Junior Naomi Amu turned in a complete-game shutout to lead Utah to a 1-0 victory at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.
March 9, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. - The University of Utah softball team extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games and avenged a pair of early-season defeats by picking up wins over both Idaho State (9-3) and Cal State Fullerton (1-0) on Saturday at the Mayfair Classic.
Utah (11-6-1) has gone 9-0-1 in its last 10 games and evened the season series with Idaho State after a 9-8 loss on Feb. 15 and with Cal State Fullerton after dropping an 8-0 contest on Feb. 16, which was also Utah's last loss this season.
The Utes cracked five home runs on the day and turned in a .304 batting average between the two games, while limiting their opponents to just three total runs and a .255 clip at the plate.
Utah's senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina had four hits in seven at-bats, including her fourth home run, seventh double of the season, while driving in her 17th run of the season and scoring twice.
Ute freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco added three hits, including the first two home runs of her career, to go with three runs driven in.
On the mound, junior pitcher Naomi Amu picked up the win in both decisions and has won her last five to improve her overall mark this season to 6-2. The Oceanside, Calif., native did not allow a run in a total of 9.0 innings of work, while allowing only five hits and coming up with eight strikeouts.
Utah 9, Idaho State 3 Box Score
Utah tagged a season-high four homer in the game against Idaho State and the Utes jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the Bengals after three innings. Utah improved to 7-2 this season when scoring first this season. Hoopiiaina's team-high fourth home run of the year helped the Utes improve to 7-1 in 2013 when scoring in the first inning.
Pacheco hit her first two home runs of her career in the first game of the day. This was Pacheco's fourth multi-hit performance so far this season, which included a third-inning two-run homer to left field in addition to a solo shot to seal the victory in the top of the seventh inning.
All three Ute pitchers made appearances as Amu picked her fourth consecutive victory and improved to 5-2 after facing the minimum through 2.0 innings and allowing just one hit and striking out three Bengal hitters.
Freshman Kayce Nieto threw the next two innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits with a strikeout, while sophomore Mariah Ramirez came on to throw the final 3.0 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with a pair of punch outs.
Off a full-count delivery from Idaho State pitcher Amanda Fitzsimmons, Hoopiiaina cracked a home run to give Utah an immediate 1-0 edge in the first inning.
Utah put together back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third frames. Hoopiiaina once again began the Ute second-inning rally with a two-out single to left field and was driven in along with junior third baseman Taylor Austin after sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman turned on a double, which was her team-leading seventh two-base hit of the year. Dickman, a Mission Viejo, Calif., native has 10 RBI this season and 31 during her career.
Pacheco struck with her first career homer in the third inning, a two-run shot over the left-field fence to give Utah a 5-0 edge.
Sophomore Marissa Mendenhall drove her third double of the year to start Utah's fifth inning before pinch hitter Shelbi Everett hit a two-out double that allowed Mendenhall to score from second base for Everett's third RBI of the year. And then with Everett remaining on second base, freshman Kristen Stewart sent a 2-1 pitch over the left-field fence to give Utah an 8-2 lead.
Vicky Galasso hit an ISU homer in the bottom of the sixth before Pacheco's second homer of the game set the final margin at 9-3 in favor of the Utes.
Utah 1, Cal State Fullerton 0 Box Score
Amu turned in her first complete-game shutout of the season and her fourth complete game overall to lead Utah to a 1-0 victory over the host Cal State Fullerton Titans in the second game of the day. Amu moved to 6-2 this year after giving up only four hits in 7.0 innings and a season-high five strikeouts.
Hoopiiana paced the Ute offense with a 2-for-3 performance with her second double of the day as well as a single.
Cal State Fullerton put together a threat in the first inning when Ariel Tsuchiyama drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base after a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Carter. Eliza Crawford then singled, but Utah junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser was able to preserve the scoreless game after throwing Tsuchiyama out at home plate.
The Ute offense put together a threat in the second inning as Pacheco and Austin both singled to start the frame, but Utah was retired with a pair of runners on base in the second and the Utes were kept off the scoreboard.
The Utes finally broke through with the first and only score of the game when Ramirez also contributed to the Ute offense by hitting the first home run of her career for her eighth RBI as a Ute provided the go-ahead score in Utah's 1-0 victory.
Utah concludes Mayfair Classic action with a doubleheader tomorrow at Long Beach State, beginning against 20-3 South Alabama tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. PT before taking on Bethune-Cookman at 1:30 p.m. PT.