Kendal Bergman and the Utes begin their home season TODAY with a doubleheader against Southern Utah.
March 21, 2012
Listen Live to Wednesday's Doubleheader!
The University of Utah softball team will start its home season TODAY in a doubleheader against Southern Utah, starting at 2 p.m. MT.
The Utes are 19-5 overall this season after going 4-2 during their spring break trip to Fort Myers, Fla.
Home Sweet Home: The Utes are coming off a 9-3 home campaign in 2011, including a 7-1 mark in non-conference contests. Utah outscored its opponents 79-48 and hit at a .347 clip, while limiting its foes to a .282 mark.
Fast Starts: The Utes have scored first in 14 of 24 games this season and are 12-2 in those contests. Utah has managed to score in the first inning seven times this year and is 6-1 when tallying a run in the first frame.
Nielson Named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week: Senior right-hander Generra Nielson (Blanding, Utah) became the first-ever Utah softball athlete to earn a weekly honor from the Pac-12 as she was named the Pitcher of the Week on Mar. 19.
Nielson threw a no-hitter in the first game of Monday's doubleheader against Colgate. The no-hitter was the second of her Utah career, and the 25th in school history. In game one on Monday, Nielson did not allow an earned run. She tied her career high with 16 strikeouts and did not issue a walk to a single Raider hitter. She struck out eight of the first nine hitters she faced. Nielson's other no-hitter at Utah came last season in a home game against Idaho State on Apr. 1. Nielson has nine games of 10 or more strikeouts this season and she has reached that mark 14 times over her career.
Nielson is third in the NCAA and leads the Pac-12 with 171 strikeouts this season and is 52 ahead of California's Jolene Henderson. She also leads the league with 42 hitter struck out looking.
Nielson ranks among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in several other categories: second in innings pitched (111.2), tied for second in wins (14), fourth in ERA (1.07), and fifth in opponent batting average (.168).
Hammerin' Hannah: Senior outfielder Hannah Clements (Poway, Calif.) cracked two doubles and a single with a pair of RBI in the two games on Monday against Colgate. Clements now has four RBI this season and 46 over her career. With the first game against Colgate tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Clements stepped up to complete the comeback by driving a 2-1 delivery through the left-center field gap to score Jackie Sweet (Corona, Calif.) and give the Utes a 2-1 walk-off victory.
Whitney Can Mash: Senior third baseman Whitney Holm (Spanish Fork, Utah) is eighth in the NCAA and leads the Pac-12 with a .478 batting average. Holm is also among the top 10 in the league in six other categories: fourth in slugging percentage (.899), tied for fifth in total bases (62), sixth in home runs (8) and on-base percentage (.532), seventh in RBI (28), and tied for 10th in hits (33).
Scouting Southern Utah
Southern Utah (15-9, 5-1 Summit)
Wed., Mar. 21 / 2 p.m. MT Wed., Mar. 21 / 4 p.m. MT
The Thunderbirds had been riding a six-game winning streak before committing six errors in a loss to South Dakota in the team's previous contest on Mar. 17 in Cedar City.
SUU remains among the leaders of the Summit League with a 5-1 mark and has won 11 of its last 13 games.
Utah swept a doubleheader from Southern Utah in 2011, taking 5-3 and 10-1 victories on the Dixie State campus in St. George.
Southern Utah University was picked fourth in the annual Summit League preseason coaches' poll.
Southern Utah is 13-1 when recording more hits than its opponents and struggles with a 2-7 record when opponents log more hits.
Southern Utah is 4-3 against in-state opponents so far in 2012.