Freshman right-hander Kayce Nieto picked up the first two victories of her collegiate career last weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic.
Feb. 25, 2013
The University of Utah softball team heads into its bye week on a seven-game unbeaten streak.
The Utes were one of nine teams to escape last weekend's Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., without a loss (California, Oregon, Northwestern, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Washington and Missouri).
Utah accumulated a 4-0-1 mark with wins over Colorado State, Long Island, Nevada, Ohio State and a tie against Cal Poly.
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All Things Being Equal: Due to a pre-established `drop-dead' time of 4:15 p.m. PT to accommodate travel arrangements, the University of Utah softball team settled for a 1-1 tie with Cal Poly on Sunday. The tie was the sixth in school history and the first since a 5-5 draw against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 9, 2007.
Hoop Leads the Charge: Utah senior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina (Riverton, Utah) hit in all five games and drove in runs in four of the five contests. She hit .471 and four of her eight hits went for extra bases, which gave her a .882 slugging percentage.
In the opener against Colorado State, Hoopiiaina connected for a two-run single and drew a walk in the 7-3 victory over the Rams on Friday.
She then cracked her third home run of the season, which was the 16th of her career, in addition to an RBI triple, her first of the season, to help the Utes pick up a 7-0 shutout victory over Long Island in the first game on Saturday.
Hoopiiaina wrapped a critical three-run double which proved to be the difference in Utah's 5-2 comeback victory over Nevada in the final of Saturday's doubleheader.
`Hoop' closed strong during the final day of the tournament with back-to-back 2-for-3 performance at the plate against Ohio State and Cal Poly. In the first game of the day against Ohio State, Hoopiiaina registered a pair of singles, one that went for an RBI, in addition to a run scored against the Buckeyes. In the finale, Hoopiiaina came up with a single and an RBI double for Utah's lone run against the Mustangs.
Hoopiiaina has paced the Ute offense to this point this season as she leads the team with a .426 batting average, 20 hits, 16 RBI, 13 runs scored, six doubles and three home runs so far in 2013.
Nieto on the Mound: Freshman pitcher Kayce Nieto (Farmington Hills, Mich.) allowed only three earned runs on nine hits to go with nine strikeouts in 10.2 innings of work in addition to picking up the first two wins of her career.
Nieto earned her first collegiate victory on Saturday against Nevada after going 3.1 innings and did not allow a run on only one hit, while striking out three Wolf Pack hitters.
Nieto made her eighth appearance of the season and in 4.2 innings during Sunday's 5-4 victory over Ohio State. She gave up two earned runs on seven hits to go with three strikeouts of Buckeye hitters during her second win of the season.
Nieto is 2-1 this season and currently boasts a 3.32 ERA through 19 innings this year. In eight appearances, she has 12 strikeouts compared to only three walks.