Jackie Wong and the Utah softball team have three games scheduled for this week.
March 29, 2005
The Lineup: The weather has wrecked havoc on the University of Utah softball team (9-14 overall). Its first three attempts at a home opener have succumb to rain and snow. However, the Utes have another three home games on the docket this week. Utah hosts Utah State in a single game on Wednesday, March 30, at 3 p.m. Mountain West Conference play begins when Brigham Young comes to town on Saturday, April 2. Doubleheader action with the Cougars begins at noon. All games are played at the Utah Softball Field.
Quoting Head Coach Mona Stevens:
On playing this week: "The thing we look forward to versus Utah State is that this is going to be our first home game of the year. And, it's not about who we are playing this week but that we work hard to be ready to take the field. Our goal has been to fine tune ourselves during the lapse in games."
On taking advantage of the rainouts: "We did use this time off to our advantage. The team is anxious to step back on the field. It has a renewed enthusiasm and energy to finally play at home and because it feels like it has been so long since we actually played a game.
"We've used a lot of time this week to keep our skills up. It's hard to simulate a real game in practice but it has definitely made us anxious and ready to play this week."
Scouting This Week's Opponents: The Utes will battle Utah State (7-16) and conference foe BYU (17-8) in action this week.
The Aggies enter action having lost three straight and seven of their last eight. They are led by Quela Henderson-Leonhardt and her .273 batting average. Her two home runs this season ties her for the team lead as well. Leslie Higley is the top pitcher. Her 4-7 mark and 3.34 earned-run average lead all Aggie hurlers.
The Cougars come to town on a bit of a slide as well, having lost four straight and in five of their last six games. Their roster boasts three players hitting .397 or better, led by Lauren Watson-Perry and her .450 average. She is second on the team with seven home runs. Ashlyn Russell leads all Cougars with 11 home runs. In the circle, Summer Tobias is tops with a 7-4 record and a 1.78 earned-run average.
Schedule Change: The postponed doubleheader with Utah Valley State on Saturday, March 26, has been rescheduled. The two intrastate squads will duke it out at the Utah Softball Field on Friday, May 6. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
At the Helm: Mona Stevens is in her ninth season as Utah's softball head coach. Stevens is 269-224-1 all-time and owns a 100-72-1 record in conference play. She has led her squad to four NCAA regional appearances and has coached three All-Americans. Stevens has also coached 12 all-West Region players including Glennis Donnelly and Melissa Stahnke in 2004. Her teams have won one MWC regular season title and three MWC tournament titles, including the 2004 tournament championship.
On Deck: A five-game road swing is up next for the Utes. They play at Utah Valley State on Wednesday, April 6, and resume conference play with a pair of doubleheaders at San Diego State on Friday, April 9, and at UNLV on Saturday, April 10. A five-game homestand from April 15-17 follows next week's road trip.