Sophomore Mariah Ramirez pitched her second complete-game shutout of the season on Sunday against Bethune-Cookman.
March 10, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco went 3-for-5 with a grand slam for a total of six RBI as the University of Utah softball extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games after defeating South Alabama 2-1 and Bethune-Cookman 8-0 in five innings on Sunday at the 49er Softball Complex to close the Mayfair Classic.
Utah (13-6-1) has gone 11-0-1 in its last 12 games and has not lost since Feb. 16. Over this stretch, the Utes have outscored their opponents 66 to 23 and have held a .299 batting average at the plate, compared to a .245 clip for their opponents.
Pacheco had three hits in five at-bats for six RBI on the day. She has hit three home runs in the last two days, which are the first round-trippers of her career. The Casa Granda, Ariz., native went for a 1.200 slugging percentage on the day thanks to her third home run of the season. She also has 14 RBI with a .683 slugging percentage in 2013.
Senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina was the other Ute who joined Pacheco with multiple hits on the day as she registered a pair of singles.
Utah 2, South Alabama 1
Junior Naomi Amu won her sixth consecutive decision on the mound with her second straight complete-game effort to lead Utah to a 2-1 victory over South Alabama. The Oceanside, Calif., native did not allow an earned run to the Jaguars on four hits to go with a pair of strikeouts. After starting this season 1-2, Amu has recorded six straight victories to claim a 7-2 mark in 2013.
After three consecutive scoreless innings at the start of the game, Utah's offense struck with the only runs it would need. Sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman started things with a single up the middle before advancing to second base after a sacrifice bunt by junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser.
The Jaguars managed to get on the scoreboard for the first and only time in the bottom of the sixth frame thanks to a two-out single and a double, but Utah was able to preserve the 2-1 victory.
Utah 8, Bethune-Cookman 0 (5 innings)
Aside from her RBI single in the first game of the day against South Alabama, Ramirez threw her second complete-game shutout of the season in the day's second contest against Bethune-Cookman. In five innings of work, the Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., native did not give up an earned run and only one hit to go along with four strikeouts. She has now won three consecutive decisions on the mound and has run her overall record to 4-3 this season.
Pacheco had two hits in the game for five RBI and two other Utes also posted multi-hit performances against Bethune-Cookman.
The Ute offense started quickly with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, starting when Dickman reached on an error by the BCU pitcher on a sacrifice bunt before Pacheco laced an RBI single up the middle for the first run of the game and the second score came across when sophomore Marissa Mendenhall drew a walk to force in Fankhauser.
Utah then exploded for five runs in the following inning as Hoopiiaina, Dickman and Fankhauser each reached base safely before Ramirez drew a bases loaded walk and Pacheco cleared the bases by clubbing a 3-0 pitch over the left-field fence to give Utah a 7-0 advantage.
The run-rule then went into effect as the Utes tacked on an eighth run in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Kendal Bergman pinch hit for Hoopiiaina and came up with her first extra-base hit of the season, a double through the left-center field gap. Hoopiiaina then re-entered the game and scored off an error by the BCU shortstop to clinch the victory for the Utes.
Up next, the Utes travel to Hawaii for the Chevron Spring Fling in Honolulu. Utah will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, beginning against Syracuse at 4 p.m. HT and the host Rainbow Wahine at 6 p.m. HT.