Coming off a sweep of Bakersfield last weekend to open Western Athletic Conference play, the Utah Valley University softball team looks to maintain that momentum when it visits Seattle University for another three-game WAC series. Play gets underway at SU's Logan Field with a doubleheader on Friday, beginning at 5 p.m. MT. The series concludes with a single game on Saturday, scheduled for 3 p.m.
Though meeting for the first time under the WAC banner, Utah Valley (10-20) and Seattle U (11-24) share a previous conference history as the two programs are former members of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. The Wolverines and Redhawks met in a four-game series in three consecutive seasons, from 2010-12, playing two of those series in the Emerald City. After splitting the first two meetings, SU won the third series, 3-1, to take the lead in the all-time series at 7-5.
The Redhawks enter the weekend on a four-game losing streak after being swept by New Mexico State in their WAC-opening series last week and dropping an 11-0 decision to No. 9 Washington on Tuesday. SU has gotten much of its offensive production from the bat of catcher Bubba Morrow. The junior is batting .327 on the year with a team-high eight home runs and 31 RBIs. She is one of five Redhawks batting better than .300 on the year — a group led by sophomore outfielder Isabell Geronimo and her .394 average.
Freshman Alyssa Reuble owns the most starts in the circle for SU on the season, but fellow freshman Lindsay Davis holds the pitching staff's best record, 4-6, and ERA, 3.74.
"I've seen Seattle quite a bit in the past and they always put a good product out on the field," UVU head coach Nikki Palmer said. "[Head coach] Dan Powers does a great job up there and they are a scrappy team, which is something we'll have to be prepared for in the late innings all series."
Utah Valley is also coming into the weekend off a loss, falling in a heartbreaking 10-9 defeat to Utah State on Wednesday night. Falling behind 7-0 early, the Wolverines roared all the way back to take a 9-7 lead going into the seventh inning, belting three home runs along the way. But it was the Aggies who put together the final rally, scoring three runs in the bottom half to steal the walk-off win.
Hailey Kofler went 2-for-4 on Wednesday night, upping her team-leading batting average to .328. Kofler also leads the team with five home runs, followed closely by Dynasty Lauvai's three. Lauvai holds a .310 average and enters the weekend on an eight-game hitting streak.
In the circle, pitcher Josi Summers leads the team with a 6-10 record and a 3.73 ERA. Freshman Bailey Moore suffered the loss against USU on Wednesday night despite allowing only three runs on four hits in 5.1 innings pitched.
This weekend will bring to a close the Wolverines's seven-game road trip and will give way to a seven-game home stand. UVU hosts five home games next week, playing non-conference games against BYU and Santa Clara on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, before Grand Canyon visits Orem for a three-game WAC series beginning Friday.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company