KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Utah Valley University went a perfect 2-0 in its first pair of contests at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., Tuesday. UVU earned a 4-3, come-from-behind victory over former Great West Conference rival North Dakota before outslugging Youngstown State, 8-3, in the second game. The Wolverines have six more games through Saturday in the Sunshine State.
In taking game one over UND, the Wolverines used a three-run bottom of the fifth to complete its first comeback win of the season.
Trailing 3-1, first baseman Amanda Robinson came to the dish with runners and second and third and just one away. The junior, who finished the day at 3-for-4, poked a single into center field to bring home the first run of the inning and place runners on the corners. An infield single from left fielder Kylee Brinkerhoff loaded the bases, but UND recorded the next out at home as second baseman Dynasty Lauvai hit a grounder to third.
Now with two away and UND looking to get out of the jam, catcher Jazmyne Cortinas played hero when she found the outfield grass for a two-RBI single. The base hit brought Robinson and Brinkerhoff home, restoring the lead to the Wolverines at 4-3.
"It was nice to see the fight in the girls as they came back from being down," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Once again our pitching staff did a nice job of keeping runs down. Josi Summers had a really nice outing coming in and throwing three shutout innings to pick up the win."
Summers, who came on in relief following the fourth inning, kept UND off the scoreboard during the pivotal final innings. The sophomore threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win, improving her season mark to 2-4.
Alongside Robinson, Brinkerhoff and shortstop Krystin Jachim also had multi-hit games as each went 2-for-3.
Pitcher Megan Peay stole the show in game two against the Penguins, going the distance in the circle and helping her own cause with a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning.
Entering the frame, UVU faced a 2-1 deficit. But after back-to-back singles from Lauvai and Jachim, Jamie North reached on a throwing error from the YSU catcher. With the bases full, Peay lifted her first home run of the season over the outfield wall to put the Wolverines in front, 4-2.
It was the second UVU home run of the day as Robinson ripped a solo shot in the top of the first inning.
The Wolverine bats remained hot from there, getting another run in the top of the fifth via a passed ball and tacking on two more in the top of the sixth. This time it was Jachim coming through with a two-run single into right field, allowing Peay to close out the complete game and pick up her first win on the year.
"It was just Peay's day against YSU," Hartgrove said. "She pitched well and obviously had a big day at the plate with that grand slam. It was also a strong effort as a team getting runners on base and then bringing them across the plate."
In all, UVU tallied nine hits against the Penguins — three of which came off Jachim's bat. The senior finished the ballgame 3-for-3 to go along with two RBIs and two runs scored. Peay finished at 2-for-3 from the plate, while Robinson earned herself a pair of walks after her first inning bomb, closing the game at 1-for-2.
Utah Valley is back at it with a pair of early games Wednesday morning. The day begins with a 7 a.m. MT contest against the Peacocks of St. Peter's and will be followed by a meeting with the Wagner Seahawks at 9.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.