Freshman second baseman Hannah Flippen went 3-for-4 with two RBI on Saturday against No. 3 Oregon.
March 22, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah softball team scored five runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning, but could not avoid an 8-7 loss to No. 3 Oregon in its Pac-12 Conference home opener Saturday at Utah Softball Stadium.
Trailing 8-2, Utah (11-10, 1-2 Pac-12) put together a fierce five-run seventh inning that began with sophomore third baseman Kristen Stewart drawing a leadoff walk. Senior center fielder Chalese Hadley singled to center field and freshman second baseman Hannah Flippen doubled to right field for the first score of the frame before freshman shortstop Anissa Urtez then came up with an RBI single that allowed Hadley to score. After another single by junior left fielder Kate Dickman, junior pitcher Mariah Ramirez knocked a two-run single back up the middle for the third and fourth scores of the inning. Urtez then came around for the final score of the frame after an errant throw by the Ducks to set the final margin at 8-7.
The Utes turned a pair of 1-6-3 double plays against the Ducks and now leads the Pac-12 Conference with 19 double plays through 21 games this season.
Flippen went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI for her 10th multi-hit game of the year, which ranks second on the team. The Bonita, Calif., now has driven in 15 runs in this season and six games with multiple RBI.
Freshman first baseman Bridget Castro went 3-for-4 with a run scored, which turned out to be her seventh game with two or more hits in 2014.
Urtez turned in a 2-for-4 effort with one RBI, while and four other Utes also recorded hits. Dickman has hit in eight consecutive games.
On the mound, Ramirez went 5.0 innings in her third start of the season, allowing five earned runs on nine hits with three walks and a strikeout, but fell to 1-2 on the season. Freshman Sammy Cordova threw the final 2.0 innings in relief, giving up two earned runs on three hits with a strikeout and walk to the Ducks.
The Ducks pushed three runs across home plate in the first inning. In Utah's half, Flippen looped a double down the right-field line with one out in Utah's half of the first frame. Flippen advanced to third after a fly ball to right field hit by Dickman, but the Utes were unable to convert.
Junior right field Marissa Mendenhall drew a walk with one out to start the bottom of the second and Castro drove a double to center field to put Utes on second and third base. Unfortunately, Utah could not push a run across home plate.
Castro roped a leadoff single to left field to start the fifth and reached third base after a two-base error by Oregon. Freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco then lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Castro for her third RBI of the season. Stewart then singled to center field and stole second base before a Flippen single to right field allowed Stewart to plate her 14th RBI of the season.
The Ducks added two more runs in the top half of the seventh before Utah's furious seventh-inning rally.
No. 3 Oregon improved to 24-3 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play this season.
The Utes will play the middle game of their series against third-ranked Oregon on Sunday at 2 p.m. MT. Live streaming and stats will be available at utahutes.com.