Chalese Fankhauser turned on her second homer of the season on Wednesday at No. 10/9 Oregon.
April 3, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser and senior second baseman Jackie Sweet wrapped back-to-back home runs in the third inning, but the University of Utah softball team came up short in a 5-2 decision at No. 10/9 Oregon in a Pac-12 Conference series finale Wednesday at Howe Field.
Utah (14-19-1, 1-8 Pac-12) jumped out to a 2-0 advantage after three complete innings, but the Utes saw their record dip to 11-6 when scoring first this season.
Three of Utah's first three batters in its order posted multi-hit efforts as Sweet went 2-for-4 at the plate, including her third homer of the season. She has seven games with two or more hits in seven games this season and is currently enjoying a team-high 10-game hit streak, which is also the highest such streak for the Utes in 2013. Sweet also has now has 55 career RBI and 15 this season.
Fankhauser went 2-for-4 as well with her second round-tripper of the season. She has nine-multi-hit games in 2013.
Senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina enjoyed a 2-for-3 day and she leads the team with 12 mult-hit outings this year. The Riverton, Utah native laid down a bunt single to start the second frame and sent a 1-1 pitch to center field for a single in the third.
Freshman right-hander Kayce Nieto did not yield a hit to the Ducks through the first 2.1 innings of the game before a double to center field by Oregon third baseman Koral Costa. In total, she allowed three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out one. The Farmington Hills, Mich., native did not issue a walk in her fourth complete-game effort of the season. Unfortunately, Nieto was given the loss and now stands 3-5 overall.
The Ute offense got things going when Fankhauser and Sweet connected on back-to-back one-out home runs to give Utah a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.
Sweet did not hit a home run in the first 28 games of this season, but now has three round-trippers in the last five games. The Corona, Calif., native has 13 home runs for her career.
Costa's double in the bottom of the third off Nieto came with one out, but Utah was able to keep Oregon off the scoreboard as Allie Burger put down a sacrifice bunt and Nieto got Janie Takeda to ground out harmlessly to Hoopiiaina at shortstop for the third and final out of the inning.
Oregon scored three in its half of the fourth to jump out to a 3-2 edge and the Ducks' Kailee Cuico and Alexa Peterson both hit solo homers in the bottom of the sixth to set the final margin at 5-2.
The Utes return to Utah Softball Stadium for a three-game set against No. 15/T-15 UCLA on Saturday and Sunday. A doubleheader will be played on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. MT. Saturday will be the annual Power of Pink event. Join the team in wearing PINK to promote Cancer Awareness. Get there early for pink give-a-ways supporting community-wide cancer awareness, and a ceremonial first pitch by Kathy Howa by Swing for Life. Admission is always free.