Brittany Parker struck out a season-high nine in her third complete game of 2010 Friday at BYU.
April 9, 2010
PROVO, Utah - Junior Brittany Parker struck out a season-high nine batters in her 12th career complete game and sophomore third baseman Whitney Holm went 2-for-3 with an RBI but the University of Utah softball team fell 4-1 Friday in the Mountain West Conference and Deseret First Duel series opener at Gail Miller Field.
"Brittany Parker was great tonight and threw a lot of quality pitches," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "It just happened that [BYU's] best hitter came up with a good play. They're going to hit the ball hard.
"We knew it was going to be a defensive battle. We knew the game may drag a bit and we had to be patient. I liked how we played and we gained some confidence. I'm excited to play tomorrow."
Utah (17-19) got a solid performance in the circle from Parker, who in her eighth start of the season had nine strikeouts while allowing four earned runs on four hits with two walks.
"[BYU] is always tough in every game," Parker said. "You really have to be on your `A' game every time you face them. Every time I face them, I get excited. I was just trying to keep myself calm and thought about every pitch. We were just trying to get a lot of ground balls. It was a great game, but hopefully we'll get the next one."
The Utes put a runner in scoring position early in the ball game when Holm led off the second inning with a single to the BYU shortstop then advanced to third with one out in the frame. Unfortunately, the Cougars got a strikeout and a groundout to third to end the threat.
Utah threatened again in the third inning, but converted this time, when Clements drew a leadoff walk then moved over to second base after Kelsi Hoopiiaina laid down a sacrifice bunt. Clements then stole third base and was driven in after Holm laced a single to the Cougar shortstop to tie the game at one run apiece.
Unfortunately, the Cougars' Angeline Quiocho came up with BYU's second home run of the game over the left-center field fence, this one for three runs, to set the final margin at 4-1.
Utah put together another scare in the seventh inning when Tori Medina reached on a base on balls, took second on a ground ball and advanced to third base after a muffed throw by the Cougar first baseman. Unfortunately, BYU held Utah scoreless.
With each softball victory being worth 1.5 points, the 2009-10 Desert First Duel is now 38.5-14 in favor of BYU.
A Gail Miller Field record crowd of 1,484 spectators were in attendance.
The Utes take on the Cougars in the second game of the Deseret First Duel series tomorrow at 2 p.m.