Traci Keller had a single, double and two runs to lead Utah to victory on senior day.
May 2, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY--The Utah softball team overcame a one-run deficit and then rolled by UC Riverside, 4-1, on senior day at Ute Field. Utah (19-21, 6-8) now hosts Brigham Young in its final conference twin bill on Saturday beginning at noon.
It was senior day at Ute Field, and boy did the seniors produce. After falling behind 1-0 on a homer in the second inning, Jen Pursell regained her composure allowing just one more hit while totaling seven strikeouts.
Down 1-0, Utah evened the score in the bottom of the third after a called squeeze play brought in a charging Traci Keller. She had singled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on a sac bunt and error. Jackie Wong laid down the bunt to convert the squeeze.
The Utes took the lead, which they wouldn't relinquish, in the fifth off a Wong groundout that once again scored Keller, 2-1. UCR threatened in the bottom of the inning after a one-out triple, but Pursell struck out the next batter and then Niki Hayhurst made a superb diving grab to get the Utes out of the inning.
The next inning Utah followed up with a pair of deuces. The first run came off a monstrous homer over the right field fence by Niki Hayhurst that split the seams of the ball. Glennis Donnelly doubled and then crossed the plate via an error to score the second run.
Hayhurst finished the day with the homer and a walk in a 1-of-2 effort at the plate. Keller had a single, double and two runs in the contest. Pursell improves to 12-13 with the win.
"Today was fabulous. I was really on and that was nice for senior day. I hope it carries over to tomorrow. I had good defense to back me up and the team put runs on the board to help me relax," admited Pursell.
"The two hits were a good way for me to go out," noted Keller. "It puts my career at Utah into perspective. It's a good feeling."
"It was kind of surreal today. I knew it would mean a lot if I hit a home run. I knew the time was right and I got it done," said Hayhurst.