Utah Valley University softball split a pair of games against Mountain West Conference foes at the Red Desert Classic on Saturday by topping Boise State, 4-3, and falling to Nevada, 10-4.
The Wolverines (3-7) earned a walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning over the Broncos (6-7) in the opener, before closing the afternoon by suffering a six-run setback to the Wolf Pack (10-9). Despite falling to Nevada in the nightcap, UVU belted out a trio of home runs in the ballgame.
"Today I watched us really come together and put up a really good fight. Boise State was a fun game to be a part of. Everyone was really locked in and every single person did their job," said junior outfielder Eryn Sustayta. "When we fell behind, we never gave up and really showed the fight in us and answered right back with some runs of our own. I'm excited to get back out there on Sunday and make some adjustments to our overall play and bring home some more wins."
Game one vs. Boise State
The Mountain West Broncos were the first to get on the scoreboard thanks to a first-inning run to take an early 1-0 advantage. Utah Valley answered back with a run of its own in the last of the second frame to tie the score at 1-1. Sustayta reached on an error in the inning, and she later came in to score on a BSU error to tie the game.
Boise State then regained the lead with a run in the third to take a 2-1 advantage. The Wolverines later responded with a pair of runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead of its own. Following a one-out single from Basia Query, Taleigh Williams singled to left and Query came home on a BSU throwing error to tie the score. UVU then pushed across the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from Peyton Angulo to take a 3-2 advantage.
Following a triple from Jessica McKay in the top of the sixth, the Broncos tied the game at 3-3 when Alison Seng drove her home with a two-out RBI single to right.
The game remained deadlocked at 3-3 until UVU managed to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Williams and Sustayta started the rally with back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Following consecutive pop outs, Skylar Cook then put the ball in play via a bunt and pinch-runner Linnah Rebolledo came around to score on Boise State's fifth error of the game to seal the win for the Wolverines.
Addie Jensen went the distance in the circle for UVU to improve to 3-3 on the year. The Wolverine starter scattered 10 hits and allowed just two earned runs (three total) en route to earning the complete-game victory. Kelsey Broadus took the loss for the Broncos in relief to drop to 1-2 on the year.
Query led the way at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Williams went 1-for-1 with a run scored and a walk.
"Today was a total team effort," junior pitcher Jensen said. "We didn't start the game like I would have wanted, but we kept fighting and chipping away at the plate. The defense played amazing and I was able to hit my spots and keep them off balance with my changeup. It was a fun game to be a part of with high energy and lots of heart."
Game two vs. Nevada
With Nevada holding a 2-1 lead in the third, Utah Valley pushed across a run in the top of the frame via the long ball to tie the score at 2-2. Kirsten Andersen delivered the big hit with a solo homer to left to deadlock the score.
The Wolf Pack then responded in the last of the third with a trio of runs to take a 5-2 advantage. Erika Hansen delivered the big blow with a three-run home run to right.
The Wolverines answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to pull within a run at 5-4, but Nevada quickly countered with five runs of its own to put the game away at 10-4. Andersen led off the frame for UVU with a single, and Brianna Moeller promptly followed with a two-run homer to right to make it a one-run game. Sierra Mello, Lauren Guiterrez and Sadaria McAlister then all responded with RBI hits for Nevada in the bottom of the frame to help put the game away.
Query also homered in the contest for the Wolverines by belting out a solo shot in the first inning to give UVU a total of three round-trippers in the ballgame.
Andersen led the way for the Wolverines offensively by going a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored, while Moeller went 1-for-2 with a homer, a run scored and two RBIs and Query finished 1-for-4 with a round-tripper, a run scored and a run batted in.
Makayla Shadle (0-3) took the loss in the circle for the Wolverines after allowing four earned runs (five total) on five hits in 3.0 innings of work, while Nevada's Julia Jensen (6-4) went the distance to record the victory.
Up next for UVU
The Wolverines close Red Desert Classic play with two more games on Sunday. UVU will first face in-state foe Weber State at 10 a.m., before closing the tournament against in-state opponent Southern Utah.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.