Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Softball Wins Third Straight, Downs Colorado State

Junior third baseman Taylor Austin had a career-high three hits Friday against Colorado State.

Junior third baseman Taylor Austin had a career-high three hits Friday against Colorado State.

Feb. 22, 2013

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Junior third baseman Taylor Austin went 3-for-3, in her first career multi-hit game, to help the University of Utah softball team pick up its third consecutive victory by a 7-3 margin over Colorado State during its first game of the Mary Nutter Classic on the Pawtucket Field at Big League Dreams Park.

Austin, a Bountiful, Utah native, registered a trio of singles and scored two runs for the Utes in her second career multi-hit performance and her first this season.

Freshman right fielder Trina Gomez got into the act as well as she turned in the first multi-hit game of her career on a pair of singles.

Sophomore Marissa Mendenhall was the third Ute with multiple hits, which included her first homer of the season and the third of her career.

Senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina upped her team-high RBI total to 10 with a two-run single and sophomore left fielder Kate Dickman turned in a two-run double in the third frame and now has six RBI in 2013.

Junior Naomi Amu picked up her second straight victory with an impressive 6.0 inning, two-run on seven-hit performance. The Oceanside, Calif., native recorded seven outs in a row starting with the last out of the second frame through the beginning of the fifth. She is now 3-2 in decisions this season.

Freshman Kayce Nieto threw the seventh frame in her fifth appearance of the year. The Farmington Hills, Mich., native gave up one earned run on one hit.

The second inning featured an outstanding effort by Hoopiiaina she executed an acrobatic putout on a ground ball hit by CSU's Alysa Greckel in the bottom of the second lunging to her right then fired across the diamond and Ute first baseman Katelyn Elliott was able to pick it from the dirt for the second out of the frame.



To start the third inning, Austin slapped a base hit to left field then senior second baseman Jackie Sweet dropped down her third sacrifice bunt of the season to move Austin along to second base. Gomez then cracked her second hit of the game, a single to left field, to put Ute runners on second and third base, while Dickman laced a double down the left-field line to push Austin and Gomez across home plate for her fifth and sixth RBI of the season to give Utah a 2-0 edge.

After a hard-fought at-bat, Elliott earned a leadoff walk before Austin looped a single down the left-field line to put Utah runners on first and second base. Unfortunately, the Ute threat came away empty.

Greckel started CSU's half of the fifth inning by looping a double down the right-field line to snap Amu's streak of seven straight retired batters before Taylor Hutton lined a single up the middle to put Ram runners on the corners, but the Utes turned a triple play that started with CSU's Danielle Wikre flying out to Gomez in right field, who rifled a strike to freshman catcher Shelby Pacheco at home plate. After making the tag, Pacheco made a heads up play and caught Hutton trying to advance to second base to complete the triple play.

Mendenhall began the sixth frame by slamming a solo home run, her first of the season, over the left-field fence to give Utah a 3-0 advantage. Elliott followed with a walk and Austin dragged a bunt single to the right side of the Ram defense then Hoopiiaina drew a walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, CSU was able to get a strikeout to extinguish the threat.

The Rams came back with a pair of runs in their half of the sixth inning, beginning with back-to-back singles by Brianna Donahue and Ashlie Ortega then Cassy Mosser put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the Ram runners to second and third base. Shae Rodriguez then came up with the clutch hit, a single to right field, to push Donahue and Ortega across the plate for CSU's first scores of the contest. The Utes were able to avoid further damage by getting CSU hitters to ground out to third base and strike out.

Dickman and Fankhauser drew back-to-back walks in the seventh before Mendenhall smacked a single up the middle to load the bases. Pacheco then drove a single to left field for Utah's fourth score, as well as her third RBI of the year, and Ramirez kept the rally going by driving in Fankhauser. Hoopiiana followed with a single to left-center to drive in a pair of Ute runs and to push Utah to a 7-2 edge.

The Rams mustered a solo homer by Wikre in the seventh frame, but the Utes still came away with a 7-3 victory.

The Utes continue Mary Nutter Classic action with a doubleheader tomorrow, starting against LIU Brooklyn at 10 a.m. PT, and then a rematch with Nevada at 3 p.m. PT.

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