SUU led 7-5 entering the bottom of the fifth when the Wolverines used a two-out rally to take control of the game. With two down and the bases empty, two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. A wild pitch made it a one-run game and Kai Hatch's infield single tied it 7-7 before Exon's home run to left center gave Utah Valley a 10-7 lead.
The Wolverines extended it in the sixth, again using the long ball to put three more on the board. Jordy Hart led off with is first collegiate home run and Sean Moysh made it 13-7 two batters later with the team's sixth round-tripper of the night.
In the seventh, UVU stretched it to a 10-run lead with for more runs, getting back-to-back triples from Hart and Rickenbach and a double from Moysh in the frame.
Rickenbach led the way with three hits and two RBIs while Moysh and Exon both drove in three runs. Four other players had two hits each.
Taylor Mangum threw 3.0 innings in relief and struck out four to earn the win on the mound. Josh Swenson and Kole Mickolio also threw scoreless innings to close out the game.
Game 2 of the series is set for Friday at 6 p.m. and can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone.
UTAH SOFTBALL: At Pocatello, three different Utes turned in three hits apiece as the Utes earned their sixth consecutive nonconference win with a 10-2 victory at Idaho State in the first-ever game at ISU's Miller Ranch Stadium.
Utah (23-8, 0-3 Pac-12) improved to 23-5 this season in nonconference tilts and is now 3-4 in true road games in 2012. The Utes outhit the Bengals, 12-4, and turned in their sixth error-free effort in their last eight games and are 5-3 in those contests. Utah has not committed an error in 12 games this season and the Utes are 9-3 in those games.
Junior outfielder Katelyn Elliott, junior second baseman Jackie Sweet and senior outfielder Hannah Clements each registered three hits in three at-bats. Elliott now has recorded a hit in each of her last seven games.
Clements drove in four runs, Sweet had a pair of RBI and Elliott also drove in one run. Senior first baseman Tia Palauni also had a hit and an RBI.
In her 25th start of the year, senior Generra Nielson picked up the win and threw 4.0 innings, while allowing two earned runs on four hits to go with three strikeouts and one walk. With three batters struck out, Nielson now has 203 hits this season and eclipsed the 400-strikeout mark for her two-year career at Utah. Nielson has struck out 401 hitters as a Ute and improved to 17-6 in pitching decisions this season and is 38-18 over her career.
WEBER STATE SOFTBALL: At Ogden, the Wildcats wrapped up their pre-conference schedule by splitting a twinbill with the University of Nevada on Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats rallied from an 0-3 deficit to take a 5-3 victory over the Wolf Pack in the first game of the day, and then fell 7-1 in the second contest at Wildcat Softball Field.
Senior centerfielder Erika Dixon went 3-of-7 at the plate across the two games, with a three RBI triple during the Wildcats' fourth-inning rally in the first contest.
"(Nevada) came out and got ahead right away, and we acted like it didn't even happen," Dixon said. "We came out hitting and came up with the clutch hits when we needed them. It was exciting for our team.
"Our defense played really well today," Dixon said. "There were a few times they were hitting the gaps, and we adjusted and made those plays for our pitcher when she needed it."
Freshman Janel Cunningham, splitting time between catcher and designated player, also had three hits in five at-bats on the afternoon.
Senior right hander Sarah Clark (9-6) earned the first game win, giving up just six hits in going the complete game. The Springville, Utah-native also had two hits and reached base after being hit by a pitch.
"We are right where we want to be," Weber State coach Tina Johnson said. "This team has a good feel right now and we really are doing OK."
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