Devina Quintero and the Utah softball team has six games on tap this week.
April 11, 2006
On Deck - The University of Utah softball team (21-12 overall, 2-2 Mountain West) has three doubleheaders on the docket this week, including one home twinbill. First up is the lone home matchup with Utah State on Wednesday, April 12. First pitch at Ute Field is set for 2 p.m. Utah returns to MWC play with two road doubleheaders. The Utes will venture to Colorado State (April 14) and New Mexico (April 16).
The Lineup -
Utah State - This marks the first meeting between these two in-state rivals this year. Utah State and Utah had two meetings cancelled earlier this year due to weather. Today's game was originially a single game but it was switched to a doubleheader when the other two games were cancelled. USU enters the week 5-25 and has lost three straight. The Aggies are paced by Amy Schaible and her .286 average. She also has five extra-base hits. In the circle, Heather Straight is tops with a 5-7 mark and a 4.46 earned-run average.
Colorado State - The Rams are 22-12 this season and sit in third with a 3-3 conference record. CSU entered last week with a seven-game winning streak, but has lost in each of its last three outings. Jessica Strickland leads the offense with .410 batting average and has belted a team-best eight home runs and 10 doubles. Defensively, Kim Klabough's 1.75 earned-run average and 106 strikeouts leads the Rams.
New Mexico - The Lobos own a 20-18 overall mark and stand in sixth place with a 1-5 league slate. They have lost four of their last five games, including a 4-2 setback against UNLV in their last outing. UNM is paced by Cassie Chavez with her .397 batting average and 11 doubles. Katie Gregg paces all Lobo pitchers with an 11-4 tally and a 3.55 earned-run average.
D for Deep! - Third baseman Devina Quintero turned in quite an offensive showing last weekend. In the three outings, she went 4-for-8 and hit her third home run of the season. Last weekend, she also recorded an eye-popping .875 slugging percentage, tallying seven bases on her four hits. Her on-base percentage was also an impressive .500.
Back in the Swing - Sophomore Diana Phillips got off to a hot start this season, tallying a hit in each of the first 12 games. During that span, the center fielder was belting hits at a .429 clip. But, since that hitting streak ended in the 13th game, Phillips has hit a meager .182. Phillips managed to return to form last weekend, going 5-for-10 at the plate in the three games, belting a triple in addition to scoring a run. Her slugging percentage also topped out at .700. For the year, Phillips is hitting .308 and is tied for the team lead with four triples.
Making the Hits Count - Sharee Fonoti may own a .209 (18-for-86) batting average, ranking sixth on the team, but she leads the Utes with 20 RBI and with five home runs. Her numbers are a far cry from her freshman campaign last year. She batted .143 (17-for-119) as a rookie and had two extra-base hits, one of which was a homer.
Going the Extra ... Base - The Utes have already won as many games this year (21) as it did in all of 2005. Part of the success lies in the hitting. While the 2006 team is hitting 18 points better (.266 - .248), this year's team has already belted out 55 ( 29 doubles, 9 triples, 17 homer runs) extra-base hits. Last year's squad had all of 58 (33, 4, 21). Devina Quintero leads the team in hitting 11 extra-base hits. She accounts for 20 percent of the team's efforts in that category.
Armed and Dangerous - The University of Utah pitching staff boasts some of the top numbers in the league. Entering action this week, the Utes are second in team earned-run average (2.18) and are tops in opponent batting average, holding rivals to a meager .228 hitting. That's a far cry from the 2005 numbers that saw the team ERA at 3.12 and opponents collecting hits off the Utes at a .277 clip.
Take Me to Your Leader - Senior Jackie Wong continues to thrive in the lead-off batter role. She leads the team with a .435 batting average, a .593 slugging percentage, a .474 on-base percentage and has a team-best 10 stolen bases. Wong is also tied for the team lead with four triples. Moreover, she also gets it done in the field. The second baseman boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage, credited with 54 putouts, 59 assists and no errors.
From the Batting Cage - The Utes have 57 two-out RBI this year. That number accounts for 51 percent of the team's 112 total RBI this season. Leading the team in two-out RBI are Devina Quintero (11), Jackie Wong (10) and Sharee Fonoti and Jessica Shiery (both with nine) ... Utah is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with the bases loaded. Quintero's 3-for-4 effort is best on the team in that category. Conversely, opponents are hitting a meager .111 (2-for-18) against Utah with the bases loaded ... the Utes are 14-1 when leading after four innings, 13-1 when leading after five and a perfect 13-0 when taking a lead into the seventh ... Utah is 20-10 when it hits one or less homers. Ironically, it is 1-2 in games where it hits two-plus homers ... Utah has out-hit 21 opponents this season, going 18-3 in those games. On the other hand, Utah is 3-9 when it's out-hit ... the Utes are 16-3 when it scores first.
Recap - The Utes went 1-2 last weekend, garnering a non-conference win while dropping a pair of league games.
Utah got the weekend started with an 8-0 win over Utah Valley State in five innings. The Utes scored four runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to secure the win. Diana Phillips led the way with three of Utah's 11 hits. Jackie Wong, Sharee Fonoti and Andrea Hoffman each tallied two hits in the route.
The team's seven-game win streak came to an end with a pair of losses to BYU, 3-1 and 4-2. Devina Quintero provided the bulk of Utah's offense in those games. She was 2-for-3 in both outings and belted a solo home run in the first game.
Dyer went five innings in game one and took the loss while Cannon went the distance in the game two loss.
At the Helm - The University of Utah softball team is under the direction of Interim Co-Head Coaches Marianne Bullis and Kyle Magnusson. This is the first stint as head coach for Bullis and Magnusson. Bullis is in her fourth year on the Ute coaching staff while Magnusson is in his second. A search for a full-time head coach will commence at the end of the season.
Preseason Prognosticators - The Utes were picked to finish fifth in the league, according to the preseason coaches poll. Utah earned eight points, one better than sixth-place New Mexico. Brigham Young's 23 points and three first-place votes were good enough for first. Rounding out the rest of the poll is UNLV (22 points, three first-place nods), San Diego State (16), Colorado State (14), Utah (8) and New Mexico (7).
In the Hole - The Utes begin a string of nine straight home games, beginning with a Brigham Young doubleheader on April 22 and single game with New Mexico State on April 23.