Mike Cerniglia (fo'te'graf'ix)
UVU freshman second baseman Jessica Uresti gets ready to field a ground ball at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., a couple weeks ago.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Utah Valley University freshman Jessica Uresti has been named the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Mountain Division Player of the Week. The weekly award was announced Tuesday by the league.

Uresti hit .400 (6-15) with four runs scored, three runs batted in and a home run as she helped the Wolverines win the Great West Cluster Tournament by going 5-1 over the weekend in Farmers Branch, Texas. The Wolverine leadoff hitter helped set the table for UVU as she drew four walks and put up a .550 on base percentage and slugged .667.

The freshman from Payson, Utah, recorded a hit in five of six games. She also went 2-for-3 in game one of Sunday's doubleheader against Houston Baptist. In game two against Houston Baptist, Uresti broke a scoreles tie with a three-run homer in the fifth inning of the Wolverines' 4-3 win. For the season, she is batting .290 with two home runs and nine RBIs.

The weekly award was Uresti's first of the season. The Wolverines will be in action at Wolverine Field in Orem for the first time this season Wednesday with a doubleheader against UMKC beginning at 2:30 p.m. UVU will then open PCSC play by hosting defending champion Portland State for a four-game series starting Friday at noon.

Also earning PCSC Mountain Division honors were Northern Colorado's Lindsey Smith (Co-Player of the Week) and Kelci Cheney (Pitcher of the Week).

UVU softball to open home slate this week

OREM, Utah — After starting the season with 25 games away from home, the Utah Valley University softball team will bring its five-game win streak and 18-6-1 record to Wolverine Field for the first time in 2012 Wednesday with a doubleheader against UMKC beginning at 2:30 p.m. The Wolverines will then open Pacific Coast Softball Conference play at home this weekend with a four-game series versus defending champion Portland State on Friday and Saturday.

UVU will also play doubleheaders against the Vikings on both Friday and Saturday with action beginning at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Admission will be free to the public for all of Utah Valley's home games this season, and for those fans that can't attend, live stats will be available at WolverineGreen.com.

Besides winning its last five contests, the Wolverines have also won eight of their last nine, which includes winning the Great West Cluster Tournament in Farmers Branch, Texas, last weekend by going 5-1. UVU opened the six-game/three-day tournament with a 3-0 loss to Nebraska-Omaha but responded to win the next five.

The 18-6-1 (.740 winning percentage) start this season is a NCAA Division I school record for UVU and it also puts the Wolverines in first place in the PCSC standings. The Wolverines are also currently a top-100 RPI team as they are 98th on the latest NCAA RPI ranking. Individually, junior pitcher Tiffany Mills is also ranked second in the country in saves with five.

For the season, Mills leads the Wolverine pitching staff with a 10-4 record, five saves and a 1.98 ERA. Freshman righty Megan Peay also has stellar numbers as she is 4-1 with a save and a 0.45 ERA.

Sophomore Amanda Robinson leads UVU in the batter's box this season with a .392 average and a team-high five homers and 19 RBIs. Junior Kylee Brinkerhoff is next by batting .339 with a home run and nine RBIs. Freshman Jessica Uresti is the reigning PCSC Player of the Week after she batted .400 at the GWC Cluster Tournament last weekend with four runs scored, four walks and three RBIs. Overall, Uresti is hitting .290 with two long balls and nine RBIs.

About UMKC

UMKC will come to Utah with a 12-13 overall record but will play a twin bill at BYU Tuesday evening. The Kangaroos won the Summit League a year ago with an 18-5 conference mark and went 38-16 overall.

This year, Cinda Ramos and Deanna Friese lead UMKC from the circle, as Ramos is 8-5 with a 2.09 ERA and Friese is 4-8 with a 2.62 ERA with two saves. Offensively, the `Roos are led by Kaelene Curry and her .372 batting average. Emily Ott is next with a .343 clip and a team-high 13 RBIs.

About Portland State

Portland State has won the PCSC Mountain Division the past two seasons and was selected to repeat again in the preseason poll. The Vikings are 10-11 this year but will host Boise State for two games on Tuesday.

Anna Bertrand once again leads the Vikings from the circle as the junior is a two-time All-PCSC First Team player and was the 2010 PCSC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year. Bertrand is 8-6 this season with a 2.24 ERA and a save. Karmen Holladay leads PSU offensively with a .355 average and seven home runs and 18 RBIs.

Portland State holds a slight 6-5 all-time series advantage, but the Wolverines took three of four from the Vikings in Portland a year ago.

Next up for the Wolverines

UVU will stay home and continue its 12-game homestand by hosting in-state rival Utah State Tuesday, April 3, at 4 p.m. and No. 16 Hawaii the next day at 5 p.m.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.