Katelyn Elliott and the Utes have won five straight games.
Feb. 23, 2013
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina had three extra-base hits totaling four RBI to lead the University of Utah softball team to wins over Long Island Brooklyn (7-0) and Nevada (5-2) during Saturday's Mary Nutter Classic action on Pawtucket Field at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex.
Utah (7-6) has won five games in a row. The Ute defense was stellar throughout the day, limiting their foes to a .204 batting average.
Hoopiiaina, a Riverton, Utah native, now has three homers, five doubles and a triple for 14 RBI this season over her career. She now has 21 doubles, three triples and 16 homers to go with 64 RBI over her Ute career.
Utah 7, Long Island Brooklyn 0
Utah picked up its fourth consecutive victory in the first game of the day against Long Island, led by junior right-hander Naomi Amu. The Oceanside, Calif., native did not allow a run in 5.1 innings of work during her sixth start of the season, yielding only five hits to Blackbird hitters en route to her fourth victory of 2013.Amu improved to 4-2 this season.
Hoopiiaina was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI in the first game of the day against Long Island. Junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser went 2-for-3 as well to go with an RBI.
The Ute offense struck quickly against the Blackbirds to help Amu on the mound as Hoopiiaina led off the game with her team-leading third homer of the season over the left-center field fence.
The Utah rally continued as freshman right fielder Trina Gomez drew a walk and Fankhauser got aboard after an error by the LIU second baseman. Katelyn Elliott smacked an RBI single up the middle of the defensive alignment for her second RBI on the year.
Sweet also wrapped a two-out double in the fourth frame before Hoopiiaina and pinch hitter Mariah Ramirez drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Unfortunately, LIU was able to keep Utah off the scoreboard.
LIU put together its most dangerous threat in its half of the fifth as Madison Zymkowitz reached after a Ute error then Nicole Archer singled to left field. Both runners advanced to second and third base, but the Utes were able to get a ground out to second base and a weak roller to first base to get out of the jam.
The Utes got on the board again in the fifth when Fankhauser led off with a base hit and was safe at second base after beating a throw on a fielder's choice hit by Marissa Mendenhall. Elliott drew her second walk of the contest to load the bases and senior catcher Shay Shaum delivered an RBI single up the middle on the first pitch she saw to drive in Fankhauser. It was Shaum's first RBI of the year.
Utah tacked on two more runs in the sixth as sophomore Mariah Ramirez laced a single down the right-field line before sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman doubled to right to move Ute runners to second and third. Fankhauser knocked Ramirez across home plate, while Dickman advanced to third. Mendenhall managed to drive in Utah's seventh and final run by lofting a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Dickman to score and set the final margin at 7-0.
Utah 5, Nevada 2
The Utes used a five-run seventh to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the second game of the day against Nevada.
Freshman pitcher Kayce Nieto earned her first collegiate victory by going 3.1 innings and did not allow a run on only one hit, while striking out three. Sophomore Mariah Ramirez started and gave up two earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings, but had to settle for the no-decision.
Six different Utes had hits to spur the offense, while Hoopiiaina drove in three runs and Elliott and freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco were both credited with an RBI.
Fankhauser drew a leadoff walk to start the second frame then stole her second base of the year, but Pacheco was robbed of an RBI single by Nevada shortstop Megan Sweet.
Junior third baseman Taylor Austin cracked a single off the glove of the Wolf Pack third baseman to start Utah's third inning, but Utah came up empty.
Nevada put together back-to-back singles in the fourth inning, before Ramirez managed to get a called strikeout, a flyout to right field and Megan Fincher hit a two-run double to center field to put the Wolf Pack ahead 2-0.
After being held to one hit through six innings, the Ute offense exploded with five runs on four hits in the top of the seventh frame.
Dickman connected on a leadoff double to left field to start the seventh inning before Fankhauser slapped a well-hit ball that was misplayed by the Wolf Pack third baseman then a wild pitch allowed the Ute runners to take second and third base. Elliott came up with a clutch single to left field that allowed Dickman to score. Pacheco followed with an identical single to left field that tied the game. Finally, Hoopiiaina ripped a bases-clearing double through the left-center field gap to put Utah ahead 5-2.
The Utes continue play at the Mary Nutter Classic with two more tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m. PT against Ohio State before a 2 p.m. PT matchup against Cal Poly.