we did tonight, I would have said we would for sure make it to the NCAA Championships. We are all extremely proud of this group. They ran their guts out tonight. It was amazing to watch everyone give it their all tonight. Everybody ran a new personal best and we can't ask for more."

On Saturday all four members of the distance medley relay will compete for a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships in individual events.

Entering the week, Mergaert ranks 20th in the country for her performance in the mile at last weekend's MPSF Championships. As a three-time NCAA qualifier, Mergaert has her work cut out as typically the NCAA accept the top 18 athletes in the country.

Abbott will also compete in the mile. Following a medical redshirt grant by the NCAA last season, Abbott is set to extend her career by one more week as she eyes breaking the school record and qualifying for her second NCAA Championships.

Yates will compete in the 800m, for the Utes. In 2010, Yates finished 23rd at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800m. As a senior, Yates is determined to make one more appearance at the national meet as she strives to achieve All-American status.

Making her first appearance at the last chance qualifier meet, McKay is slated to compete in the 400m. McKay has improved on her 400m time at every meet this season. She enters the weekend with a season-best 400m time of 56.37.

McKay will get the day started in the 400m for the Utes. Her race will begin at 12:20 p.m. EST in the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind.

DIXIE STATE

SAINT GEORGE —Senior Lauren Folta (Tooele High School) pitched a complete game while striking out six to lead Dixie State to a 5-1 win over Cal Baptist in the second game of the PacWest doubleheader at Karl Brooks Field.

Folta improved to 2-1 and pitched her best game of the season. She walked three batters but allowed no earned runs, dropping her season ERA to 2.82.

The Red Storm scored an unearned run in the first inning after Freshman Nicole Chavez (Chino Hills, CA

Ayala High School) reached on a single down the left field line. She scored when Chavez reached third on a passed ball and reached home on a throwing error by the catcher.

Cal Baptist answered in the second scoring after an error on Chavez extended the inning and allowed the Lancers to collect a few hits to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the third inning, freshman Courtney Hine singled to left field, one of three for her in the game. Junior Johnna Brown walked and would score when senior Kelsey Mendenhall (Tooele High School) hit a three run towering home run down the left field line. It was Mendenhall's team leading fourth of the season.

The Lancers threatened in the fifth inning with a lead off single. Lancer second baseman Rodriguez appeared to drop a single just over the Red Storm's Chavez, but she made an amazing circus catch and turned and doubled off Henry at first base ending the threat.

Brown would give Folta an extra comfort run in the seventh when her she hit a line drive home run over the left field fence. It tied her with Mendenhall for the team lead with four.

In the first game of the day, the Lancer squad jumped out early and chased Red Storm starter sophomore Mattie Snow (Tooele High School). Snow allowed five runs on five hits and walked three in just two innings of work.

DSC pitchers allowed 11 hits in the game and just could not overcome Lancer starter Emma Holden.

Hine added two more hits in the first game to finish with five on the day. Brown led with three hits and had an RBI. Chavez tripled into right center in the fourth inning and picked up 2 RBI.

DSC improved to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in PWC play and CBU dropped to 14-3 overall and 2-2 in PWC play.

The two teams play a doubleheader again tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Karl Brooks Field.

UTAH VALLEY

FULLERTON, Calif.— No. 20 Cal State Fullerton took the opener of a three-game series over Utah Valley University, 6-1, on Friday night at Goodwin Field.

Goose Kallunki had two of the Wolverines' (2-6) five hits and Austin Heaps had a double and scored a run. Ivory Thomas led Cal State Fullerton with three hits including a double.

The Titans (6-3) rode the arm of Dylan Floro for eight innings. The junior righthander allowed just one run on five hits and struck out five in eight complete to get the win.

"It's a big game. If you're going to win big games you've got to make big plays and you've got to hit in big situations," UVU head coach Eric Madsen said.

After three scoreless innings, Utah Valley broke through first in the top of the fourth. Heaps doubled down the line in left, moved to third on a base hit from Kallunki and then scored on a wild pitch, giving UVU a 1-0 lead.

Fullerton answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning after Thomas doubled and scored on a base hit by Casey Watkins.

Wolverine starter Jeremy Gendlek, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, limited Fullerton to just the one run in the fourth but was chased in the fifth when Thomas again ignited a rally with a single that scored Richy Pedroza.

After Josh Swenson entered for Gendlek, Watkins delivered an RBI single to give the Titans a 3-1 lead. Cal State Fullerton pulled away with a three-run seventh with Matt Orloff's two-run, infield single highlighting the frame.

Gendlek (0-3) took the loss for Utah Valley in 4.1 innings of work. He allowed three runs on five hits and struck out a pair. Ryan Chadwick pitched in relief and retired all four hitters he faced for the Wolverines. For the Titans, Dimitri DeLaFuente threw a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the game.

The series continues on Saturday from Goodwin Field with first pitch set for 8 p.m. MT with the game live on 960 AM the Zone. Great West Conference Pitcher of the Week Adam Gunn is the scheduled starter for UVU.

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