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UVU softball: Wolverines split with Saint Mary's Saturday

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 23 2013 9:21 p.m. MDT

MORAGA, Calif. - Utah Valley University got the Pacific Coast Softball season underway Saturday, splitting a pair of games against Saint Mary's at Cottrell Field. UVU fell 5-1 in the day's first game but answered with a 3-1 victory in the second attempt.

In their game two win, the Wolverines (15-10, 1-1) broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Leading off the frame with a double, first baseman Amanda Robinson eventually came around to score after the SMC (8-18, 1-1) right fielder misplayed a Krystin Jachim single.

With its slim, 1-0 lead still intact headed into the fifth, UVU tacked on two more. Catcher Jamie North led off the frame in a big way, blasting her first home run of the season to double the lead. North and Jachim each finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate.

Then, after center fielder Marie Williams and right fielder Morgan Summers reached on an error, designated player Kelli Fox drove in her third run of the year with a single into center field.

Though the Wolverines wouldn't score again in the inning, the three-run advantage was more than enough for the pitching duo of Josi Summers and Tiffany Mills.

Working through 5.0 innings, Summers improved to 5-5 while allowing just one earned run and striking out six Gaels. Mills came on for the sixth and seventh innings, striking out three of her own on her way to her third save on the year.

"Josi pitched great and it's always nice to have Tiffany on hand to come in and close the door," said head coach Rachel Hartgrove of the win. "We had some timely hitting today as well and we were able to get the runs across when we needed them."

In game one, UVU was undone by a four-run bottom of the fifth inning. With the score knotted at 1-1, SMC blew the game open as five consecutive Gaels reached base safely. Mills (6-5) hit three batters in the frame, and SMC's Megan Smith came through with the big hit in the inning, driving in a pair with a bases-loaded single.

"Obviously the one big inning is what cost us in the first game," Hartgrove said. "I thought our bats were there, but we may have been a little too aggressive on the base paths. I think that cost us a few runs."

Third baseman Debra Lovell was the only Wolverine to post multiple hits in game one, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles.

Utah Valley and Saint Mary's resume the PCSC-opening series Sunday with another doubleheader. The first game begins 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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