Junior Ashley Smuda pitched a no-hitter in Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Boise State.
March 18, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - Junior right-hander Ashley Smuda pitched her third-career no-hitter in the first game of the day and the University of Utah softball team split its home-opening doubleheader with Boise State Wednesday at Ute Softball Field. The Utes took the first game, 1-0, then fell 7-5 to the Broncos in the second contest.
Utah (13-19) was led offensively by senior right-fielder Angie Boardman, who led the Ute offense with a 5-for-7 effort at the plate on the day while driving in a run with an RBI double. Sophomore Brooke Olson went 3-for-6 in the two games and also scored two runs and stole a base.
Game One: Utah 1, Boise State 0
On the mound for Utah in game one, Smuda did not allow a hit while striking out four and walking one in seven innings as she faced 22 Boise State batters.
"[Smuda] was outstanding," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "The key for her is to throw outside strikes and she really got that going today. That's when she really pitches well. When she is able to throw to both sides of the plate for strikes, she is tough to beat. She was able to keep the [Boise State] hitters guessing."
The Utes threatened to score the first run of the game in the fifth inning when freshman Tia Palauni led off with a double to right-center field then Jasey Jensen hit a single before Andrea Hoffman reached on a Bronco error to load the bases. Unfortunately, BSU got a lineout, fielder's choice to cut down Palauni at home plate and a groundout to end the frame.
Utah's offense kept the pressure on offensively in the sixth inning when Boardman led off with a single before Jensen came up with an RBI single to right field that drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run.
The Utes pounded out 13 hits in the second game, but could not overcome six runs by the Broncos in the first two innings. A three-run shot over the left-field fence by Christina Capobianco highlighted the Broncos' early-inning offensive output.
Five different Utah hitters had multiple-hit games, led by Boardman's 3-for-4 effort that also included an RBI single to left field in the fifth inning. Despite the loss, Utah managed to outhit BSU, 13-11.
Utah chipped away at the deficit with run in the bottom of the first inning. Kara Foster led off with a single then Boardman looped an RBI single to left field for the Utes' first score of the game.
"I was proud of how my team played today and responded well," Hogue said. "We could have easily been `run-ruled' after the first few innings, but we came back and fought hard and continued to compete. It was nice to see that we got some hits, too. We love to have a lot of traffic out on the bases."
The Utes put together a three-run fifth inning thanks in large part to a lead-off run home run by freshman Hannah Clements. The shot to right field was the first career home run for the Poway, Calif., native. Utah has now hit 28 home runs this season as a team.
Olson followed in the inning and was hit by a pitch then Foster singled and advanced after a wild pitch. Olson was promptly driven in by a single by senior first baseman Staci Hemingway to complete the Utah scoring in the frame.
"We hit the ball hard today all through the lineup," Hogue said. "We now just have to be consistently looking for some good at-bats with runners in scoring position."
Utah has the weekend off then will host Utah Valley in a doubleheader next Tuesday at Ute Softball Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.