The Utah Valley University softball team split a pair of in-state games on the final day of the Red Desert Classic on Sunday at the Canyons Complex in St. George. UVU first fell to Weber State in extra innings, 8-4, before responding to top Southern Utah, 9-6.
UVU (4-8) banged out a total of five home runs on the day, including three in the win over SUU (2-16). Peyton Angulo led the way with two home runs herself, while Kirsten Andersen, Madison Sisco and Lyndsay Steverson added one apiece.
Game one vs. Weber State
The Wildcats were the first to get on the scoreboard by driving in a run in the first and two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
Still trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Utah Valley managed to push home its first run of the game on a two-out solo homer from Andersen to make it a 3-1 contest.
After WSU answered with a run in the top of the sixth on an RBI double from Molly Horne, UVU responded with three runs of its own in the last of the frame to tie the game at 4-4. Basia Query and Sisco started the rally with back-to-back singles, and the freshman Angulo delivered the big hit with her first collegiate home run — a three-run shot — to deadlock the score at 4-all.
UVU starter Addie Jensen then held the Wildcats scoreless in the seventh to send the game to extras.
In the top of the eighth, a defensive miscue doomed the Wolverines as Weber State scored four times to take an 8-4 lead. Three of the four runs came in unearned, however, but Utah Valley's offense couldn't respond in the bottom of the frame as WSU held on for the extra-inning win.
Jensen took the loss in the contest to drop to 3-4 on the year, while Kirtlyn Bohling improved to 2-4 by earning the win for WSU.
Sisco and Query each collected two hits in the contest for the Wolverines, while Angulo went 1-for-2 with a three-run home run, two walks and a run scored.
Game two vs. Southern Utah
UVU's bats continued to shine in the second game against the Thunderbirds, as the Wolverines jumped out to a 4-0 lead after driving in a run in the second and three more in the third. The first run came home via a second-inning RBI single from Kaylee Bott, and the three in the third came home on a swing of the bat from Angulo. Angulo's hit resulted in her second three-run homer of the day and gave the Wolverines the early cushion.
SUU then chipped away at the deficit with a run in the top of the fourth, but back answered the Wolverines with a five-spot in the last of the frame to take a 9-1 lead. Steverson and Sisco delivered the big blows in the inning by belting out respective three-run and two-run homers to help UVU extend its lead.
The T-Birds then extended the game with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth to make it a 9-5 game. Taylei Williams and Kalei Watkins both homered for the Thunderbirds in the sixth to make things interesting.
SUU pushed across another run in the seventh to pull within three, 9-6, but reliever Lexi Sorensen managed to pitch out of the jam to earn her first save of the season.
Makayla Shadle (1-3) was credited with the win after allowing just one run on three hits in 4.0 innings of action, while Haley Wall (1-3) suffered the loss for the T-Birds.
Angulo led the way for the Wolverines at the plate by going a perfect 3-for-3 in the game with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Steverson went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit three-run homer.
Up next for UVU
The Wolverines will continue preseason tournament play at the Colorado State Classic next weekend, March 9-11, in Fort Collins, Colorado. UVU will face Idaho State and the host CSU Rams on March 9, St. John's and ISU on March 10 and St. John's again in the tournament finale on March 11. Following the tournament, Utah Valley will then hit the road for a pair of games at Boise State on March 14, as well as three contests at Montana that following weekend.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.