Utes rally, but fall to Trojans in 10

By REPORTER

Deseret News

Published: Monday, April 22 2013 12:15 a.m. MDT

Freshman third baseman Kristen Stewart took team-high honors with three RBI, including her fourth home run of the year, which gave her a 1.250 slugging percentage. The Covina, Calif., native has now driven in 14 runs this season.

Sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman extended her current team-high hit streak to 13 games, while senior second baseman Jackie Sweet has now reached base safely in 22 consecutive contests.

Game 1: Utah 6, No. 2/3 Arizona State 5

Utah clinched the series victory over Arizona State with a 6-5 win in the first game of the day, which was also the Utes' second straight series victory over a Pac-12, after taking two of three from No. 15 UCLA on Apr. 6-7.

Stewart drove in a team-high two runs for her eighth multi-RBI effort of the year, while Ramirez and junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser both went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI apiece.

Freshman pitcher Kayce Nieto allowed four earned runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings of work, while walking two Sun Devil hitters to improve to 7-5 this season and is now 4-0 in 2013 in home games against league opponents.

Ramirez came on in relief for 2.0 shutout innings, giving up one hit and only walk.

The Utes put four runs on the board in the first frame. Senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina led off, but was robbed of her seventh homer of the year by the ASU left fielder, who reached over the fence to make a spectacular catch.

Utah kept the pressure on, however, as senior second baseman Jackie Sweet led off with a walk to extend her reached base streak to 21 games. Then Dickman and Fankhauser both singled to right field to load the bases for the Utes. Stewart then singled down the right-field line to push Sweet and Dickman across home plate for the first two scores of the game, which were also Stewart's 12th and 13th RBI of the season. Sophomore Marissa Mendenhall followed by rolling an RBI ground ball to the Sun Devils second baseman that allowed Fankhauser to score that doubled as Mendenhall's 20th RBI on the year. Ramirez kept the rally going with an RBI single to left-center field, for her 11th run driven in this season, as Dickman ran home.

Utah is now 15-5 this season when scoring in the first frame of a contest.

The Sun Devils cut their deficit in half with a pair of runs in the top of the second, but senior first baseman Katelyn Elliott started things off with a double through the right-center field gap of the ASU outfield, her third double on the season, and she advanced to third base after Hoopiiaina dropped down her eighth sacrifice bunt of the year. Sweet converted on the scoring chance by lacing an RBI single to right field. The Corona, Calif., native has now driven in 23 runs this season.

ASU scored a run each in the third, fourth and fifth frames to pull within a run, but Utah came away with the 6-5 victory.

Mackenzie Popescue was dealt the loss in the decision after giving up six earned runs on seven hits, while walking one, in 1.2 innings. She is now 16-3 on the year. Amber Freeman and Sam Parlich went 2-for-4, while pinch hitter Jennifer Soria drove in two runs.

Game 2: No. 2/3 Arizona State 6, Utah 4

The Sun Devils were able to salvage the third game of the series by recovering from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to claim a 6-4 victory in the second game of the day's twin bill.

Ramirez registered her sixth complete game of the season on the mound in the second game of the day, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in 7.0 innings, while striking out two and walking four. Unfortunately, the Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., native saw her record this season dip to 7-10.

Sweet then reached the game for the 22nd straight after hitting a single to right field in the bottom of the first inning.

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