Joni Cook threw a complete-game three-hitter in Friday's 2-1 win over Santa Clara.
Feb. 27, 2009
SAN DIEGO - The University of Utah softball team earned its eighth win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Santa Clara Friday at the San Diego State University Softball Complex in the San Diego Classic. The Utes lost a 7-1 decision to No. 3/4 UCLA in the first game of the day.
Utah (8-9) got impressive performances on the mound during the day from freshman Joni Cook and sophomore Brittany Parker. At the plate, junior center fielder Kara Foster went 2-for-5 in the two games with a pair of RBI on two extra-base hits. Foster is now second on the team with 12 RBI this year.
No. 3/4 UCLA 7, Utah 1
Foster hit a two-out solo home run in the sixth inning to get Utah on the board, but the Utes could not avoid a 7-1 loss to No. 3 /4 UCLA in the first game Friday. The Derby, Kan., native leads the team with seven home runs this year and now stands seven away from tying Melissa Stahnke (2001-04) for the Utah school record.
Utah's junior starter Ashley Smuda took the loss and is now 6-2 this season after pitching 1.1 innings while allowing five earned runs on six hits with four walks and a strikeout.
Parker spelled Smuda for 4.2 innings and did not give up an earned run. The Murray, Utah native surrendered only two hits to go with four strikeouts while facing 19 Bruin batters.
"[Parker] did a great job pitching in relief for us," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "She came in and shut the Bruins down by keeping the ball down and changing her pitches up while throwing everything for strikes. She was able to keep them off balance and keep them guessing."
Unfortunately, the Bruins struck first with three runs in each of the first two innings. Amanda Kamekona led off the game with a double up the middle, and then was driven in after a single down the right field line by GiOnna DiSalvatore. Kaila Shull then stepped to the plate and hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to put UCLA up 3-0.
In the second inning, UCLA's Monica Harrison started things off with a single to right field. The Bruins then had runners on second and third after Kamekona hit a double to the left-center gap before Katie Schroeder reached on a Ute fielding error. DiSalvatore followed with another double to drive in Kamekona and Harrison. The Bruins then drew two more walks to force in Schroeder for UCLA's sixth run.
UCLA came up with its seventh run of the game when Harrison led the inning off again after a Utah throwing error then Kamekona slapped a single through the left side of the Ute infield. After DiSalvatore walked, Shull hit a fly ball to center field to drive in Harrison.
Bruin starter Donna Kerr got the win and improved to 8-2 this season, pitching six innings of one-hit softball while striking out 12 Utes.
Utah 2, Santa Clara 1
Cook earned her first win of the season with a seven-inning complete game that saw her face 25 batters. The Eagle, Idaho native did not allow an earned run and gave up three hits with only one walk and three strikeouts.
"[Cook] threw very well," Hogue said. "She did what we expect her to do every time she has the ball. She got a lot of ground balls and threw a lot of strikes. [Santa Clara] wasn't able to make a lot of solid contact."
Senior right fielder Angie Boardman was the only Ute to have multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a stolen base.
"[Boardman] was able to get comfortable at the plate in the second game," Hogue said. "I was glad to see that and hope it continues."
With two down in Utah's second inning, the Utes put together a threat. Boardman singled up the middle then Haylee Hoch reached base after drawing a walk. Boardman then swiped her second base of the season and is now 2-for-3 on the year. Unfortunately, Santa Clara got a ground ball for the third out of the second frame.
To start Utah's two-run third inning, freshman left fielder Hannah Clements drew a walk then Foster came through again with a two-run double to help Utah capitalize in the third inning to put the Utes ahead of the Broncos, 2-0.
The Broncos cut the Ute lead in half with a run in the fifth inning, but Cook got Nicole Picard to pop up a bunt then got Breann Knight to strike out swinging.
Utah plays UC Davis for the second time this season tomorrow. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. MT. The Utes round out the day against home-standing San Diego at 5:30 p.m. MT.