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Utes rally, but fall to Trojans in 10

By REPORTER

Deseret News

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

After four scoreless innings, ASU finally broke through with an unearned run in the fifth, but Ramirez responded by looping her fifth double of the year through the left-center field gap. Pacheco looped another double to left-center that left Ute runners on second and third base. Hoopiiaina then lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score pinch runner Sandi Fawson for the equalizer. Pacheco then crossed home plate after a miscue by the ASU shortstop on a ball hit by Sweet to give Utah a 2-1 edge. Dickman roped a double through the right-center gap that allowed Sweet to score from first for Dickman's second RBI of the day.

The Sun Devils managed to tie the game at three runs apiece after Alix Johnson homered to center field.

Stewart launched the second pitch she saw in the bottom half of the frame for her fourth round-tripper of the season off ASU's Dallas Escobedo to regain the lead for Utah, 4-3. Unfortunately, Parlich turned on a full-count three-run homer to set the final margin at 6-4 in favor of the Sun Devils.

Arizona State (39-7, 10-5 Pac-12) was led by a complete-game effort from Escobedo on the mound, who allowed two earned runs on seven hits to improve to 22-4 this year.

The Utes head south to Cedar City for their final non-conference games in a doubleheader at Southern Utah on Wednesday. First pitch from Kathryn Berg Field is set for 12 p.m. MT and live stats will be available at utahutes.com.

UVU SOFTBALL

SAN DIEGO -- Utah Valley University bounced back from a 5-1 loss in game one to earn a 4-3 victory in game two, splitting the day and the series with the University of San Diego at the USD Softball Complex on Sunday.

UVU (27-17, 9-7 PCSC) and USD (21-24, 6-10 PCSC) alternated wins in the four-game, Pacific Coast Softball Conference series, settling for a 2-2 share of the weekend.

After posting just one run through Sunday's first 12 innings, the Wolverines got the production it needed in game two's top of the sixth. Trailing 1-0, UVU had runners on first and second with one away. Kylee Brinkerhoff lined a double into right field, bringing home pinch-runner Marie Williams and leveling the score. In the next at-bat, Dynasty Lauvai singled in another run to bring Jamie North to the plate with runners on first and third. The catcher delivered another base hit up the middle as Brinkerhoff came in to score. A throw from USD center fielder Dana Prelsnik got away on the play, allowing Morgan Summers, pinch-running for Lauvai, to reach home as well. When the dust had settled, the Wolverines found themselves with a 4-1 lead late in the ballgame.

Still, the Toreros got a run back in the bottom half of the sixth and nearly completed the comeback in the do-or-die seventh inning. The first three hitters of that inning all reached safely, with Chloe Kaneko providing an RBI single to cut the deficit to just 4-3. UVU pitcher Josi Summers then entered the game in relief of Tiffany Mills, but her first pitch skipped to the backstop. The wild pitch allowed both Prelsnik and Kaneko -- representing the tying and winning runs -- to move into scoring position with still no outs. With runners on second and third and little room for error, Summers struck out Schultz for the first out. She then walked Crawford, but on ball four, Prelsnik was caught straying from third base. The run down resulted in another out and Summers was able to get Mary Grabowski to pop out to shortstop to seal the win.

It was Summers' second save of the season while Mills improved to 13-11 on the year with the win. Brinkerhoff was the only Wolverine with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-3 for the second straight contest.

"I didn't feel like we really made all the plays that we should have made," said head coach Rachel Hartgrove. "But we had the one big inning and we were able to hold on. Tiffany Mills through really well until the seventh and I was happy to see Josi come in and close the door."

UVU posted nine hits in game one, but struggled to push base runners home in falling 5-1. Amanda Robinson went 3-for-4 with a double and Brinkerhoff finished the game 2-for-3, but the Wolverines stranded nine runners in its second loss of the series.

San Diego broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning with a pair of RBI triples. Both Prelsnik, who came through with the game-winning triple in Saturday's win, and Caitlin Rooney delivered three-baggers as the Toreros tallied four hits in the frame and grabbed a 3-0 lead. The big inning came on the heels of a UVU top half in which the Wolverines left the bases loaded.

Looking to bounce back in the fourth, the Wolverines got back-to-back singles from Cortinas and Brinkerhoff to lead off the inning. But Torero pitcher Cassidy Coleman retired the next three UVU hitters in order, keeping her shutout on the board.

The Wolverines finally broke through in the top of the fifth with a pair of two-out hits. With two away and nobody on, Krystin Jachim singled and advanced to second on a fielding error. A double from Debra Lovell in the next at-bat plated Jachim and cut the deficit to 3-1.

But USD got that run back, and more, in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back defensive errors from UVU saw one run home before the Toreros added a two-out RBI single to set the final tally to the scoreboard.

Summers (9-6), who had pitched a two-hit, complete game shutout on Saturday, took the loss after going 4.2 innings and giving up 10. Megan Peay came on in relief, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings.

The loss was the first by more than four runs for the Wolverines since a 5-1 loss at Saint Mary's on March 23.

"We definitely struggled with USD's pitching this weekend," added Hartgrove.. "They have a really good staff; they kept us down and we just failed to adjust. Still, I thought a few of our players had solid weekends, particularly Kelli Fox and Brinkerhoff."

Utah Valley now returns to Orem for its final home conference series of the season. The Broncos of Santa Clara will visit Wolverine Field for a four-game tilt beginning Saturday at 12 p.m. MT.

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