UVU softball: Wolverine softball team looks to make greater strides in 2013

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 5:20 p.m. MST

Newcomers Debra Lovell (3B), Dara Kosanke (OF) and Dynasty Lauvai (IF) arrive at Utah Valley looking to fill the void left by Deianna Russell and Amanda Perez, seniors in 2012, and Jessica Uresti, who left the team for personal reasons.

A transfer from Midland College in Texas, Lovell was a two-time All-Region and All-Conference player. With a .417 average and 15 home runs as a true freshman, Lovell is expected to add some pop to the Wolverine lineup. Kosanke, another JC transfer, was a two-time NFCA All-American and a two-time Eastern Region MVP at Walla Walla CC, while Lauvai, one of three true freshmen on the squad, was a three-time All-State selection out of Tempe, Ariz.

UVU's experienced roster will be tested through a schedule that features 13 rematches from last season, games against every in-state opponent and a trip into SEC country.

A three-game series against Arkansas in Fayetteville is highlighted in the non-conference schedule, as is a return trip to the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. The Wolverines were successful at the Games last season, going 7-1-1 in mid-March.

UVU begins its fourth season of PCSC play on March 23, but the Wolverines will see a new side of the conference this season. With all of its Mountain Division rivals finding new conference homes, UVU joins crosstown rival and conference newcomer BYU with the rest of the PCSC Coastal Division to create a single-division league.

With this new landscape, the Wolverines will face the likes of BYU, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, San Diego and Santa Clara for the first time in conference play.

"Conference play is definitely a little bit of an unknown," Hartgrove said. "We're pretty familiar with BYU and LMU, but we know that the league will be tough. Saint Mary's won the Coastal Division last year and San Diego is returning almost everyone.

"Still, I see us up there in the top three of the conference. With the hitting and the pitching we have, I don't see why we shouldn't compete at that level."

Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.

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