The Utah Valley University softball team split a pair of games on Friday afternoon at the Colorado State Classic in Fort Collins, Colorado. UVU first defeated Idaho State, 6-3, before the host CSU Rams came from behind to defeat UVU in the nightcap, 5-3.
Newcomer Skylar Cook led the Wolverines (5-9) offensively on the day by going a combined 5-for-6 at the plate with five stolen bases, four runs scored, a run batted in and a walk, while Peyton Angulo followed by going 4-for-6 with three doubles and a walk.
Game one vs. Idaho State
The Big Sky Bengals (0-11) struck first in the opener with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, but UVU countered right back with two runs of its own in the last of the frame to tie the score at 2-2. Ashlyn Ames started the scoring with a two-run home run for ISU, and Lyndsay Steverson answered right back for the Wolverines with a two-run round-tripper of her own to deadlock the score. Steverson's homer came with two away in the inning and just moments after a Basia Query single.
The game remained 2-2 until the fourth when the Bengals pushed home an unearned run to take a 3-2 advantage. Utah Valley once again answered right back, however, with a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. Cook started the threat by singling and stealing second to get into scoring position. Following a groundout, Madison Sisco then drove Cook home via an RBI single to right-center make it 3-3.
With the game still squared up at 3-3 in the sixth, the Wolverines blasted out back-to-back home runs to take a 6-3 lead. Cook once again set the table by singling and stealing second, and Sisco followed with a two-run shot down the left field line to make it 5-3. Brianna Moeller then completed the back-to-back homers with a solo round-tripper of her own to left-center to extend UVU's lead to 6-3.
The Bengals threatened in the top of the seventh with a leadoff walk and a double to put runners on second and third with nobody out in the frame. The UVU defense quickly ended the threat, however, by turning a game-ending triple play to hold on for the 6-3 victory. ISU's Kelsey Breer delivered a sharp line drive to right, and UVU's Eryn Sustayta made a stellar grab for the first out. With the runners in motion, Sustayta returned the ball to second base for the second out and then on to third to complete the hard-to-turn triple play.
Addie Jensen once again went the distance in the circle for the Wolverines to improve to 4-4 on the season. Jensen allowed just four hits and two earned runs (three total) while striking out a season-high eight and walking four. ISU's Ames took the loss to drop to 0-3 on the year.
Sisco, Query, Angulo and Cook recorded two hits apiece in the game for the Wolverines. Sisco led the way by going a perfect 2-for-2 with a homer, three RBIs and a run scored.
The victory marked UVU's fourth of the season over a team from the Big Sky Conference.
Game two vs. Colorado State
The Wolverines continued to hold the upper hand later in the day in the early stages against the host Rams by jumping out to a 1-0 lead after manufacturing a run in the top of the first. Cook and Abbie Tuttle set the table with back-to-back singles, and Cook stole third to put runners on the corners. Cook and Tuttle then managed to pull off a perfect double steal to give the 1-0 advantage.
CSU (9-6) of the Mountain West Conference answered back with a run of its own in the bottom of the second to tie the score at 1-1. Sarah Muzik delivered the big hit in the frame with a two-out RBI double to left-center to tie the score.
The score remained 1-1 until the fourth when UVU drove in a pair of runs to take a 3-1 lead. Following a leadoff single and a stolen base from Moeller, Cook drove her home with an RBI single up the middle to make it a 2-1 game. Tuttle then reached on an infield single, and Cook later came around to score on an RBI fielder's choice from Query to extend Utah Valley's lead to 3-1.
The Rams then answered in the last of the fifth with back-to-back solo home runs from Lauren Buchanan and Corina Gamboa to deadlock the score at 3-3. CSU then took its first lead of the game in the sixth when Haley Donaldson blasted out a two-out, two-run homer to give Colorado State a 5-3 advantage.
The Wolverines then threatened in the top of the seventh when Angulo and Sisco led off the frame by reaching via a respective single and a walk to put the tying runners on the base paths with nobody out. CSU's Bridgette Hutton responded by striking out Taleigh Williams for the first out of the frame. Pinch-runners Katie Basinger and Kaylee Bott then advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, but Kirsten Andersen followed by flying out and Basinger was also called out on the play for tagging up too early to end the game.
Makayla Shadle (1-4) pitched well in relief for the Wolverines but ended up taking the loss after allowing four runs on five hits in 4.0 innings of work. Hutton earned the win for the Rams after going the distance to improve to 5-4 on the year.
Cook and Tuttle led the way for UVU offensively by each going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while Angulo followed with a 2-for-4 outing.
On deck for UVU
The Wolverines continue the Colorado State Classic with two more games on Saturday. UVU first faces St. John's of the Big East Conference at 9 a.m. MT, before taking on Idaho State once again at 11:15 a.m. Utah Valley will then close the tournament with a 9 a.m. contest against St. John's on Sunday.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.