FARMERS BRANCH, Texas — The Utah Valley University softball team (30-26-1) gave up two runs in the bottom of the seventh Sunday afternoon in suffering a 3-2 loss to Houston Baptist to drop into the one-loss bracket of the Great West Conference tournament.
The Wolverines now have their work cut out for them in order to win the title. It begins Monday morning at 9 a.m. MT when they battle University of Nebraska-Omaha in a loser-out contest.
The winner will play Houston Baptist at noon MT for the championship and will have to beat the Huskies twice to prevail.
Utah Valley got on the board first Sunday in the fourth when Marie Williams singled and Amanda Robinson drove her home with a two-run dinger to right.
The Huskies (16-31) scored one in the bottom of the sixth before scoring two runs on one hit, two walks and one UVU error in the seventh.
The Wolverines, who were erased in the first and second innings on double plays, outhit the Huskies 8-4 and left four runners on base.
Tiffany Mills (17-17) suffered the loss. She struck out three and walked three.
"I think our girls sit back sometimes and rely too much on Mills holding the other team to one or two runs and a two-run homer is all we need, and it has been that way a lot of the time," UVU softball coach Todd Fairbourne said. "We've got to rise up and make it happen and not give away at-bats. We need to respond more positively to adversity."
Deianna Russell and Kylee Brinkerhoff had two hits each for the Wolverines.
In Game 1 Sunday, Mills allowed just two runs on five hits in leading the Wolverines to a 3-2 victory over North Dakota.
The two teams were deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the sixth before the Fighting Sioux took the lead with a two-run homer.
The Wolverines (30-25-1), however, took the lead for good with bottom of the frame.
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University