UVU softball: late Wildcat rallies prove too much for Wolverines in doubleheader sweep

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2014 9:46 p.m. MDT

Utah Valley University was swept for the second consecutive doubleheader on Wednesday, falling to Weber State, 5-4 and 12-4, on Wednesday afternoon at the Wildcat Softball Field. UVU led in both contests but succumbed to late WSU rallies each time.

"We fought hard the whole way through the first game but lost a little bit of focus at the end of the game," Utah Valley head coach Nikki Palmer said. "We bounced back with a great first inning to start the second game, but we just didn't get the job done after that."

Hailey Kofler and Dynasty Lauvai led the Wolverines (7-18) at the plate on Wednesday, finishing the day as the only Wolverines to notch more than two hits between the two games. Kofler went a combined 3-for-5 on the day, including a double in game one and an RBI in game two. Meanwhile, Lauvai pieced together a 4-for-7 afternoon, recording both of her two RBIs for the day on a pair of home runs in the day's opener.

Jamie North and Amanda Robinson each went 2-for-6 on the day, combining for three RBIs, while Brianna Gatlin notched her team-leading 18th and 19th RBIs of the season in the nightcap.

Utah Valley suffered heartbreak in game one, surrendering a three-run advantage in the bottom of the seventh. The Wolverines tallied two runs in the sixth to break a 1-1 deadlock and got what looked to be an insurance run when Lauvai hit her second home run of the game in the top of the seventh. But a 4-1 lead wasn't enough to withstand WSU's 11th hour rally as the Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom half of the last inning to take the win.

WSU sealed the comeback behind only two hits in the inning, benefitting from a hit-by-pitch, a walk, two wild pitches and a Wolverine error. UVU came away with only one out in the inning, and Dara Rahm, who came on in relief of Josi Summers after the first two runs of the inning had come in, was saddled with the loss. Rahm got the lone out in the frame, but a wild pitch allowed the tying run to scurry home before Alyson Kulp delivered the walk-off basehit to clinch the Wildcat win.

Lauvai and North each had two hits in game one for UVU, with both of Lauvai's knocks coming by way of the long ball. She opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a leadoff home run that put the Wolverines out in front 1-0. Meanwhile, North went 2-for-4 with a two-out, two-RBI single down the line in the top of the sixth. Summers pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out three. She threw three perfect innings to begin the game, retiring the first nine Wildcats she faced, before WSU finally got to her in the fourth.

In game two, UVU got off to a quick start and looked poised to avenge its loss in game one. A four-run first inning put the Wolverines firmly ahead on the scoreboard as the first five batters of the game reached safely. After Lauvai singled and Fox walked, a double steal put the duo in scoring position where Gatlin was able to drive them in with a single up the middle. In the next at-bat, Robinson brought Gatlin into score easily with a triple. A Kofler single then gave UVU a 4-0 advantage before a single out had even been recorded.

But the Wolverines wouldn't score again, hanging zeroes over the next five innings. In that time, the homestanding Wildcats chipped away at the deficit, scoring two runs in the first, a single run in the second and one more in the fifth to level things at 4-4 heading into the fateful sixth inning. WSU exploded for eight runs in what proved to be the game's final frame, ending the game via the eight-run rule. The Wildcats got seven hits in the inning, including a big three-run home run from Mylee Davis to clinch the sweep.

Summers, who got her second start of the day in game two, took the loss and falls to 4-9 on the season.

UVU will break for the weekend before returning to action at home against Idaho State on Tuesday. The single game gets underway at 3 p.m. at Wolverine Field. The midweek meeting with the Bengals represents the final tune-up before WAC play begins next Friday when the Wolverines travel to face Bakersfield in a three-game series.

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