Utah softball will play in a non-conference tourney in Reno, Nev., this weekend.
March 28, 2007
On Deck - The University of Utah softball program (17-10-1 overall) will make its last non-conference road swing of the season when it plays in the Nevada Tournament in Reno, Nev., this weekend. On the docket for the Utes are two dates with Nevada (March 30 and 31) and two dates with Saint Mary's (March 31 and April 1). Utah, which beat Nevada earlier this year, 10-6, will look to break a three-game skid this weekend.
Quoting Head Coach Angie Jacobs:
On the Nevada Tournament: "Our most important goal is to continue to play as well as we have these last six weeks. We need to continue to show confidence at the plate and in the circle, and we need to take care of the ball on both sides. If we do that, then we'll be where we want to be heading into conference play.
"As far as it seems, it could be anyone's year in the Mountain West Conference. Based on the non-conference schedules, I've seen some great wins and some surprising losses. It's going to be an exciting conference season and we're anxious to get it started."
On the Spring Break Trip: "Overall, I think that the team played very well last week. We were consistent game after game and we played very hard, especially against the last three opponents. While we lost our last three games, I don't think we took advantage of the opportunities we had to win those games. Had we done so, we would have seen a different result.
"But, we played well and I was pleased with the team's performance. I think we left spring break with a lot of confidence and we'll take that into the Nevada Tournament this weekend and on in to the conference schedule."
Better Than Average - Hailey Davenport turned in an impressive effort during the spring break trip. She tied for the team lead in hitting (.429, 9-for-21) and recorded nine of the team's 27 RBI. Her .429 effort in the last seven games boosted her season average by 10 points as it jumped from .393 to .403. She had three homers during the trip, upping her season total to 10. In fact, her 10 homers lead the league in that category.
Better Than Average - Part 2 - Meghan Crouse returned from the spring break trip with some impressive numbers as well. She tied for the team lead in hitting .429 and led the team with six runs scored. Last week's effort boosted Crouse's season batting average up an impressive 30 points. She entered the week with a boastful .300 average and returned with a much-improved .330 average.
A New ERA - Since recording a 3.03 earned-run average over the first two weekends of play, Ute hurler Meghan Dyer has not been as generous in handing out earned runs. In the first 10 games, Dyer made seven appearances and her ERA swelled to 3.03. Since Feb. 19, she's made 17 appearances and has only surrendered 1.07 earned runs per game. Dyer's ERA has plummeted to an impressive 1.47 on the year. Her overall ERA ranks No. 1 in the conference.
K-Fits - Utah's 255 strikeouts thus far this season leads the league. Behind the booming number are the arms of Karina Cannon and Meghan Dyer. Cannon's 85 K's this season ranks fourth in the league while Dyer's 166 is tops. Utah is averaging more than one K per inning, chalking them up at a 9.6 per-game rate. Dyer's 11.6 K's per game buoys Utah's average.
Balls and Strikes - Utah is 1-6 versus teams mentioned in the national poll. It beat then-No. 17 Texas, 5-4, and lost to then-No. 8 Stanford, 5-2, then-No. 13 Texas A&M, 10-3, and then-No. 12 Washington, 3-1. Oregon, Hawaii and Fullerton were receiving votes in the national rankings and topped Utah, 6-0, 3-1 and 5-2 respectively ... the Utes are 1-1 in extra-inning games. They beat No. 17 Texas in 10 innings, 5-4, and lost to UTEP, 3-2, in eight ... the Utes are 1-3 in one-run games, most recently falling to Ohio State, 1-0 ... opponents have scored five or more runs on Utah only seven times this year. The Utes are 2-4-1 in those outings ... over the last seven games, the Utes have out-scored their rivals, 30-11, and have 17 extra-base hits to their opponents' seven ... Diana Phillips currently has a six-game hitting streak ... nearly half (41 percent of the team's RBI have come with two outs (48-of-116) ... Utah's batting average soars to .316 when there are runners on base. It's even higher (.426) when there's a runner on third and less than two outs ... Utah is 10-0 when it has 10 or more hits in a game ... Utah's 15 hits in the 9-5 win over Buffalo (2/24) are a season high ... the team has out-scored its opponents, 42-14, in innings six and seven combined ... the Utes are 16-1-1 when they score three or more runs. But, they are 1-9 when they score two or fewer.
Scouting the Opponents - Nevada enters action this week with an 8-24 overall record. The two rivals tangled once already this year with Utah coming out on top, 10-6, at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Wolfpack boast three players hitting around .300 or better, led by Kym Silagyi (.341). Katie Holverson (3-11, 3.84 ERA) is the team's top pitcher. Saint Mary's is 15-18 with five players hitting around .300 better. Holly Bergeson (.427) is the top hitter while Megan Galloway (3-5, 2.77 ERA) is the top hurler.
Last Time Out - Utah finished its spring break trip with a 4-3 record, improving it's overall tally to 17-10-1. The Utes began the trip with four straight wins at the Aztec Classic in San Diego, but lost their last three games in Fullerton, Calif.
A .321 team batting average powered Utah to four wins at the Aztec Classic in San Diego (March 16-18). Utah out-scored its rivals, 27-2, in the tournament as it bagged a 4-2 win over Miami, a 3-0 win over Fordham and a pair of 10-0 wins over Iona and Fairfield. Meghan Crouse's 6-for-12 effort at the plate led the Utes but it was Hailey Davenport's two home runs and seven RBI that allowed Utah to steamroll through its competition. Among Davenport's six hits was a grand-slam home run against Fairfield. Both Karina Cannon and Meghan Dyer went 2-0 in the tournament.
The Utes returned to the diamond for three games in Fullerton, Calif. (March 20-23), with a 3-1 slip to No. 12 Washington, a 5-2 setback to Fullerton and 1-0 loss to Ohio State. During the last three games, the Utes were held to just .211 hitting and recorded a team ERA of 3.32. Davenport's 3-for-7 effort during that span led the Utes as she hit one home run, a solo shot in the 3-1 loss to Washington. Dyer accounted for two losses while Cannon was tagged with one.
Air Time - Select Mountain West Conference softball games will be televised on either CSTV or the mtn. this year. Utah's game at BYU (April 27) will air on CSTV while Utah's doubleheader at UNLV on April 5 will be seen on the mtn. Live Internet radio and gametracker will also be available for all home games on Utah's Web site, www.utahutes.com.
At the Helm - Head coach Angie Jacobs is in her first season as Utah's head coach. She brings eight years head coaching experience to the post, having guided the Miami University RedHawks during that time. She owns a 188-255-1 career record. Jacobs has 16 years of coaching experience, having been an assistant coach eight years prior to taking the helm at MU. Among her stops as assistant coach was a turn on the bench at Utah (1996-98). Her assistant coach is Debbie Bilbao.
In the Hole - Conference play is on the horizon for the Utes as they will take to the road to play at UNLV (April 5) and at San Diego State (April 6-7). Utah will then host its home opener when it plays Brigham Young (April 13-14) at Ute Field. The single games against Cougars will start at 4 and 1 p.m., respectively.