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UVU softball: Wolverines back home for game with Marist

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 12:27 p.m. MDT

OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University plays host to Marist in its final non-conference tune-up Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Wolverine Field.

UVU, which opens Pacific Coast Softball Conference play Saturday at Saint Mary's, will be looking to get back in the win column after having its eight-game winning streak snapped by Columbia last Saturday.

The Wolverines (13-9) compiled a 7-1 record through eight contests at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., their only blemish coming in the final game of the week against the Lions.

Pitcher Josi Summers, who posted a 0.88 ERA through 16.0 innings pitched at the Games, threw a one-hitter against Columbia but was left with a tough-luck loss as UVU fell 1-0. The lone run in the game was scored on a Wolverine throwing error in the second inning.

Before that loss, UVU was rolling with wins in its previous eight contests. The Wolverines picked up a 3-1 win over Arkansas before beginning the Games and preceded to reel off wins over North Dakota, Youngstown State, Saint Peter's, Wagner, Green Bay, Fairleigh Dickinson and Rider during the streak.

Senior shortstop Krystin Jachim played a major role in UVU's success in the Sunshine State, finishing the eight-game slate with a .556 batting average, 14 hits, nine RBIs, 19 total bases and a .760 slugging percentage — all team highs.

Jachim's biggest performance may have come in the week's penultimate contest against Rider. She went 2-for-2 with a huge, three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to propel the Wolverines to a 5-1 victory.

Junior first baseman Amanda Robinson also had a steady week, batting 455 with 10 hits and a home run. Hurler Megan Peay went 2-0 from the circle on the week and also belted a grand slam against Youngstown State, while outfielder Kelli Fox batted .333 and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning against FDU.

The Red Foxes of Marist enter the week at 6-7 and will face BYU in Provo Tuesday night. Marist is the third representative of the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference to face UVU, joining Saint Peter's and Rider and Wolverine opponents.

After opening with wins in six of its first eight contests of 2013, the Foxes are losers of their last five entering Tuesday. Each in the quintet of losses came at the San Diego Classic where Marist faced Bryant, UNLV, San Diego, San Jose State and Texas Tech.

Freshman Nicole Cheek is the top hitter for the Foxes on the year with a .395 batting average. She also leads the team in hits (17) and home runs (3). Also providing some pop in the batting order are freshman Krysten Van Natta, hitting .368 with a homer and senior Danielle Koltz, who has belted two dingers to go with a .333 average.

From the circle, pitcher Emily Osterhaus has posted solid numbers for the early season. Though carrying just a 2-3 record, the senior holds a 1.28 ERA through 27.1 innings pitched.

Next up, Utah Valley heads to Moraga, Calif., to begin PCSC play against the Gaels of Saint Mary's. The four-game series opens with a Saturday doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. MT.

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

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