KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Utah Valley University softball team proved it was human by losing its first game at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., Tuesday as it fell to Fairleigh Dickinson University 3-1. The Wolverines immediately responded, however, by recovering from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat Columbia University 8-5 later in the day.
Before the two-run setback to the Knights (9-2), the Wolverines had gone an impressive 4-0-1 at the tournament and hadn't lost in their last seven games. With the win later in the day over the Lions (2-8), UVU improved to 11-5-1 on the year.
"I think the length of the trip and number of games is starting to wear on the girls. But the girls keep fighting," said UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne. "Peay, North, Robinson and Brinkerhoff, in particular, came up big and helped us get the second game win."
After three innings against Columbia, Utah Valley found itself down 4-0. The Wolverines quickly got three of those runs back in the top of the fourth, however, as Jamie North slugged out a three-run blast to left field for her first collegiate home run.
The game remained 4-3 until the sixth, when UVU managed to put a five-spot on the board and take an 8-4 advantage.
In the sixth, Amanda Perez started the rally with a one-out single. A couple of batters later, Kelli Fox came through and picked up her first collegiate RBI to tie the game as she reached on an error. With two outs and the game tied at 4-4, Amanda Robinson, Jessica Uresti and Kylee Brinkerhoff then all drove home runs to give the Wolverines the lead.
Megan Peay came on in relief and pitched two solid innings to record the win while the newly named PCSC Pitcher of the Week Tiffany Mills pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning for her third save of the season. Brinkerhoff and Robinson led the way as they each recorded three hits against the Ivy League foe. Brinkerhoff went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI while Robinson went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI as well. North also had a solid game with a 2-for-4 performance and three RBIs.
In the first game of the day versus Fairleigh Dickinson, the Wolverines trailed 1-0 after the first inning.
Doubles from Breanna English and Brinkerhoff in the third inning managed to tie the game for the Wolverines.
The Knights later reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning when a couple of costly Wolverine errors caused two unearned runs to come home for FDU in the frame.
UVU threatened in the sixth inning as it had the tying runs on the bases but couldn't score as Fairleigh Dickinson managed to hold on to the 3-1 advantage to pull out the win.
Peay pitched 5.2 innings of effective relief for the Wolverines as she didn't allow a hit but suffered the tough-luck loss as FDU scored two unearned runs off of her.
The Wolverines will conclude play at the Rebel Spring Games on Wednesday by taking on Lafayette College at 9 a.m. EST and Army at 11 a.m. EST.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.