SEATTLE — After dropping the first two games of their series on Saturday, Tiffany Mills helped Utah Valley University salvage a game at Seattle University this weekend as the Wolverines (25-17-1, 6-6 PCSC) split with the Redhawks (14-21, 7-5 PCSC) on Sunday. UVU won the first game 2-1 but its late comeback in the second came up just short as it fell 7-6.
"Obviously it was a tough weekend," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "Unfortunately, external circumstances are creating some regression as a team at a bad time."
The Wolverines snapped a four-game losing skid by taking the first game on Sunday, 2-1. UVU starter Mills (13-11) went the distance to pick up her 19th complete game of the season as she allowed just four hits and one unearned run while striking out four.
UVU struck first in the contest as it scored both of its runs in the first inning. After back-to-back singles from Jessica Uresti and Marie Williams to start the rally, Krystin Jachim drove home the first run with an RBI single. The second run then came home on a Seattle U error.
The Redhawks scored their lone run of the opener in the third when Sarah Petosa reached base on a one-out hit, advanced to third on a UVU error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lisa Maulden.
Seattle U threatened to tie the game in both the fifth and sixth innings as it had two runners on each frame, but Mills managed to pitch out of both jams to preserve the win.
Despite giving up just five hits and one earned run, SU's Richelle Ashburn suffered the loss to drop to 4-8.
Uresti, Williams, Jachim, Jamie North and Kylee Brinkerhoff all finished with one hit in the first game to lead UVU. SU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the second game of the day and final game of the series after it scored five runs in the top of the first, with four of them coming on a grand slam from Mandie Sugita.
The Wolverines countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, thanks to a two-out RBI single from North that brought home Williams.
Seattle scored two more runs in the top of the fourth to pull ahead 7-1, but Utah Valley answered with a run of its own in the same inning and two more in the fifth to cut the deficit to 7-4. North tripled to lead off the frame in the fourth for the Wolverines, and pinch hitter Kelli Smart drove her home with an RBI groundout. In the fifth, Amanda Robinson delivered a two-out, two-run home run.
With two runners in scoring position for UVU again in the sixth, Deianna Russell came through with a two-out, two-run single to cut the deficit to just one, at 7-6.
In the seventh, SU's Sugita retired UVU's two, three and four hitters in order to preserve the win for the Redhawks.
Mills started the second game as well for UVU and suffered the loss as she gave up five earned runs (seven total) in 3 2/3 innings of work. Megan Peay came on in relief of Mills in the fourth and pitched the rest of the way and didn't allow a run. Peay gave up just one hit in 3 1/3 innings of solid relief.
Jessica Ulrich pitched the first five innings for the Redhawks and received the win (6-8), while Sugita pitched the final two innings and got credit for the save (second).
North led UVU offensively in the second game by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and finished a homer shy of the cycle. Robinson and Williams also recorded two hits apiece for the Wolverines in the contest.
Up next, UVU will return to Wolverine Field when it hosts in-state rival Weber State for a four-game PCSC series beginning next Friday, April 20, at 3 p.m.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.