Behind a seven-run second inning, the Utah Valley University softball team recorded its fourth-straight win with an 8-2 non-conference victory over in-state foe Utah State on Wednesday afternoon at Johnson Field in Logan.
Basia Query had the big hit in the second inning for the Wolverines with a three-run double to center, as UVU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the ballgame. Query finished the game with a 1-for-2 performance with the three-run double, a run scored and a walk, while Kaylee Bott posted a 3-for-4 outing and Brianna Moeller and Madison Sisco both tallied two hits apiece.
UVU improves to 14-22 overall with the victory, while the Aggies fall to 14-26 with the setback. Utah Valley also splits the two-game season series with USU with the win.
"It was an all-around team effort. Even though our offense didn't get things started until the second inning, everybody had a hand in this win, including all of our pitchers," junior designated player Sisco said. "It seems like the team chemistry is really coming together and we have done a nice job of that as of late. I'm looking forward to continuing to keep things rolling this weekend against New Mexico State."
After a scoreless first, the Wolverines were the first to get on the board by driving home seven second-inning runs to take a 7-0 advantage. After loading the bases with nobody out thanks to a leadoff walk from Query and back-to-back singles from Sisco and Bott, Abbie Tuttle worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in the first run of the game. The Aggie defense then turned a double play on a hard line drive off the bat from Kirsten Andersen, but UVU then drove in its second run of the frame as Moeller and Taleigh Williams followed by both being hit by pitches to take a 2-0 lead. Peyton Angulo then drove in the third run with a sharply hit ball to second, and an additional run came in to score on the play on an Aggie miscue to make it 4-0. Query followed by delivering the big hit of the inning with a bases-clearing double to center to give Utah Valley a 7-0 lead.
The Aggies countered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the second on a solo homer from Allanah Alvarado and another in the third on a sacrifice fly from Stephanie Reed to make it 7-2.
Utah Valley again loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth and pushed across another run to take an 8-2 lead. With one out and the bases full, Andersen drove in the insurance run in the top of the fifth with an RBI groundout to second to give the Wolverines the six-run cushion.
The Wolverine pitching staff then combined to keep the Aggies off the scoreboard in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to hold on to the 8-2 win.
Addie Jensen (9-9) earned the win in relief for UVU after not allowing a run on four hits in three innings of action. Makayla Shadle and Lauren Frailey Spendlove also pitched well for the Wolverines, as the starter Shadle gave up just two runs on two hits in three innings, while Frailey Spendlove pitched a scoreless seventh inning. The trio also combined to give up just six hits while striking out four and walking one. USU's Kellie White (4-14) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs in an inning and third.
"I think our pitchers really came together and staffed the game very well. The hitters were on fire today and defensively we looked really solid all around," said senior pitcher Shadle. "We've played well as of late and it was just another good team win. I have so much confidence in this team, and I cannot wait to see what we do at home this weekend."
The Wolverines now return home for a three-game WAC series at Wolverine Softball Field this weekend against the first-place New Mexico State Aggies. Game one of the series is set for 2 p.m., on Friday. The two teams close the series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday will mark Senior Day for Utah Valley, as it will honor eight seniors following the conclusion of the twin bill.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.