Junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina had four hits and three RBI Friday against Drexel.
Feb. 24, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina went 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI to lead the University of Utah softball team to an 8-2 win in a rain-shortened game over Drexel during the first day of the UNCG Spartan Classic Friday at UNCG Softball Stadium. The game was called in the top of the sixth inning due to rain.
Utah (7-3) outhit Drexel, 11-4, to take its fourth straight win and its sixth victory in its last seven games.
Hoopiiaina turned in a home run and double as well as a pair of singles, while scoring two runs. Senior right-fielder Hannah Clements was the second Ute with multiple hits as she recorded two singles and drew an RBI walk.
Sophomore Chalese Fankhauser connected on her first homer of the season, and the seventh of her career in the top of the third frame. This was Fankhauser's third run driven in this season and the 30th of her career.
Senior Generra Nielson got the start and turned in 2.0 shutout innings and allowed one hit with five strikeouts, while not yielding a walk. Sophomore Naomi Amu pitched the third and fourth innings and did not allow an earned run or a hit, while improving her record to 2-1 this season. Freshman Mariah Ramirez threw the fifth inning and allowed an earned run on three hits.
Hoopiiaina led off the game with a single and then she stole second base. She took third base after a ground ball to senior designated player Joni Cook was misplayed by Drexel's shortstop. Freshman Kate Dickman drew a two-out walk to load the bases then Clements drove in her second RBI and drew another free pass to force Hoopiiaina in for the game's first score.
Utah scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning as sophomore Jackie Sweet started things by hitting an RBI ground ball to the Drexel shortstop to score Clements. With Sweet on second base and two out, Fankhauser homered to left-center field.
Drexel managed to get on the board in the bottom of the third, but Utah came back with three more in the top of the fourth frame. The first two Ute batters were retired before Clements singled and Desaray Akins and Sweet then followed with walks. With the bases loaded, Fankhauser drew the third straight walk to force Clements in for the score. Hoopiiaina followed with a two-run single to center field to plate Akins and Sweet for Utah's final run of the contest.
Utah's game against UNC Greensboro has been cancelled. The Utes will play doubleheaders the following two days. Tomorrow's action starts against Rider (11 a.m. ET) and UNC Greensboro (1 p.m. ET). Sunday's games begin at 10 a.m. ET against Drexel and then versus Rider at 12 p.m. ET.