Junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina turned in her third consecutive multi-hit game Saturday against No. 15/17 Stanford.
May 11, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina went 2-for-3 at the plate for her third straight multi-hit game, but the University of Utah softball team fell to No. 15/17 Stanford 9-1 in six innings during the middle game of their Pac-12 Conference series Friday at Ute Field.
Utah (28-27, 2-21 Pac-12) turned in five hits on the day and the Ute defense turned in its Pac-12 leading 23rd double play of the year.
Freshman Mariah Ramirez made the start in the circle for the sixth time this year, but was credited with the loss and is now 3-7 as the pitcher of record this season. Sophomore Naomi Amu came on in relief to close the game by getting the final two outs in the top of the sixth.
Hoopiiaina had two hits in three at-bats for her team-leading 16th multi-hit effort of the year. She also stole a base to improve to a flawless 19-of-19 on steal attempts this season and also crossed the plate for the Utes' lone score of the contest.
Hoopiiaina led off the game with a bloop single between the Cardinal shortstop and left fielder. She then swiped her 19th base of the season and scored for the 39th time this season to give Utah an early 1-0 edge.
The Utes have now scored in the first inning 20 times this season and are 12-8 in those games this season. Utah has been the first team to score in 28 games in 2012 and carries a 19-9 record in those contests.
Stanford's Jenna Becerra tied the game up in the top of the second inning with a one-out solo home run over the center field to even the game at 1-1.
Clements singled up the middle of the Cardinal defensive alignment for Utah's second hit of the ballgame and her 24th of the season.
Palauni lofted a single over the head of the Stanford shortstop for the Utes' third hit of the game. The Taylorsville, Utah native now has 102 hits during her career at Utah.
Ramirez came up with Utah's fourth base hit after scolding a ground ball at the Cardinal shortstop to lead off the fifth frame. Unfortunately, Stanford was able to turn a 6-4-3 double play before Hoopiiaina came up with a two-out single, her second hit of the game and the team's fifth. Stanford center fielder Cassandra Roulund then made a diving catch to rob Palauni of an RBI opportunity for the final out of the frame.
Stanford came up with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to take a 9-1 edge and put the `run rule' into effect after the sixth inning.
No. 15/17 Stanford (37-17, 10-13 Pac-12) was led by a 4-for-4 effort by shortstop Ashley Hansen.
The Utes conclude their regular season tomorrow against Stanford at 12 p.m. MT. Follow all of the action by listening to the play-by-play call and/or following the live stats at utahutes.com. Utah's senior class - Clements, Joni Cook, Holm, Generra Nielson and Palauni - will be honored during a post-game ceremony.