OREM, Utah — Pitchers Tiffany Mills and Josi Summers each went the distance and allowed just one combined run as Utah Valley University took both games of a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader from Santa Clara University. UVU won 5-0 in game one before taking a 4-1 victory in the encore.
The win gave the Wolverines (31-17, 13-7) a 4-0 series sweep of the Broncos (6-43, 3-17). It was the first PCSC sweep of the season for UVU and pushed its win total to 30 for the second consecutive season.
"Our pitchers were great all weekend," head coach Rachel Hartgrove said. "Tiffany got the shutout and Josi had one rough inning but really settled in from there. I would have liked to see a little more run production, but our offense did what it needed to do to back up our pitching."
UVU got all it needed in a five-run bottom of the second, blowing things open in game one. After senior Charlee Cisneros singled into left-center with one out, the Wolverines benefited from a pair of Bronco miscues on their way to the five-spot. Marie Williams grounded to third base but reached safely when the second baseman covering first missed the bag. A Morgan Summers infield single then loaded the bases and Amanda Robinson worked a walk for an RBI and the first run of the game.
The bases still loaded, another SCU error made the score 3-0. Kelli Fox chopped one right back at Bronco pitcher Carissa Theis, but in trying to catch the lead runner at home, she airmailed the catcher, allowing Williams and Summers to scurry home.
With runners now on second and third, Krystin Jachim delivered the final runs of the frame when her liner into right-center plated Robinson and Fox. That was the last pitch Theis would throw, as she exited the game following the base hit with all five runs unearned.
The 5-0 lead would hold up as the only scoring inning of the ballgame. UVU pitcher Mills took care of the rest, throwing seven scoreless innings and allowing just three hits as she improved to 15-11 on the season. Honored before the game during the Senior Day festivities, she also struck out five hitters on 85 pitches.
Utah Valley found itself trailing for the first time in the series to start game two. Santa Clara broke through for a run in the top of the first inning against Josi Summers when Chiara Biagini's single scored Stephanie Fisher from third base. The two-out RBI was all SCU would take in the inning despite having Summers in a jam early on. The Broncos were able to put runners on second and third with just one out, but Jachim was able to throw out the lead runner at home off a Kelly Scribner groundout to save a run. Then, after the run had scored and two runners still in scoring position, Summers induced a pop-out to Krista Jensen.
It was the only blemish on an otherwise solid day for Summers. The sophomore kept SCU off the board from there and only allowed two more hits over the next six innings. Striking out four batters, she ultimately picked up the win and improved to 11-6 on the season.
Backing up their pitcher, the Wolverines got a pair of runs in both the second and third innings. With one away, UVU put together a string of four straight singles to pick up its first run in the second inning. Morgan Summers came through with the RBI after base hits from Jamie North, Cisneros and Williams preceded her. Then, after Robinson fouled out with the bases loaded, Fox delivered a two-out RBI when her infield single scored Cisneros.
A trio of SCU errors aided the Wolverine cause in the third inning, each coming with two outs. After singling and stealing second base, Kylee Brinkerhoff stood in scoring position with two down and Charlee Cisneros sent a sharply hit groundball that skipped between the legs of Bronco second baseman Jensen. Brinkerhoff came around to score on the play, putting UVU in front 3-1. In the very next at-bat, Williams lifted a low line drive into center field. Charging forward, Rochelle Rivera attempted a basket catch but saw the ball carom off her glove. The miscue allowed Cisneros to reach third base from first, but as Rivera scrambled to return the ball to the infield, her throw sailed past third base. Cisneros capitalized on the play's second error, coming home to establish the final score line.
Fox and Williams were the only Wolverines to produce a multi-hit ballgame in game two, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively.
Sunday was Senior Day for UVU softball, as five Wolverines were honored before the game. Kylee Brinkerhoff, Charlee Cisneros, Krystin Jachim, Tiffany Mills and Marie Williams were recognized for their contribution to the program. As a unit, the four senior position players combined for seven hits on the day.
Utah Valley breaks from league play next week with a pair of opponents from the Big Sky Conference. The Wolverines host Weber State in a doubleheader Tuesday in Orem beginning at 4 p.m., then travel to Idaho State for another 4 p.m. tilt Wednesday. The final PCSC series of the season for UVU begins Saturday in Los Angeles when the Wolverines face Loyola Marymount.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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