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UVU softball: Wolverines resume WAC play with road series at Kansas City

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 17 2014 4:21 p.m. MDT

After playing three non-conference contests to begin the week, the Utah Valley University softball team returns to league play Friday when it begins a three-game set at Kansas City. The series starts with a Friday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. MT and ending with Saturday's finale at 11 a.m.

The Wolverines (12-29, 4-5 WAC) enter the week tied for third place in the WAC standings with Seattle U. SU owns the tiebreaker as it defeated UVU, 2-1, in a conference series late last month. Meanwhile, UMKC (14-31, 3-6 WAC) sits in fifth place, trailing Utah Valley by a single game. The Kangaroos have fallen by a 2-1 game score in each of their three WAC series thus far, but they handed first-place New Mexico State its first and only conference loss of the season.

UVU is 0-3 on the week, coming off a heartbreaking loss at Idaho State on Tuesday. The Wolverines rallied from a 5-2 deficit to take a 7-5 lead in the middle innings, only to see that lead evaporate late as the Bengals came away with an 8-7 walk-off victory.

Senior Amanda Robinson belted three home runs Tuesday night to give her three bombs in her last four games. The surge of power has seen Robinson — the program's all-time leader in home runs — join freshman Hailey Kofler as the team's home run leaders with five apiece. Kofler owns a .319 batting average, trailing only fellow freshman Brittney Vansway who is hitting .333 on the season. Vansway also hit a solo home run against ISU on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Kansas City kicked off its current eight-game home stand with a doubleheader split against non-conference foe South Dakota on Tuesday. The Coyotes took game one by a 2-1 score, but the 'Roos hung eight runs on the scoreboard in game two in an 8-2 win.

UMKC's offense and defense are powered by the pitching duo of Katie Kelley and Cinda Ramos. A junior, Ramos leads the 'Roos and is ranked fifth in the WAC in batting with a .382 average all the while owning a 3.59 ERA and a 5-11 record in 17 starts in the circle this season. Kelley, UMKC's top pitcher with an 8-14 record and 3.47 ERA, also leads the team with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. She hit two home runs against USD on Tuesday to break the single-season school record for homers in a season.

The Wolverines and 'Roos have met just three times before, most recently playing to a two-game split in March of 2012. UMKC leads the series, 2-1.

Utah Valley closes out its road trip next week with a doubleheader at Utah. From there, the Wolverines get set for their final home stand of the season beginning with a Wednesday twin bill with Southern Utah and concluding with a three-game WAC series against NM State.

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