ST. GEORGE —Behind a two-run home run from Lyndsay Steverson and a go-ahead sixth-inning solo homer from Brianna Moeller, the Utah Valley University softball team managed to split a pair of games on Friday at the Red Desert Classic in St. George with a 4-3 victory over Saint Mary's and a 16-0 setback to Notre Dame.
The Wolverines improve to 4-8 on the season with the split, while SMC drops to 2-12 and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who are currently receiving votes for the top 25 poll, improve to 8-7.
"This was an exciting win for our team here against Saint Mary's. We were trailing early on but the team did a nice job of responding to earn the comeback victory," UVU senior outfielder Moeller said. "Devyn (Cretz) did a great job of pitching for us and I was pleased with how our team worked hard to have each other's backs.
"I wasn't really thinking of hitting a home run there. I was just trying to get on base. The best part about it was seeing my teammates faces after it went over the fence."
Game two vs. Saint Mary's
After a scoreless top of the first, the Wolverines then quickly got on the board in the bottom of the frame to take a 1-0 advantage. After a leadoff single from Abby Doughty, Doughty then quickly stole second and came around to score on a bunt single by Skylar Cook followed by a Gael throwing error to give the Wolverines the early lead.
Saint Mary's then quickly responded with a second-inning two-run homer off the bat of Julia McCormack to give the Gaels a 2-1 advantage.
After Cook recorded her second hit of the game by beating out an infield single to third in the bottom of the third, UVU then retook the lead at 3-2 behind a two-run home run to center off the bat ofSteverson to give the Wolverines the one-run advantage. Utah Valley later got two runners on with just one away and threatened for more in the frame behind a Linnah Rebolledo walk and Basia Query reaching on an error, but SMC starter Eileen Perez managed to escape the jam by drawing a groundout followed by a strikeout to end the frame.
The Gaels then got a run back in the top of the fifth to deadlock the score at 3-3. With two on and just one away, SMC's Jaymee Campbell singled home a run off of the left field fence to tie the score. Saint Mary's then threatened to take the lead in the sixth thanks to a leadoff double from McCormack, but UVU starter Devyn Cretz managed to retire the next three batters she faced to keep the game tied at 3-all.
With one out in the last of the sixth, UVU senior Moeller then managed to belt out a go-ahead solo homer to right to give the Wolverines a 4-3 lead. Moeller's round tripper marked the second of the season for the senior and enough for Utah Valley, as Cretz mowed down the Gaels in order in the top of the seventh to record the complete-game victory in the circle for the Wolverines.
Cretz (3-3) went the distance for the Wolverines to earn the victory after giving up just three runs on seven hits while striking out a pair and walking just two. SMC's Perez took the loss after allowing three earned runs (four total) to drop to 0-7 on the season.
Cook led UVU at the plate in the victory by going 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Steverson and Moeller each added home runs in the game for the Wolverines.
Game one vs. Notre Dame
In the opener against the Irish, Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to driving home a pair of first-inning runs. Following a pair of singles, ND drove in the first run with one-out RBI single to left from Melissa Rochford. MK Bonamy then followed with an RBI infield single to make it 2-0.
After a scoreless top of the second, Notre Dame then followed with three more runs in the last of the frame to take a 5-0 advantage. Cait Brooks delivered the big hit in the inning with a two-run round tripper to center.
In her first at-bat in a Wolverine uniform, UVU's Sienna Sandoval then came thru with a deep single off of the left field fence in the top of the third inning. After Sandoval was caught stealing for the second out, Madison Sisco then followed with a single through the left side for UVU's second hit of the frame and Doughty then delivered a two-out single to right to put runners on first and second. Pitcher and pinch hitter Payton Hammond then drove a ball deep to left but ND's Ali Wester managed to settle under it to end the threat.
The Fighting Irish then responded, however, by tacking on five more runs in the last of the third and six more in the bottom of the fourth to put the game away.
Wester and Katie Marino led the way offensively for the Irish by each going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three runs batted in. Doughty, Sandoval and Sisco led the way for UVU by each recording a hit apiece.Comment on this story
Notre Dame's Alexis Holloway (4-4) recorded the win in the circle after allowing just three hits and no runs while striking out four in four innings of work. UVU's Brylee Marziale (1-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs in an inning and two thirds.
ON DECK FOR UVU
The Red Desert Classic will continue on Saturday with a single game against Baylor at noon MST at the Canyons Softball Classic in St. George. The Wolverines are then scheduled to conclude the weekend with contests against in-state foe Utah State and Saint Mary's on Sunday at 10 a.m. MST and 12:30 p.m. MST, respectively.