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Utah Softball Class Update: Sophomores

Kayce Nieto comes back to the Ute lineup in 2014 after earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors in 2013.

Kayce Nieto comes back to the Ute lineup in 2014 after earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors in 2013.

Aug 14, 2013

Utah Softball: Celebrating the Past, Building for the Future

Complete 2013 Season Final ReleaseGet Acrobat Reader

SALT LAKE CITY - It's never too early to think about the next season so utahutes.com will be updating fans on each class of the University of Utah softball program this summer heading into the 2014 campaign, the Utes' third in the premier softball conference in the country, the Pac-12.

Utah Softball Class Update Schedule

Wed., July 31: Seniors
Wed., Aug. 7: Juniors
Wed., Aug. 14: Sophomores
Wed., Aug. 21: Freshmen

Four Utes are coming back to Salt Lake City for their second season of eligibility as sophomores in the University of Utah softball program in 2014, while the Utes look to move into the upper echelon on the Pac-12.

Updated bios of each sophomore student-athlete can be found below:

Desaray Akins
C/1B • R/R • 5-4 • 1L • Tucson, Ariz. • Sunnyside H.S.

Akins Notes: Used redshirt during 2013 season ... talented player looking to gain experience at first base ... first career hit was a solo home run last season against Drexel (2/26/12) ... great power, feet and attitude ... extremely athletic and will only get better with time.

2013: Redshirt season. 2012: Appeared in 24 games with seven starts ... made first career appearance behind the plate against San Diego State (2/10) ... made first career start against Cal State Northridge (2/19) ... started and came up with first career hit, a solo home run, against Drexel (2/26) ... first career sacrifice fly and RBI was tallied against UC Riverside (2/19) ... hit an RBI single, scored a run and stole a base versus North Dakota (3/4) ... stole a base and was credited with her fifth RBI of the year against Utah State (3/28) ... had a single in start against No. 19/15 Oregon (4/13) ... had three steals and was only caught once ... scored a run during first game of doubleheader at Weber State (4/25) and drew a walk in the second game at Weber State.

Kayce Nieto
P • R/R • 5-4 • 1L • Farmington Hills, Mich. • Mercy H.S.

Nieto Notes: Has all of the tools to succeed at the next level ... her fundamentals are right on ... will be able to learn and grow so much as a pitcher because of the solid base she has built ... can swing the bat well, too.

2013: Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention selection ... Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honoree ... appeared on the mound 28 times with a 7-7 record in decisions ... registered a 4.34 ERA in 90.1 innings ... first career start came against Seattle (2/15), where she went 2.0 innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits ... picked up first career win against Nevada (2/23) after allowing only one hit and one walk with three strikeouts against the Wolf Pack ... threw 4.2 innings against Ohio State (2/24), yielding two earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts ... in 7.1 at No. 20 Hawaii (3/13), did not give up an earned run and only three hits with a season-high five strikeouts ... registered a three earned run, seven-hit performance in six innings at No. 5 California (3/24) ... posted a flawless 4-0 record against Pac-12 opponents at home during her debut season for the Utes ... put together a 4.55 ERA in 32.1 innings during eight appearances with a pair of complete games during Pac-12 home outings ... allowed only one earned run on four hits in 7.0 innings and only issued one walk against No. 17 Arizona (3/30) for the Utes' first-ever victory at Utah Softball Stadium ... threw 5.0 solid innings in the second game of a doubleheader against No. 15 UCLA (Apr. 6), yielding three earned runs to the Bruins on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout ... helped the Utes pick up their first-ever Pac-12 series in the finale against UCLA (4/7), as she allowed three earned runs while scattering six hits and striking out one with a pair of walks ... in Utah's 6-5 win over No. 2 Arizona State (4/21), allowed four earned runs on eight hits in 5.0 innings of work, while walking two Sun Devils.

Shelby Pacheco
C • R/R • 5-6 • 1L • Casa Granda, Ariz. • Union H.S.

Pacheco Notes: Has a lively arm and can throw anyone out in the country ... very vocal behind the plate and brings a sense of fun to the game ... enthusiastic to learn more.

2013: Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention ... tied for sixth in the Pac-12 in triples and sacrifice flies during league games ... started 49 games behind the plate for the Utes ... had 31 hits (11 for extra bases) with 25 RBI ... had six games with two or more hits and also had four games with two or more RBI ... went 3-for-3, her first career hits, with a triple for two RBI, her first career runs driven in, and also scored a run against Idaho State (2/15) ... hit a double against Seattle (2/15) ... had two hits in two at-bats, including a double, with two runs scored at UNLV (2/17) ... drove in nine runs in conference play with four doubles and a triple ... led the way for the Utes with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with four RBI off a double and a triple against No. 15 UCLA (4/7) ... went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored during Utah's first-ever Pac-12 road win at Oregon State (4/13) ... laced a walk-off double to left-center field to give the Utes a 5-4 win over No. 2 Arizona State (4/19) ... doubled and drove in one more run in the series finale against the Sun Devils (4/21) ... had an RBI single in both games of doubleheader at Southern Utah (4/24) ... scored twice against No. 12 Washington (5/4).

Kristen Stewart
IF • R/R • 5-4 • 1L • Covina, Calif. • South Hills H.S.

Stewart Notes: Extremely athletic player who has speed and power ... can steal bases, play any position on the field ... has home run power ... can drag bunt for a base hit ... has so much upside.

2013: Pac-12 All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention ... appeared in 46 games with 34 starts at third base ... hit .393 at home against Pac-12 opponents with a .571 slugging percentage on three extra-base hits (two doubles and one home run) ... posted a .514 on-base percentage during that stretch thanks to four walks ... had six multi-hit efforts to go with four multi-RBI outings ... had first career hits in 2-for-4 effort with an RBI against Idaho State (2/15) ... singled against Seattle (2/15) ... drove in a run and scored against Ohio State (2/24) ... hit first career homer, a two-run shot, against Idaho State (3/9) ... hit an RBI double and score twice against No. 21 Arizona (3/30) ... singled and scored during first game of twin bill at No. 9 Oregon (4/2) ... in the first game of a doubleheader against No. 15 UCLA (4/6), Stewart had a 2-for-3 day at the plate on a pair of singles up the middle of the Bruin defense ... hit a solo home run during second game of doubleheader against Weber State (4/10) ... hit a three-run home run and scored twice at Utah State (4/17) ... took team-high honors with three RBI during the doubleheader against No. 2 Arizona State (4/21), including her fourth home run of the year, which gave her a 1.250 slugging percentage in the twin bill against the Sun Devils ... registered three hits and scored three runs with four RBI during doubleheader at Southern Utah (4/24) ... cracked a season-high three hits in four at-bats with one RBI against No. 12 Washington (5/4).



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