KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Utah Valley University softball team finished play over the past week at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., with an impressive 7-1-1 record by picking up two more wins on Wednesday. The Wolverines (13-5-1) wrapped up competition at the tournament by defeating Lafayette College 4-3 and the United States Military Academy (Army) 3-0.
"These were two team wins. The girls finished strong despite fatigue. It was a great week for our pitchers," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "Williams had a big hit against Army. Jachim's first homer of the year and Mills' pitching just sealed the deal."
Tiffany Mills, the reigning PCSC Pitcher of the Week, had another good day at the tournament for UVU as she pitched the distance against the Leopards (1-6) and picked up the win to improve to 8-3 overall. Later in the day against the Black Nights, she came in for the final 1.2 innings and gave up just one hit and no runs to record her fourth save of the year.
In the first game of the day, the Wolverines trailed Lafayette 2-0 in the third inning. UVU then rallied to load the bases in the last of the frame. With two outs, Amanda Perez delivered a big hit with a two-run single to tie that game.
The Leopards then regained the lead in the fifth as they took advantage of a lead-off walk and converted it into a run. The Wolverines came right back, however, with two runs of their own in the last of the fifth to go ahead for good at 4-3.
Jessica Uresti started off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and came around to score the tying run on a two-out RBI double from Perez, her second two-out RBI hit of the contest. Deianna Russell then immediately gave the Wolverines the lead by plating the go-ahead run with an RBI single.
Mills then managed to hold the Leopards scoreless over the final two innings to help UVU pull out the win. Offensively, Perez led the way by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
The second game of the day against the Black Nights (7-8) was more of a pitcher's duel as Army's Morgan Lashley and UVU's tandem of Cassie Herrera and Megan Peay didn't allow a run through four innings.
With two runners on in the top of the fifth, Utah Valley's Marie Williams came through with a big two-run single to put the Wolverines up 2-0. An inning later, Krystin Jachim blasted her first home run in a UVU uniform to give the Wolverines a little insurance with a 3-0 advantage.
The UVU pitching staff put up zeros the rest of the way for its sixth shutout of the season. Herrera started and pitched the first 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, while Peay pitched 1.2 of scoreless relief to record the win. Mills then came on and pitched the final two frames to pick up the save.
Amanda Robinson and Russell each recorded two hits apiece to lead UVU in that column, while Jachim and Williams drove home the runs.
During the nine games at the tournament, UVU's pitching staff combined for a 0.90 ERA. Mills led the way by going 3-0 with three saves and a 0.67 ERA, while Peay went 2-1 with a 0.75 ERA and Herrera finished 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA. Kylee Brinkerhoff and Robinson led the way from the plate as Brinkerhoff hit .435 with five RBIs and four runs scored and Robinson batted .417 with seven walks, an RBI and three runs scored.
The Wolverines will now be off until March 23-25, when they will head to Farmers Branch, Texas, to play six games at the Great West Cluster Tournament.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.