Marissa Mendenhal and Utah softball picked up a pair of wins today in Las Vegas.
Feb. 14, 2014
LAS VEGAS - The Utah softball team won a pair of games to open the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, defeating Toledo, 8-3, and UTEP, 4-3.
Hannah Flippen, Kate Dickman and Marissa Mendenhall all hit home runs in the win over Toledo. Utah's win over UTEP was a close affair, with the Utes scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead. UTEP made a late rally, putting two on with no outs in the top of the seventh and loading the bases with one out before Utah forced a game-ending double play.
Freshman Sammy Cordova picked up both wins on the mound, the first of her career. She pitched five innings against Toledo, allowing two runs (one earned) with two strikeouts. Cordova threw a complete game against UTEP, allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking four.
Utah trailed 2-1 before a three-run fourth inning gave the Utes control of the game over Toledo. Chalese Hadley hit a one-out double and Taylor Jordan hit a two-out RBI single before Flippen homered over the right center field fence to give Utah a 4-2 lead.
The Utes increased their lead in the fifth inning with Mendenhall leading off the inning with a home run to center field. Bridget Castro singled which led to back-to-back RBI doubles from Anissa Urtez and Hadley for another three runs and a 7-2 lead.
Hadley was 3-for-3 while Dickman went 3-for-4. Flippen and Castro each had a pair of hits. In addition to Cordova, Mariah Ramirez pitched two innings, allowing one run, three hits, and one strikeout.
Both teams left runners on base in the early innings before UTEP broke through in the third for a run after a pair of hits and a wild pitch. The Utes got on the board in the fourth with three-straight hits to lead off the inning - a single from Mendenhall and doubles from Castro and Urtez. Hadley hit a sacrifice fly for Utah's second run of the inning, giving Utah a 2-1 lead.
UTEP rallied back in the bottom of the fourth, after back-to-back leadoff hits, Utah got a strikeout and a groundout for an out at home before a wild pitch tied the game at 2-2. The Miners took a 3-2 lead in the fifth after a double, groundout and wild pitch led to a run.
Utah took the lead for good in the sixth inning. After leadoff doubles from Castro and Urtez scored a run, Bella Secairia hit a two-out single up the middle for the go- run.
UTEP made a late rally, leading off the inning with a single up the middle plus a bunt single that Utah inadvertently touched despite an intention to let the ball go foul. A ground out moved the runners over and the next batter was intentionally walked. The strategy paid off, with a ground ball to Urtez at shortstop turned into a double play at home with catcher Shelby Pacheco and Castro at first, giving the Utes the win.
Four Utes had two hits in the win over UTEP - Mendenhall, Castro, Urtez and Secaira. Urtez also had two RBI.
Utah returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 15, against Long Beach State at 1:30 p.m. PT and Seattle at 3:45 p.m. PT.