SAN DIEGO - In a Saturday dominated by pitching, Utah Valley University and the University of San Diego split a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader. The home standing Toreros took game one, 3-2, before the Wolverines countered with a 1-0 victory in game two. Not one of the day's four pitchers surrendered an earned run.
Looking to bounce back from a game one defeat, UVU (26-16, 8-6 PCSC) got a monster outing from starting pitcher Josi Summers. The sophomore went the distance, throwing seven scoreless innings and allowing just two hits while striking out seven. In keeping USD (20-23, 5-9 PCSC) off the board, Summers improved to 9-5 on the year.
UVU got all it needed in the top of the second inning when Jazmyne Cortinas was able to score from third on a throwing error from Torero pitcher Jenny Lahitte. Cortinas had led off the frame with a walk and worked her way to third after a Jamie North sacrifice bunt and a Kylee Brinkerhoff single. In the next at-bat, Cassie Herrera lined right back at Lahitte, but in trying to double off Brinkerhoff at first, the pitcher airmailed her target. The blunder sent Cortinas home from third for the game's only run.
The defensive mistake was the only real blemish on the day for Lahitte (8-12), who suffered the loss despite going a full seven innings and giving up just two hits.
Kelli Fox was the only other Wolverine to record a hit in the ballgame, finishing 1-for-3 in game two.
The win came on the heels of a 3-2, game one loss in which Utah Valley made four defensive miscues. Neither pitcher allowed an earned run as every tally of the series opener came after an error. UVU's Tiffany Mills (12-11) allowed just three hits but took the loss, while USD's Cassidy Coleman (11-10) grabbed the complete game win after striking out eight Wolverines.
The Toreros took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, benefitting from a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt attempt that left runners on the corners with no outs. After Dana Prelsnik, who had reached safely on the error, stole second, but Mills was able to induce groundouts from the next two USD hitters. Still, both outs became RBIs as Chloe Kaneko's grounder to shortstop brought leadoff hitter Kylie Ordos home and Lauren Tomey's roller to second base scored Prelsnik.
Trailing by a pair, the Wolverines leveled with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Krystin Jachim led off with a double to left field and eventually came around to score on a USD error. A bunt single from Debra Lovell pushed Jachim to third before an inaccurate throw on the play saw the shortstop home to score. An error also allowed Jamie North to reach safely to begin the fifth, where she eventually scored on an Amanda Robinson base hit with two outs. Robinson's RBI was the only of the day for UVU.
With the game still tied at 2-2, USD delivered the decisive blow in the top of the sixth. Mary Grabowski came through with the big hit as her one-out triple to right center resulted in a run. Heading into third base, Dynasty Lauvai's errant relay throw allowed Grabowski to scurry home for the winning run.
UVU got the tying run on base in the seventh on a one-out single from Fox, her second hit of the game. But Coleman struck out the final two Wolverines she faced to clinch the Torero's fifth PCSC win.
Utah Valley and San Diego will conclude the series with another doubleheader Sunday. The double dip gets underway at 12 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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