KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Tiffany Mills and Cassie Herrera both pitched complete game shutouts for Utah Valley University on Friday at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., as the Wolverines (8-4) defeated Detroit 1-0 and Holy Cross 1-0 in eight innings.
"Our bats were virtually nonexistent today. We seemed listless. Fortunately, Mills and Herrera had their A games," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "I'm particularly proud of Herrera. I rode her hard before the game, and she responded like a pro."
With UVU playing its first two games of 10 to come at the tournament, the Wolverine junior Mills and true freshman Herrera rose to the challenge in the circle. Mills allowed just two hits and struck out six Titans (3-11), while Herrera gave up just three hits and struck out four Crusaders (1-9).
In the second contest of the day, the game went into extra innings as Herrera and Holy Cross' starter Tori Cheske each held their respective opponent scoreless through seven innings. In the last of the eighth, the Wolverines managed to put the game away as Herrera pinch-ran for Jamie North and scored the winning run for UVU. Herrera started off the frame on second base, due to the international tiebreak rule, and came around to score two batters later after Jessica Uresti dropped down a sacrifice bunt and the Crusaders threw the ball away, which allowed Herrera to score.
Amanda Robinson and Krystin Jachim mustered the only two hits for the Wolverines. Cheske pitched very well for Holy Cross, but Herrera outpitched her and in the process picked up her first collegiate victory.
In the first game of the day against the University of Detroit, Mills kept her scoreless inning streak alive as she has now pitched 14 consecutive innings without allowing a run. That scoreless streak includes back-to-back complete game shutouts. Offensively against the Titans, the Wolverines pushed across their lone run of the contest in the second inning when Jachim reached via a walk and came around to score on an RBI groundout by Kylee Brinkerhoff.
With the win from the circle, Mills improved to 6-3 on the young season while Detroit's Kat Hoffman was the tough-luck loser in the contest. She pitched a complete game five-hitter and allowed just the one unearned run.
Marie Williams led UVU from the plate against the Titans. Robinson, Jachim and Brinkerhoff each tallied a hit as well.
The Wolverines will continue play at the Rebel Spring Games on Saturday with two more games. UVU will take on Sacred Heart at 1 p.m. and Manhattan at 3 p.m. The Wolverines will play eight more contests over the next five days at the tournament.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.