Sophomore Marissa Mendenhall had five hits and six RBI during Wednesday's doubleheader sweep at Southern Utah.
April 24, 2013
CEDAR CITY - Sophomore Marissa Mendenhall went 5-for-5 with six RBI on the day to help the University of Utah softball team sweep a doubleheader from Southern Utah on Wednesday at Kathryn Berg Field. The Utes earned an 11-2 win in five innings during game one, while taking an 11-6 victory in the second game of the day.
Utah (23-24-1) outscored Southern Utah 25-8 between the two games, while Ute hitters combined for 28 hits on the day, compared to 17 for the Thunderbirds. The Utes have now won five of their last six contests.
Mendenhall had five hit in five at-bats for six RBI, including a pair of doubles to total a 1.400 slugging percentage. The Stansbury Park, Utah native now has 26 RBI this season to go with 11 doubles.
Senior second baseman Jackie Sweet went 5-for-7 at the plate with two home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth inning of the second contest, to go along with a double for five RBI and a team-high 1.714 slugging percentage between the two games. The Corona, Calif., native has six homers this season and 15 over her career. She has now reached base in 24 straight games.
Junior center fielder Chalese Fankhauser had four hits in eight official at-bats, including a double to compile a .625 slugging percentage, to drive in two runs. The South Jordan, Utah native now has 19 RBI in 2013.
With hits in both contests, sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman extended current team-high hit streak to 15 games. She was 3-for-7 at the plate on the day, while all three hits were doubles, which gave her an .857 slugging percentage.
Freshman third baseman Kristen Stewart drove in four runs during a 3-for-8 performance at the plate with three runs, while driving in four. The Covina, Calif., native hit her fifth homer of the year.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Kayce Nieto started both games and allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings with two walks and strikeout.
Junior Trina Gomez was 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts between the two games and she is now 6-for-9 on theft attempts in 2013.
Game 1: Utah 14, Southern Utah 2 (5 inn.)
The Utes earned their fourth `run-rule' victory of the season and tied their season-high with 14 runs on a season-high 16 hits, including a season-high six doubles against the Thunderbirds.
Mendenhall was 3-for-3 at the plate with five RBI and a run scored, while senior first baseman Katelyn Elliott had two hits in three at-bats with an RBI as well.
Nieto threw 2.0 innings in the day's opener, limiting SUU to one run on two hits while issuing one walk in a no-decision. Ramirez came on in relief for 2.0 innings, giving up one earned run on three hits to pick up the win and improve to 8-10 this season. Junior Naomi Amu threw the final inning, allowing only one hit during the fifth inning.
Sweet hit a one-out double and Dickman followed by drawing a walk, but the Utes were unable to push a run across home plate in the first inning.
The Thunderbirds came up with a two-out double down the right-field line for an RBI, scoring the first run of the game. However, the Utes stormed back with eight unanswered scored in the next two innings as Mendenhall was hit by a pitch to start the second and Gomez advanced on a passed ball with one out. Freshman catcher Pacheco then knocked Gomez in with a single up the middle for her 24th RBI of the year.
Utah's exploded for seven runs in the third as Sweet led off Utah's third with a solo homer to left-center field, her fourth of the season. Dickman then followed with a one-out double to left field. Ute runners were then placed on the corners after Fankhauser roped a solid single to left. Stewart then reached on an error by the T-Bird second baseman and stole second base before Mendenhall rolled a stand-up double to the left-center-field fence to plate both Fankhauser and Stewart for her 15th and 16th RBI of the season. Elliott then placed an RBI base hit into left-center field to score Mendenhall, which was her 11th run driven in this year, before senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina closed the rally by looping a two-run double down the left-field line and Pacheco and Elliott came around to score. Hoopiiaina now has driven in 27 runs this season.
SUU got a run back in the bottom half of the third frame, but the Ute offense picked up where it left off as Dickman roped a double off the left-field wall and Fankhauser stole second base to put Ute runners on second and third base. Mendenhall then converted on the scoring chance by connecting on a two-run single to right field to put the `run rule' into effect and give Utah a 10-2 edge.
In the fifth, Elliott singled to left and Hoopiiaina lofted a double over the head of the SUU center fielder to put Ute runners on second and third base with no out before Sweet drew a walk to load the bases. Then with one out, Fankhauser hit an RBI single to right field for an RBI, followed by a two-run single to center to score two more runs and another Mendenhall RBI single to set the final margin at 14-2 in favor of the Utes.
Game 2: Utah 11, Southern Utah 6
Sweet was 3-for-4 in the second game with four RBI, while five other Utes drove in one run apiece in the finale of the doubleheader and Mendenhall went 2-for-2 at the plate with a run driven in.
Nieto started the second game of the day on the mound for the Utes and allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings with one walk. Ramirez appeared in relief once again and threw the remaining 3.2 innings to pick up another win and run her record to 9-10 in pitching decisions this season. The Ute defense helped out by turning two more double plays behind its pitchers and now has 38 this season.
Sweet came up with a one-out single to right field in the first inning of the second game of the day. She then stole second base and advanced to third after a groundout by Dickman and Fankhauser then came up with a clutch two-out double through the left-center field gap that brought Sweet in to score the first run of the contest. SUU then misplayed a fly ball hit by Stewart to bring Fankhauser in to score Utah's second run of the inning. Mendenhall kept the rally going with another double to left center that allowed Stewart to score the Utes' second unearned run of the frame.
The Thunderbirds responded with four runs in their first two at-bats and held a 4-3 lead after three complete innings.
Stewart re-tied the game with a solo shot to left field to lead off the fourth inning for the Utes, her fifth home run of the season. Mendenhall followed with a single to left field and Gomez stole second base. After a groundout, Elliott drew a two-out walk before Sweet cleared the bases with her second homer of the day, a grand slam for her sixth round-tripper of the year and the 16th of her career, to give Utah an 8-4 edge.
SUU came back with a pair of runs in the fourth to cut their deficit in half and make it an 8-6 ball game. Pacheco came up with her second RBI single of the day up the middle of the Thunderbird defense to give the Utes a 9-6 edge. The Casa Granda, Ariz., native now has 25 RBI during her freshman campaign.
Hoopiiaina tripled down the right-field line, her fourth triple of the year and her second extra-base hit of the day, to start the Utah fifth. Dickman then sent a foul ball into foul territory that was caught by the SUU left fielder, but allowed Hoopiiaina to score from third and give the Utes a 10-6 lead. Dickman, a Mission Viejo, Calif., native now has 32 RBI in 2013.
Stewart laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first-base line to lead off Utah's seventh and Gomez followed by drawing a walk. After Ramirez hit into a fielder's choice, Gomez advanced to third and senior Sandi Fawson came on to pinch run for Ramirez. Gomez would score on a double steal that saw Fawson get caught stealing at second base, but the Utes came away with their 11th run of the contest to set the final margin at 11-6.
The Utes resume Pac-12 Conference competition with a three-game set this weekend at No. 17/15 Stanford. First pitch of Friday's series opener is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT with the Pac-12 Networks carrying the action live. Krista Blunk will have the play-by-play call of the action, while Jessica Mendoza will be the color analyst.