Sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman is currently on a five-game hit streak.
March 24, 2013
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco drove in her 15th run of the season and the sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman extended her team-high hit streak to five games, but the University of Utah softball team dropped a 4-1 decision at No. 6/5 California on Sunday in the finale of its opening Pac-12 Conference series at Levine-Fricke Field.
Utah (13-13-1, 0-3 Pac-12) received five hits from five different players as Pacheco came up with an RBI single in the fourth and is now tied for second on the squad with 15 runs driven in this season.
Dickman extended her team-high hit streak to five games with a double in the sixth inning, which was her seventh of the season and the 16th of her career.
On the mound, freshman Kayce Nieto made her first career start against Pac-12 competition as she yielded three earned runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings to go along with a strikeout and four walks. The Farmington Hills, Mich., native is now 2-4 in pitching decisions this season.
After two complete scoreless innings, the Golden Bears lifted the lid on the scoring in the bottom of the third with three runs off a two-run home run by Cheyenne Cordes and an RBI single by Lindsey Ziegenhirt.
Fankhauser and Hoopiiaina both hit singles to put Ute runners on first and second base in the top of the fourth frame before Dickman drew a walk to load the bases. Sweet was thrown out at home plate after a fielder's choice, but Pacheco was able to convert with a single through the left side of the Cal defense that allowed Hoopiiaina to plate Utah's first run of the contest.
Cal scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to set the final margin at 4-1. The Golden Bears improved to 26-3 overall and 3-0 in Pac-12 play, while pitcher Jolene Henderson upped her record to 22-2 this year.
The Utes will play their inaugural game at Utah Softball Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT. Live stats can be viewed at utahutes.com.