UVU softball: Wolverines take two from Santa Clara on Saturday
Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics
OREM, Utah — Amanda Robinson drove in five RBIs, while pitchers Tiffany Mills and Josi Summers combined to allow just two total earned runs as Utah Valley University picked up two wins over Santa Clara University on Saturday at Wolverine Field. UVU took game one, 9-1, in the minimum five innings before securing a 3-1 win in the encore.
The four-game, Pacific Coast Softball Conference series concludes Sunday with another doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.
UVU's (29-17, 11-7 PCSC) offense erupted for nine runs in game one, seven of which came in the first inning. The first six Wolverine hitters reached safely, ignited by Robinson's leadoff home run. In her sixth blast of the year, the junior first baseman scorched a 2-2 pitch over the center field fence to put UVU ahead 1-0 just one batter into the contest.
From there, Kelli Fox, Krystin Jachim, Debra Lovell, Jazmyne Cortinas and Kylee Brinkerhoff reeled off five straight singles. Lovell delivered the second run of the inning when her base hit into left field scored Fox, and Cortinas duplicated the feat, plating Jachim from third on a blooper into center. Brinkerhoff then got in on the act with an infield single to bring Lovell around and make the score 4-0 with still no outs.
Jamie North was the first casualty of the inning but did not go down easily. The designated player ripped a hard line drive that was snagged on a leaping effort by Bronco first baseman Jenna Krummen. Dara Kosanke went down looking in the next at-bat, but Morgan Summers singled to center field to keep the inning alive and load the bases. In her second at-bat of the frame, Robinson delivered another blow when she roped a double into right field. The ball scooted all the way to the wall, clearing the bases and giving Robinson four RBIs for the inning.
"In the first game we came out ready to go," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Putting up a seven-spot in that first inning just set the tone for the day."
Facing a seven-run deficit, SCU (6-41, 3-15 PCSC) got on the board in the top of the third, but it was all the visitors would muster against UVU starter Mills (14-11). The senior pitched all five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four along the way.
In the bottom of the fourth, Cortinas delivered two more RBIs when her bases-loaded single plated a pair. The hit pushed the freshman catcher to a 2-for-3 day and supplied the necessary runs to pick up the win in just five innings via the run-rule.
For the contest, the Wolverines tallied 13 total hits. Robinson's four RBIs came in a 3-for-3 game while Jachim finished 2-for-3. Brinkerhoff also finished 2-for-3 with an RBI in the first inning.
For all the offensive output in game one, UVU's bats were quieted for much of game two. It took five innings before the Wolverines were able to break through against SCU's lefty starter Briana Rios (1-8). With the game still knotted at 0-0 in the fifth, a leadoff single from Morgan Summers got things going for UVU. In the subsequent at-bat, Summers stole second and moved into scoring position just in time for Robinson to drive a single up the middle. The hit brought Summers around as she narrowly avoided the tag at the plate with a slick hook slide.
Robinson, working her way to third base over the next two-at bats, eventually came into score on a passed ball to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, UVU picked up an insurance run as North, pinch-hitting, drove in Brinkerhoff from third base. Brinkerhoff had reached on an error and was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mills — her first plate appearance of the season.
SCU made one last push in the do-or-die seventh inning. After a line out to begin the inning, the Broncos got back-to-back doubles from Breezy Bernard and Chiara Biagini to finally push one across on Wolverine pitcher Josi Summers and make the score 3-1. But Summers (10-6) shut the door from there, inducing pop outs from the next two hitters to pick up the complete game win. She allowed just three hits for the game and had entered the seventh inning with just a single hit against her.
"Each of our pitchers make each other better," Hartgrove said. "Josi was on her game and Mills was solid as well. They each had an inning where they let some pitches get away from them, but overall they pitched great ballgames and I'm really proud of them."
Morgan Summers, playing at second base, was the only Wolverine to pick up multiple hits in the encore, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Sunday's doubleheader is Senior Day for Utah Valley as it will honor the careers of its five seniors. The festivities get underway prior to the noon start time of game one.
"Today we came out ready to go in the first game, but we didn't look the same in game two," Hartgrove said. "We have to avoid those kinds of lapses in attitude and focus if we're going to have the same success tomorrow."
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.