UVU softball: hot-hitting Bengals come from behind to top Wolverines
Amanda Robinson hit two home runs, but the Utah Valley University softball team couldn't keep the high-powered Idaho State offense at bay in an 8-7 loss Tuesday night at Miller Ranch Stadium. The Wolverines rallied to take a 7-5 lead in the middle innings before the Bengals answered late, getting a walk-off single to steal the win.
"We played well on the day, but we just needed to close it out in the end," Utah Valley head coach Nikki Palmer said. "We did a lot of good things as a team today that I hope we can turn into some excellent momentum as we move back into WAC play this weekend."
After falling behind 5-2 after three innings, UVU (12-29) posted crooked numbers in both the fourth and fifth frames to charge back and recapture the lead. Senior Robinson supplied all three Wolverine runs in the third inning, crushing a two-out home run that scored two baserunners and tied the game at 5-5. A Brittney Vansway walk led off the third, and after two subsequent outs, Erin Romero drew a walk to bring Robinson to the dish. The three-run shot was her second homer of the game as she tightened her grip on the all-time UVU home run record which she set last week against Grand Canyon.
Robinson finished the game 2-for-2 with a season-high four RBIs, recording the Wolverines' third multi-home run game of the season.
After reliever Bailey Moore kept the Bengals (25-16) off the board in the bottom half, the Wolverines hung another pair to take the lead at 7-5 when Debra Lovell delivered another clutch, two-out base hit. The senior's single up the middle plated Hailey Kofler and Morgan Summers, who stood at third and second, respectively, when Lovell dug in.
But with its back against the wall at home, ISU — one of the country's top offensive teams — battled back in the late innings. Ranking sixth in the country in batting average and scoring, the Bengals rallied for two in the sixth to bring the score line back square at 7-7. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Moore looked poised to work out of the jam when she induced a 4-6-3 double play. But a passed ball two batters later allowed the tying run to scamper home, restoring momentum to the home team.
Summers led off the seventh with her second hit of the day, but a fielder's choice and two fly outs promptly ended any hint at a Wolverine threat. ISU was then able to manufacture the winning run, getting a walk-off single from Gabby Lopez to score Katelyn Marquez from second with just one gone in the final frame of regulation.
The first Wolverine RBI of the day belonged to Vansway who delivered her third home run of the year with a solo blast in the top of the second. The homer tied the score at 1-1 after ISU got on the board in its first go-around at the plate.
Utah Valley now returns to conference action when it travels to Kansas City for a three-game series with UMKC. Games one and two will be played in a Friday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. MT, and the series will come to a close with an 11 a.m. contest Saturday.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.