Ute Field comes alive this weekend when the softball team hosts its home opener against BYU.
April 11, 2007
On Deck - The University of Utah softball program (20-15-1, 1-3 Mountain West) finally hosts its home opener this weekend when it invites in-state and conference rival Brigham Young to Ute Field for a two-game series. The first game is set for 4 p.m., Friday, April 13, with the second game slated for Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m. This weekend's slate launches a seven-game homestand for Utah that extends over the next two weekends.
Quoting Head Coach Angie Jacobs:
On Playing Brigham Young This Weekend: "We are excited for our home games this weekend, especially since it's against our biggest rival in Brigham Young. Our players are looking forward to it and we can't wait to get the home portion of our schedule started. Everyone is excited for our first opportunity to play in front of our fans and our community."
On Last Weekend: "I don't think the outcome from last weekend reflected how well we actually played. We were in every game against UNLV and San Diego State, and we even put ourselves in position to win them. But, I don't think we took advantage of the opportunities we had in front of us to come away with the wins."
Milestone Number Four... Hundred - Meghan Dyer crossed yet another milestone last weekend. She made three starts and recorded 31 K's, upping her career total to an impressive 422. Her total currently ranks fourth on Utah's all-time career K total. Among Utah's top-five strikeout leaders, Dyer is the only two-year athlete (she began her collegiate career at San Joaquin Delta CC). She is by far the league leader in strikeouts this season. Her 217 K's dwarfs second-place by 89 whiffs. SDSU's Christina Ross is No. 2 with 128 K's.
Slug It Out - Kara Foster and Hailey Davenport rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the league in slugging percentage. The duo have combined for 36 of the team's 88 extra-base hits (41 percent) thus far this year and are also Nos. 1 and 2 in the league in home runs. A freshman, Foster, who also leads the team in home runs (13) and RBI (42), is collecting bases at an impressive .769 clip. Meanwhile Davenport, a sophomore catcher who saw spot pinch-hitting duty last season, is rounding the bases at a .735 rate. She is second on the team with 11 dingers.
The Five-Finger Discount - If you look at Utah's conference-only stats, you might be surprised that it's off to a 1-3 start in league play. In the first four games, the team out-hit its rivals (25-17) and had a better batting average (.210-.165), slugging percentage (.277-.202) and fielding percentage (.964-.954). The only stat category, other than runs, that Utah trailed in was stolen bases. Utah was 0-2 swiping bases while rivals stole sacks on 9-out-of-10 tries.
Home Run Rants - Utah has hit 39 home runs. Utah's single-season record for home runs is 64 set back in 2004 ... the Utes have homered in 23 games this season, going 16-6-1 in those games ... the Utes have hit four grand slams this season. Kara Foster has hit two of them while Hailey Davenport and Tori Medina have hit one ... the Utes have hit eight lead-off home runs this season. Hailey Davenport is tops in that category with five of them ... Kara Foster has hit three of the last five dingers ... 14 of the 39 homers have come with two outs on the board ... the Utes have hit 19 solo, 13 two-run, three three-run and four grand-slam home runs ... Utah has homered eight times in the third and sixth innings, respectively, more than any other inning thus far. Utah has hit five each in the fifth and seventh ... almost half (18-of-39) of the home runs have come in the last three innings.
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 2-1 in extra-inning games. They beat No. 17 Texas in 10 innings, 5-4, and San Diego State, 1-0, in 10 innings. It lost to UTEP, 3-2, in eight ... the Utes are 2-5 in one-run games, most recently beating San Diego State, 1-0, in 10 frames ... opponents have scored five or more runs on Utah only nine times this year. The Utes are 2-6-1 in those outings ... the team surrendered its first triple of the year to an opponent just last weekend. It came from the bat of UNLV's Brittany Bolinger ... Karina Cannon's five-game hitting streak is currently the longest on the team ... nearly half (45 percent of the team's RBI have come with two outs (65-of-143) ... the Utes hit .372 this year in the sixth inning, their best hitting in an inning by far this season. It's worst inning this year is the second, .239 ... Utah's batting average ups to .290 when there are runners on base. It's even higher (.400) when there's a runner on third and less than two outs ... Utah is 11-0 when it has 10 or more hits in a game ... Utah had a season-high 17 hits in the 12-4 win over Saint Mary's (3/31) ... the team has out-scored its opponents, 44-23, in innings six and seven combined ... Utah's biggest run differential is in the third inning where it has outscored its rivals, 28-7 ... the Utes are 18-1-1 when they score three or more runs. But, they are 2-14 when they score two or fewer.
Scouting the Opponents - Brigham Young enters action this week 20-16 overall and 2-2 in league play. It swept San Diego State on the first day of league play and then dropped two to UNLV to round out the weekend. BYU has won five of its last seven. Leading the team are Jennifer Whiteley (42 hits, .400 batting average) and Christie Zinanti (7-6, 2.60 ERA).
Last Time Out - Utah went 1-3 in the first weekend of conference play. It dropped 3-2 and 3-1 decisions to UNLV and split with San Diego State. Utah dropped game one, 3-0, and topped the Aztecs in game two, 1-0 (10).
In game one against UNLV, Hailey Davenport's two-run homer in the first and Meghan Dyer's no-hit through 5.1 innings allowed Utah to sustain a 2-0 lead. But, UNLV countered with three runs in the sixth. A solo homer and an RBI single tied the game at two. Meanwhile, a costly throwing error allowed UNLV to grab the lead for good, 3-2.
A throwing error and an RBI double gave UNLV the 2-0 lead in game two. Utah responded in the sixth with Kara Foster's solo home run.
It was a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly that helped SDSU race past Utah, 3-0, in the first game of the series. The Aztecs' Christina Ross hurled the team to victory, shutting out Utah and holding it to only three hits.
Utah won a pitcher's dual in a 1-0 ,10-inning affair in the second game against San Diego State. A walk to Davenport with the bases loaded allowed Utah to grab the insurmountable 1-0 lead. Dyer warded off the Aztecs in the bottom of the 10th, getting them to retire, 1-2-3.
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 192-260-1 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 - The homestand continues when Utah hosts New Mexico in a doubleheader on Thurs., April 19, and single games against Colorado State on Fri.-Sat., April 20-21. Utah will host its final regular season non-conference game of the year on April 25, hosting Utah State for a single game at Ute Field.