Kate Dickman went 3-for-4 on Friday at the Kajikawa Classic.
Feb. 7, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Utah softball team rallied from a 6-1 first-game loss to Boise State to defeat Western Michigan, 9-1, in game two of the Kajikawa Classic on Friday afternoon as the Utes opened the 2014 season.
In game one, Boise State took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning and broke the game open with a four-run seventh. In game two Utah took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back, adding on runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
"I feel like we had an opportunity to win both games today, so there's definitely some disappointment," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "In the first game, we squandered our opportunities after putting runners in scoring position early in the game. I think we came out in the first inning in the second game and said `we know how to recover and we'll do better next time.'"
Boise State threatened right off the bat with two hits in the top of the first inning, but the Utes defense stopped a run at home plate on a ground out and got a pop up to get out of the inning. Marissa Mendenhall saw a base hit taken away on a diving play in left field in the bottom of the inning.
Anissa Urtez put Utah on the board in the second inning with a home run to left field, as the Boise State fielder crashed through the fence and allowed the ball to go unchecked for an inside the park home run. The Utes looked to expand that lead in the third, loading the bases with one out, but Boise State forced an infield fly and another pop out to end the rally.
Utah left two more runners on in the fourth inning, and Boise State took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, scoring two runs on four hits.
Utah made a late rally in the bottom of the seventh after Taylor Jordan walked and Chalese Hadley singled to put two on with no outs, before Boise State got three ground outs to end the game. Overall, the Utes left nine runners on base.
Urtez went 2-for-2 against Boise State, while Hadley and Hannah Flippen were each 2-for-4. Kayce Nieko pitched six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and walking one. Mariah Ramirez pitched one inning, allowing four runs on five hits with one strikeout.
Utah came out strong against Western Michigan with a five-run first inning. Loading the bases with two outs after three singles, one runner scored on a catching error and Ramirez hit a two-RBI single to right field. Subsequent RBI singles came off the bats of Bridget Castro and Urtez in the inning.
Western Michigan scored an unearned run in the second inning off an error. The Broncos looked to cut further into Utah's lead with a pair of singles to lead off the third before three-straight strikeouts from Ramirez got the Utes out of the inning.
Utah increased its lead in the fourth with a run on an RBI double from Kate Dickman. The Utes added two more runs in the fifth on three-straight hits from Ramirez, Castro and Urtez, and another run came in the sixth with a home run from Dickman.
Dickman went 3-for-4 in game two with two RBI. Ramirez, Castro and Urtez each had two hits while Urtez had a team-high three RBI. Mariah Ramirez allowed one run (none earned) over four innings with four strikeouts. Freshman Sammy Cordova struck out three in two innings in her first career appearance.
"I feel like we had the opportunity to mix up our lineups today to show that we have quite a bit of depth, which is exciting," Hogue said. "We have so many people who can contribute in this group. We had five freshmen in the lineup at one point [against Western Michigan.] Sammy came in and closed game two and was phenomenal. We're going to need her to be that great, and I'm proud of my hitters for giving us a lead so she can go out and get comfortable."
Utah returns to action at the Kajikawa Classic on Saturday, Feb. 8, against Northwestern at 5:30 p.m. MT and Portland State at 8:00 p.m. MT.