OREM, Utah — Pitcher Josi Summers set a single-game record for strikeouts and Kylee Brinkerhoff drove home the winning run in game two as Utah Valley University swept a doubleheader with Weber State on Tuesday afternoon.
UVU took game one 7-1 before needing a comeback effort to take game two, 3-2, in eight innings.
"Josi just pitched awesome," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "She kept the ball down despite this 20 mile-per-hour win. She gave up the one home run, but it was a solo and didn't hurt us much. I'm just really proud of Josi and really proud of the girls for the way they fought back in that second game."
With its first run of the game coming on a throwing error in the third inning and its second coming on a solo shot from Desiree Mejia in the sixth, WSU (8-37) held a 2-0 lead over UVU (33-17) late in the encore. But the Wolverines came roaring back in the bottom half of the sixth, getting some help from the swirling, gusting winds that troubled Wolverine Field all afternoon.
With one out and Krystin Jachim standing on first base, Brinkerhoff lined a double down the left field line, putting the tying runs in scoring position. After Jazmyne Cortinas had grounded out to pitcher, it appeared the Wildcats would get out of the jam when pitcher Morgan Allaband got Jamie North to lift a high pop-up toward third base. Appearing to have settled beneath the pop fly, third baseman Alyson Kulp saw the ball suddenly pushed beyond the reaches of her glove and settled into the dirt behind her. Running on contact, Jachim and Brinkerhoff had enough time to scoot all the way home to tie the game at 2-2 before the WSU defense could recover.
North would finish the game at 2-for-3 with two critical RBIs.
The score still knotted at 2-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Jachim led things off with a walk. A perfect sacrifice bunt from Debra Lovell pushed Jachim to third, setting the stage for Brinkerhoff. The senior turned on a 1-1 pitch, sending a hard grounder into right field and giving Jachim plenty of time to turn the corner home for the winning run.
Brinkerhoff's walk-off capped a 3-for-4 day and preserved Summers' 12th win of the season. A remarkable performance in difficult conditions, the sophomore pitcher threw all eight innings, allowed just one earned run on five hits and set a single-game UVU record for strikeouts with 13. She had four innings of multiple strikeouts in the game, including the fifth and sixth innings where she recorded all three outs by strikeouts.
The nightcap victory also pushed the Wolverines' season win total to 33 — tying the record-setting mark set by the 2012 team — not to mention establishing a 9-3 mark against in-state foes this season.
A four-run first inning for UVU proved the difference in game one as the Wolverines sent 10 batters to the plate and had four consecutive hits to open the frame. After singles off the bats of Amanda Robinson and Kelli Fox, Jachim drove in the game's first run with a base hit into left-center. A wild pitch pushed Fox and Jachim to second and third where they would come in to score during the next at-bat. Lovell roped a double to the warning track in center field, plating two more runs to put UVU in front 3-0.
The first out of the inning came when Brinkerhoff grounded out to shortstop, but Lovell was able to move up to third on the play. Lovell eventually scored an unearned run two batters later when WSU's first baseman Krystin Kubo dropped what would have been a putout off a Marie Williams ground ball.
The Wolverines would ride the pitching of Tiffany Mills from there. The senior threw 6.0 innings, allowing just 2 hits and striking out six on the way to her 16th win of the season. Sophomore Megan Peay came on in relief in the top of the seventh and threw a scoreless inning.
Two more UVU runs in the bottom of the fifth countered WSU's one-run fourth, with both runs coming virtue of a two-out, bases loaded error by the Wildcats. A solo, leadoff home run from Robinson in the bottom of the six then sealed the final tally.
"Our bats were much better in the first game than the second," Hartgrove said. "I thought that A-Rob's home run was the killer — it really gave them no hope for a comeback at that point."
Jachim, Lovell and Robinson each finished the contest at 2-for-4 — the only Wolverines to tally multiple hits and record at least one RBI in the day's first game.
Utah Valley has a quick turnaround, traveling to face Idaho State in Pocatello on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. at ISU's Miller Ranch Stadium. The Wolverines are 0-2 against the Bengals on the season.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.