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2012 Utah Softball Preview: Outfield

The Utah softball has three returning outfielders coming back for the 2012 season.

The Utah softball has three returning outfielders coming back for the 2012 season.

Jan. 31, 2012

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With the first pitch of the 2012 Utah softball campaign 10 days away, utahutes.com preps fans for the inaugural Pac-12 Conference season with a breakdown of the Ute roster as well as a look at the upcoming schedule. This is the second in a five-part series about the student-athletes Utah has at each position heading into the season as well as the competition they will face.

Monday, Jan. 30: Infield
Tuesday, Jan. 31: Outfield
Wednesday, Feb. 1: Catchers
Thursday, Feb. 2: Pitchers
Friday, Feb. 3: Utilities/Designated Players/Schedule

Ute Outfield Brings Back Three Letterwinners

Two of the three outfield positions were settled during fall ball as utility player Chalese Fankhauser returns to her starting spot in center field, while freshman Kate Dickman earned a starting nod on either side.

Fankhauser, a 5-3 sophomore from South Jordan, Utah, will be Utah's starting center field on opening day, but may also see time at catcher when the need arises. She was named to the All-MWC Team after an impressive freshman campaign in 2011 as she was second on the team with a .339 batting average posted a .435 on-base percentage. She also knocked in 27 runs and registered a .565 slugging percentage.

"[Fankhauser] will play every day in the outfield," Hogue said. "Behind the plate, she has the best pop times on the team. `Cheese' has range, a great arm and is in the top of the batting order because of her power and her speed."

"[Dickman] is a left-handed hitter who is really starting to hit for power," Hogue said. "She's a steady and consistent gap-to-gap hitter day in and day out."

 

 

The real position battle as preseason practice begins will be between senior Hannah Clements and junior Sandi Bowles for the vacant outfield spot.

"They both have completely different qualities," Hogue said. "Both of them will share time until someone emerges as the leader.

"[Clements] has the upper hand [over Bowles] on offense. She is more of a power hitter," Hogue said. "[Bowles] has the upper hand [over Clements] on defense."

Player Notes:

Hannah Clements
Sr. • L/R • 5-2 • Poway, Calif. • Poway H.S.

Has made 118 career starts, mostly in left field, in her first three seasons at Utah ... will contend for starting spot in outfield in 2012 ... a triple threat at the plate ... can knock the ball out of the park, lay down a bunt, or slap for a base hit ... three-time academic all-conference selection ... three-time Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete honoree.

Sandi Bowles
Jr. • L/R • 5-6 • Herriman, Utah • Riverton H.S.

Left-handed slap hitter who will compete for spot in outfield ... has had 37 starts in her first two seasons ... may be used as a defensive substitute late in games ... brings speed and versatility to offensive lineup ... absolutely loves running the bases.

Chalese Fankhauser
So. • R/R • 5-3 • South Jordan, Utah • Bingham H.S.

Slated to be in center field for the next three years ... may see time at catcher if needed ... complete five-tool player ... told her family that she wanted to be on the Utah Softball team when she was four years old ... gutty player with a `never say die' attitude ... always looking to take the next base ... plays the game hard.

Kate Dickman
Fr. • L/R • 5-6 • Mission Viejo, Calif. • Capistrano Valley H.S.

Earned a starting outfield position after fall season ... has power, but will also hit for average ... left-handed hitter who runs well and is a triple-threat at the plate ... top three on the team with her speed.

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