Marissa Mendenhall and the Utes will start their 2014 season Friday at the Kajikawa Classic.
Feb. 5, 2014
With the first pitch of the 2014 Utah softball campaign two days away, utahutes.com will prepare fans for the Utes' third Pac-12 Conference season with a breakdown of the roster.
This is the second in a three-part series about the student-athletes Utah has at each position heading into the season.
2014 Utah Softball Preview
Tuesday, Feb. 4: Infield
Wednesday, Feb. 5: Outfield
Thursday, Feb. 6: Pitchers and Catchers
Senior Chalese Hadley returns to anchor the Ute outfield in center after tying for the Pac-12 Conference lead with six triples in all games and three during league games. The South Jordan, Utah native tied for fourth in Pac-12 in sacrifice flies and ninth with 27 hits in the Pac-12's conference-only stats.
"'Cheese' is once again starting the season as our center fielder," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "She's a team captain and takes charge in the outfield. She's a gamer. She plays the game with passion and absolutely loves to compete and loves to win."
Junior right-fielder Marissa Mendenhall tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with 13 doubles last season. She also tied for seventh in the Pac-12 with a team-high three sacrifice flies and tied for fourth in the league-only stats.
"'Bug' is slated to start in right field again," Hogue said. "After coming to us with experience as a catcher and a third baseman, she has now played the outfield long enough to call it her home. She will continue to be someone who we look to for a high number of RBI's and still loves to be up to bat when the game is on the line."
Trina Gomez was one of eight Pac-12 players to boast a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage last season and she hit .308 at the plate with a .400 on-base percentage. Gomez, a Riverton, Utah native, tied the Pac-12 single-game high with three steals during second game of doubleheader at Southern Utah (4/24) and also had a hit and scored three times against the Thunderbirds.
"Trina will be a valuable option for us this season," Hogue said. "She is one of those players who I would have loved to have for four years instead of two. Every single area of her game has gotten better since she got here, and she was really talented to begin with."
Coming off an injury during her senior season at Snow Canyon High School, incoming freshman Autumn Shipp joins the Utah program after picking up Deseret News Second-Team All-State honors in 2012 and honorable mention status in 2011.
"Her role will be to provide speed off the bench, primarily as a pinch runner, starting with game No. 1," Hogue said. "She has a definite role to play to help us win games on day one."
Junior Maddy Woodard will utilize her redshirt season during her first campaign with the Ute program after being named SWAC Player of the Year, NJCAA First-Team All-American and NFCA All-American in 2013 for Salt Lake Community College.