OREM, Utah — With a 4-1 mark at last weekend's Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, the Utah Valley University softball team is slated for another quintet of games this weekend at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
The Wolverines get the weekend underway with a Friday doubleheader against Long Beach State at 2:30 p.m. and San Jose State at 4:45 p.m. (all times listed in MT).
Another twin bill on Saturday pits UVU against ninth-ranked Cal at 12:15 p.m. and host-school UNLV at 4:45 p.m. The weekend wraps up Sunday as the Wolverines meet No. 20 Hawai'i at 12:15 p.m.
Live stats for each of this weekend's games can be accessed through WolverineGreen.com.
UVU picked up four wins over the season's opening weekend, topping South Dakota, Southern Utah, Oklahoma State and Nevada. The only blemish came in the form of an 11-3 loss against former Pacific Coast Softball Conference rival Idaho State.
It took eight innings for the Wolverines to top USD in the season opener, as the Coyotes roared back from a 3-0 deficit in the top of the seventh to force extras. Shortstop Krystin Jachim delivered the game-winning hit for UVU, plating Kelli Fox with a single to left center in the bottom of the eighth.
The Wolverines would score just three runs in each of their next three games, sandwiching the loss to ISU with a pair of wins behind pitcher Tiffany Mills. The senior twirled a couple gems, stringing together a complete game shutout against SUU and holding OSU of the Big 12 to just one run on five hits.
The bats and pitching came together Sunday, as UVU raced past Nevada, 11-1. Mills allowed just one run and scattered seven hits, while the Wolverines got rolling at the plate. UVU would finish the game with 14 hits, including home runs from Amanda Robinson, Dynasty Lauvai, and Jazmyne Cortinas. Lauvai's fourth-inning grand slam busted the game wide open, as the Wolverines picked up the win in five innings.
Pitcher Josi Summers went 1-1 on the weekend in her first outings since 2011, her true freshman season.
LBSU, a member of the Big West, is off to a 2-1 start this season. The 49ers topped Wright State and CSU Bakersfield last weekend, but fell to Texas A&M.
Friday will be the first meeting between UVU and Long Beach State since 2006.
SJSU began the year with a 4-2 mark at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Outfielder Markesha Collins and pitcher Allison Lang swept the WAC Player of the Week awards in helping the Spartans to their strong start.
The Wolverines hosted SJSU last season, falling 10-6 at Wolverine Field.
No. 9 Cal, ranked third in the preseason, is 3-2, picking up wins against Cal State Northridge, Indiana and UC Davis alongside losses to Kentucky and No. 5 Florida.
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Host-school UNLV is 2-3 with wins over No. 17 Louisville and Central Florida. UVU and the Rebels last met in 2008 with UNLV picking up an 11-1 win.
Hawai'i jumped from 23rd in the rankings up to 20th following a 5-1 mark at its own Paradise Classic. The Rainbow Wahine's only loss came to Washington in the championship game of the invitational.
UH, ranked 15th at the time, topped the Wolverines 6-1 in Orem last season.
Following the Easton Desert Classic, UVU will have a lengthy break of about two weeks before the home opener on March 5 against Utah.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.