Staci Hemingway and the Utes head to the San Diego Classic for five games this weekend.
Feb. 23, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah softball team looks to stop a five-game slide Friday through Sunday at the San Diego Classic. Utah opens the event hosted by San Diego State and the University of San Diego Friday against No. 3/4 UCLA at 11:30 p.m. PT. The Utes finish Friday against Santa Clara at 2 p.m. Utah starts Saturday's slate with a rematch against UC Davis at 2 p.m. PT, then plays the Toreros at 4:30 p.m. PT. The Utes complete their schedule Sunday against Oregon at 9 a.m. PT.
Wildcat Invitational Review: The Utes lost five games last weekend at the Wildcat Invitational at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
Utah had its four-game winning streak brought to an end by North Dakota State with a first-inning rally that plated three unearned runs as the Bison beat the Utes, 4-2, in the opening game of the Wildcat Invitational. The Ute offense got a multiple-hit performance from shortstop Sharee Fonoti (Ewa Beach, Hawaii), who went 2-for-3, while driving in her sixth run of the season.
In its first true road game of the season, Utah fell behind 3-0 to No. 11 Arizona after the top of the first inning Friday and could not prevent a 16-1, five-inning loss to the home-standing Wildcats. The Utes scored their first run of the contest with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Fonoti and senior first baseman Staci Hemingway (Taylorsville, Utah) both got on with singles. Angie Boardman (Spokane, Wash.) reached base after an error by the Wildcat third baseman scored Fonoti.
The Utes lost their first game Saturday against NDSU, 2-0. Hemingway recorded a multiple-hit effort with a 2-for-3 performance and freshman designated player Haylee Hoch (Roy, Utah) came up with the first hit of her career, a double to the right-field gap in the second inning.
Arizona jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning of Saturday's matchup, before Utah got on the board with a solo home run over the left-center field fence by Boardman in the top of the second inning. This was Boardman's fourth home run of her career, and she now has four RBI.
Junior center fielder Kara Foster (Derby, Kan.) knocked her sixth home run of the season as Utah lost to Arizona, 6-1, Sunday in the finale.
Hard-hittin' Utes: The Utes lead the Mountain West Conference with 17 home runs this season. Foster leads the way with six home runs, followed by five from Whitney Holm (Spanish Fork, Utah). Boardman has hit a pair and three other Utes have hit one apiece.
Last Time At the San Diego Classic: Utah recorded a 2-2 record last year at the San Diego State Classic, including winning a rematch against San Diego, 14-6, and downing Cal-State Fullerton, 7-2. The Utes also played a strong game against No. 3 Texas A&M, falling 3-1.
Boardman hit .462 for the weekend, including a 2-for-3 performance against Texas A&M, driving in the Utes lone run of the game. She was also 3-for-4 with five RBI against San Diego. Foster had a solid weekend as well, with six RBI, a triple and two doubles, batting .357.
Brittany Parker (Murray, Utah) led the Utes in the circle, going 2-1 on the weekend with 16 strikeouts. She pitched a complete game against Texas A&M.
Taking On The Best: Utah is looking for its first win against a ranked opponent this season. The Utes were swept in a three-game set against No. 11 Arizona last weekend. They also lost a 4-0 decision to then-No. 15/21 Washington and took a 13-0 defeat against No. 21/18 Nevada last Friday.
Scouting The Competition:
No. 3/4 UCLA (13-2): The Bruins went 5-0 last weekend at the Cathedral City Softball Classic. UCLA defeated top-ranked Alabama (4-1), No. 18/22 Massachusetts (4-2), NC State (12-1 in five innings), Maryland (5-0) and No. 14/15 Fresno State (10-2 in six innings).
Left-handed-hitting sophomore outfielder Katie Schroeder leads the UCLA offense with a .457 batting average, seven home runs, and a .935 slugging percentage.
Donna Kerr is 6-2 in eight starts this season with a 3.32 ERA. Two other Bruin hurlers are a combined 7-0 this season: Whitney Baker is 4-0 with a 2.26 ERA and Megan Langenfeld is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA.
Santa Clara (1-4): The Broncos are led by Breanna Knight, who has a .357 batting average and team highs of six RBI, two home runs and .929 slugging percentage.
UC Davis (7-3): In an earlier meeting this season, the Utes came back with a three-run seventh inning to defeat the Aggies, 4-3, on Feb. 15 in the final game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.
Kelly Harman leads UC Davis in nearly every major offensive category with a .357 batting average, 11 hits, eight RBI, eight runs scored, three home runs and a .714 slugging percentage.
University of San Diego (1-8): The Toreros lost the first five games of their season before defeating Boise State, 5-4, on Feb. 20. USD finds itself on a three-game losing streak entering this weekend.
Oregon (6-9): The Ducks come into this weekend having lost four of their five games at the Cathedral City Classic.
Cortney Kivett posts a team-high batting average at a .378 clip. Neena Bryant is second on the squad with a .364 average and is 12-for-12 on stolen base attempts this season.
Foster Makes Assault On Utah's All-Time Home Run Chart: Foster, Utah's starting center fielder, has hit six home runs this season and is now second in school history with 41 home runs. Melissa Stahnke holds the school record with 49 career home runs from 2001 to 2004.
Utah's Career Home Run Leaders: 1. Melissa Stahnke (2001-04) 49 2. Kara Foster (2007-present) 41 3. Cyndee Bennett (1994-97) 37 4. Lyndsey Trevis (1999-2002) 33 Sunny Smith (1997-2000) 33 5. Niki Hayhurst (2000-03) 32
Clean-Fielding Utes: Utah has committed only nine errors in the first 15 games of the season. All together, the Utes own a .978 fielding percentage, compared to just .940 for their opponents.