Kissimmee, Fla. - After sweeping two contests at the Rebel Spring Games Tuesday, the Utah Valley University softball team duplicated the feat Wednesday. UVU defeated Saint Peter's 12-3 in five innings and followed that up with a 4-2 win over Wagner later in the morning.
Highlighting the day's victories was an 11-run inning which helped the Wolverines top the Peacocks of SPU. Already with a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second, UVU's bats caught fire. Eleven Wolverine hitters came to the plate before the first out was recorded, putting nine runs on the board in that span.
"We had a lot of energy at the start against SPU and that really propelled us," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Aside from the big offensive production, (Cassie) Herrera did a great job in her first start on the season. She really kept them off balance."
Dynasty Lauvai opened the inning with an infield single and was promptly scored on a double from Krystin Jachim. After back-to-back walks to Jazmyne Cortinas and Debra Lovell in the next two at-bats, Megan Peay --who hit a grand slam in Tuesday's win over Youngstown State - grabbed two more RBIs with a bases-loaded single into right field. Another infield single from Morgan Summers filled the bases again, setting the stage for an RBI single from Marie Williams. Amanda Robinson added another RBI single to put UVU out in front 6-0 with still no outs in the inning.
With the deficit mounting, SPU went to the bullpen in an attempt to quiet the Wolverine bats. But the scoring spurt continued as Kylee Brinkerhoff reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Summers from third. In her second at-bat of the inning, Lauvai came through for another bases-loaded hit, bringing home Williams. Jachim picked up her second and third RBIs of the inning in the next-at bat when her single to center field scored Robinson and Brinkerhoff.
The Peacocks finally recorded an out as Lauvai was retired at third base on a fielder's choice off the bat of Cortinas. A run did come home to score on the play, however, pushing the lead to 10-0. Peay would add another RBI on a groundout, and after an SPU error, Cortinas came in for the final Wolverine run of the inning.
In all, 16 hitters came to the plate for UVU in the bottom of the second with both Jachim and Peay driving in three runs. Six Wolverines notched RBIs in the frame.
The offensive explosion gave pitcher Herrera plenty of breathing room as she went on to finish with her first win of the season in just five innings.
Runs were not as plentiful against Wagner in the day's second game. Scoreless through the first four innings, UVU trailed the Seahawks, 2-0, and had two outs with none on in the top of the fifth. Williams kept the inning alive with an infield hit and Robinson worked a walk to put the tying run on base. Brinkerhoff then came through with the big hit of the inning, lacing a double down the left-field line. Williams and Robinson came in to score, knotting the game at 2-2.
After pitcher Josi Summers - who would go on to earn her second win in as many days - kept Wagner off the board in the bottom of the fifth, the Wolverines tallied again in the sixth. This time it was Cortinas manufacturing the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to score Dara Kosanke.
With Tiffany Mills coming on to throw one and a third scoreless innings for her first save of the year, UVU would not need another run. But it picked up an insurance score when Lauvai delivered a bases-loaded single in the seventh.
"We started off a little slow in the second game, but we found key hits when we needed them," Hartgrove said. "Josi did a good job mixing up pitches and really only made one mistake when she gave up the two-run homer in the fourth."
Morgan Summers finished game two 3-for-4 while Brinkerhoff delivered two of the team's four RBIs.
Utah Valley will enjoy an off day on Thursday before retaking the field on Friday for another pair of games. The Wolverines will face off against Green Bay at 7 a.m. MT and will meet Fairleigh Dickinson at 11. FDU was the only team to defeat UVU at last season's Rebel Spring Games.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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