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UVU softball: CSU Bakersfield in town for PCSC home opener

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 28 2013 11:44 a.m. MDT

OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University will open its home Pacific Coast Softball Conference schedule with a pair doubleheaders against CSU Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday. Both days' games at Wolverine Field get under way at 12 p.m. with the encore coming at 2.

Live stats for all four contests can be accessed through UVU athletics website.

The Wolverines (17-11, 2-2) have won 12 of their last 15 games, including a 4-1 victory over in-state rival Utah on Tuesday night. The win was the first ever for UVU in Salt Lake City and avenged a home loss earlier in the season to the Utes.

Prior to facing Utah, the Wolverines opened PCSC play with a four-game series at Saint Mary's. The series ended in a 2-2 split with UVU claiming wins in games two and four.

Shortstop Krystin Jachim, who had a two-RBI double at Utah, continues to lead the team with a .390 batting average and 17 RBIs. Those numbers are followed by first baseman Amanda Robinson's .365 average and 14 RBIs. Robinson also drove in a pair of runs Tuesday night with a sixth-inning double off the outfield wall.

Dynasty Lauvai, a second baseman, ranks second on the squad in RBIs with 16, and outfielder Kylee Brinkerhoff rounds out the double-digit run production with 12 RBIs to her name.

Third baseman Debra Lovell has also been coming on of late, batting a team-high .400 in the last five games.

Picking up the win Tuesday night was pitcher Tiffany Mills, who improved to 7-6 on the season. She leads UVU's pitchers with 79 strikeouts and ranks in a tie for second place nationally in saves with four. Josi Summers has ten starts to her name and sits at 6-5 with a 3.35 ERA. In her last two starts, Summers is 2-0 with 12 strikeouts and a 0.64 ERA.

CSUB (6-19, 2-2) enters the weekend riding the momentum of its first win over a top-24 team in program history. The Roadrunners topped No. 24 Oregon State earlier this week, 10-7, on the back end of a two-game slate. CSUB also sits at .500 in conference play with one series down. Facing Loyola Marymount and with a chance to win the series, the `Runners suffered a 7-6 loss in game four to leave them with a 2-2 split.

"Bakersfield is a tough team," UVU head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "We know that they can swing the bats. They put up 10 runs against No. 24 Oregon State and chased LMU's Sydney Gouveia — one of the top pitchers in the country — out of the game in the first inning last weekend. We haven't played them in four years, so there's a bit of an unknown there, but we know with these games at home we've got a good opportunity to make a move in the conference standings."

Junior outfielder Karissa Veiga's .300 batting average leads CSUB, followed by .271 from junior infielder Shay Fryer. With seven RBIs, Fryer is tied for the team lead with Jessica Castaneda, a freshman catcher.

Veiga reached base 10 times in 14 at-bats against LMU, while outfielder Laura King hit two triples during the series.

Sophomore Kelsie Monore has made the bulk of the starts in the circle for the 'Runners, holding a 6-11 record through 17 starts. She earned both of CSUB's wins against Loyola Marymount, including a two-hit shutout in game three.

UVU and CSUB last met in 2009, with the home standing `Runners taking the series 3-1. All-time, the series is knotted at 6-6.

Following the weekend, Utah Valley will play its next seven games against in-state foes. The Wolverines travel to Weber State for a doubleheader Tuesday before returning home for a weekend, PCSC series with BYU. Utah State then visits Orem on April 9.

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

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