OREM — Utah Valley's bats helped the Wolverines complete a four-game sweep of Pacific Coast Softball Conference foe Northern Colorado on Saturday, as UVU combined to bang out 26 hits and score 21 runs in the doubleheader against the Bears. UVU (24-12-1, 5-3 PCSC) took Game 1 10-6 and Game 2 11-1 in five innings.
"I'm so incredibly proud of the girls. It was a complete team effort across the board," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "From how we ran the bases, to our two-out hitting, fielding, pitching and everything else in between was just great. These were complete wins and they showed just what we are capable of."
The Wolverines got on the board first in the opener as Jessica Uresti led off the game with a triple off the wall in right field. Marie Williams then drove her home with an RBI groundout on a hard hit ball that UNC's Melissa Marcovecchio made a fine defensive play on.
The Bears (17-22, 2-6 PCSC) answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1 thanks to a two-out hit from Lindsey Smith. UNC then pushed across another run in the third to take a 2-1 advantage.
With one out in the fifth inning and the bases empty, Uresti stepped to the plate and homered over the left-field fence to tie the game at 2-2. Two batters later, Robinson hit her third home run of the series with a booming round tripper to straight away center field to give the Wolverines a 3-2 lead.
Northern Colorado then loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and was threatening to tie the game or take the lead, but UVU starter Tiffany Mills battled back by striking out Kaitlin Flynn on three pitches to get out of the jam.
UVU's Krystin Jachim then gave the Wolverines an insurance run in the sixth with another solo homer to make it 4-2.
The Wolverines then drove home six more runs on six hits in the top of the seventh. Those runs proved to be the difference, as UNC scored four runs in the last of the seventh, but UVU held on to take the first game of the day, 10-6.
Mills picked up her 12th win of the season (12-8) as she went 6 1/3 innings from the circle. UNC's Kelci Cheney took the loss (6-6) as she allowed four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Uresti led UVU offensively in the opening game, as she went 3 for 5 with three runs and an RBI and finished just a double shy of the cycle. Jachim, Amanda Perez and Kylee Brinkerhoff also posted two hits apiece for the Wolverines in the opener.
In Game 2, Utah Valley's offense continued right where it left off as it scored a run in the first and another in the second to take an early 2-0 lead. Perez drove home the first run with a two-out RBI single and Brinkerhoff brought home the second with a two-out RBI hit of her own in the second inning.
The Bears then cut the deficit in half with a run in the third, but that was all the offense UNC would muster off Cassie Herrera, as the Wolverine freshman put up zeros the rest of the way. Herrera finished from the circle with a complete game two-hitter and improved to 7-3 on the season with the win.
Although Herrera shut down UNC's offense, the Bears' pitching staff couldn't slow down the Wolverines, as they scored four more runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
Jamie North had a bases-clearing double in the fourth and Brinkerhoff drove home the other run that inning via an RBI groundout. In the fifth, Deianna Russell doubled home two runs, while Perez, North and Maddy Schulz each combined to drive home the others.
Perez led UVU from the plate in the nightcap by going a perfect 3 for 3 with two RBIs and Robinson added a two-hit game.
Next week the Wolverines will play two in-state opponents on the road when they travel to Utah State on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. contest and BYU on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. contest. Wednesday's game at BYU will be televised nationally on BYUtv. Following those two, UVU will then travel to Seattle for another PCSC series at Seattle University next weekend.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.