After its entire weekend was washed out because of rain, Utah was looking forward to playing Tuesday night against Utah Valley when some last-minute scheduling changes occurred.
The Ole Miss Rebels were in town Monday after their flight home got cancelled, and the two teams got together for some action at Utah Softball Stadium. They were joined by Utah State, and the three squads played in a round robin tournament. The Utes struggled to stay consistent as they went 1-1.
Utah first took on the Rebels and easily won 6-2. The Utes’ defense was strong, but their offense was even stronger. In the nightcap, however, Utah fell to the Aggies 8-5.
“We did well in the first game,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “We played really well, and then we got sloppy.”
Against Ole Miss, the Utes scored six runs on nine hits. Sophomore Kristen Stewart went 2-for-2 in her first game of the season.
While Utah succeeded in the afternoon game, it struggled against Utah State. The Aggies struck quickly, scoring two runs in their half of the first inning. They added two more scores in the second frame on a home run.
Kayce Nieto, who performed well for the Utes in the day’s first game, started the second but was pulled after the dinger.
“She was leaving the ball up,” Hogue said. “She wasn’t sharp to start this game period. She just wasn’t.”
Hogue decided to bring in freshman Sammy Cordova to replace Nieto. The change worked for a few innings, but Cordova gave up two runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Junior Mariah Ramirez was brought in to replace Cordova and pitched well to close things out.
“I thought Mariah came in and did great,” Hogue said. “It was just a little too late.”
There was a glimmer of hope for Utah in the bottom of the third inning as freshman Anissa Urtez slammed a three-run homer to right center to tie the game up at four apiece. The game remained tied until the sixth inning when Utah State took the lead off Cordova.
Hogue was disappointed with the performance on both sides of the ball in second game.
“We weren’t learning and getting better,” Hogue said. “We continued to get out the same way with the same pitch. That’s not what great teams do, and I want to be a great team.”
The Utes will have to shrug off Monday’s late loss quickly, as they will take on UVU tonight in a doubleheader at Utah Softball Stadium.
“Continue to understand your job at the plate,” Hogue said about what she hopes to see from her team against the Wolverines. “Sometimes your job is to get on base, move a runner by hitting the ball on the ground behind somebody … we need to do what we did in the first game all day tomorrow.”
The games will be at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.