Diana Phillips hit .462 in six games last week. Phillips and the softball team host six games this week, including two conference doubleheaders.
April 12, 2005
The Lineup: The University of Utah softball team (12-19 overall, 1-5 Mountain West Conference) has the heady task of playing six home games over a five-day stretch this week. First up are a pair of single nonconference games against Utah State (Wednesday, April 13) and Cal-Riverside (Friday, April 15). Both games are at Ute Softball Field and are at 3 p.m. The weekend brings conference rivals Colorado State (Saturday, April 16) and New Mexico (Sunday, April 17) to town. Those two doubleheaders are slated to start at noon.
Quoting Head Coach Mona Stevens:
"We played well last week, until Sunday. It was like we ran out of energy, we ran out of steam. But, this week is going to be different. We have six games and all of them are at home. To be here, in front of friends and family for two weeks, it's a slice of heaven.
Scouting This Week's Opponent:
Utah State: The Aggies are 10-23 this year and saw a three-game winning streak snap with back-to-back losses to UC Santa Barbara last weekend. Sara Fleming is tops in hitting, batting .309 for the year and belting out a team-high 11 doubles and four home runs. Leslie Higley leads the team in the circle. She owns a 3.92 earned-run average and a 6-10 mark for the year.
Cal-Riverside: The Highlanders are 11-31 this season and have dropped four straight. Utah and UCR met earlier this season with Utah bagging the 9-1 win in Las Vegas, Nev., back on Feb. 12. Jessica Black is hitting a team-best .299 with nine doubles. Sara Radabaugh is the top regular hurler in chalking up a 3.19 earned-run average and a 5-17 mark.
Colorado State: Defending regular season conference champs, CSU enters the week boasting a 25-13 mark and is third with a 4-2 conference record. The Rams have won in their last two outings and in six of their last eight. Jessica Strickland is one of eight Rams batting better than .320, hitting a team-best .397. She also has a league-leading 18 doubles. Strickland is also the team's top hurler with a 1.88 earned-run average and a 10-6 mark.
New Mexico: The Lobos enter action this week with a 13-20 slate and are fourth in the MWC at 3-3. They saw a three-game winning streak come to an end with two losses to Colorado State last weekend. Ryanne Hodgins is hitting a team-best .361 this year and also has a team-high three triples. Katie Gregg leads the team with a 3.01 earned-run average. She is 6-2 on the year.
Conference Killers: Devina Quintero and Diana Phillips have stepped up their game since the conference season began. The duo are batting better than .400 in conference tilts with Quintero hitting .444 and Phillips checking in at .412. The two account for 15 of the team's 34 hits (44 percent) in conference play. For the year, Quintero is hitting a team-best .321 and Phillips is second in hitting .295.
A Triple-Bagger: Freshman Meghan Crouse belted her first career triple in the 5-3 win over Utah Valley State on Wednesday. It was only the third triple by a Ute this season. Brianna Gourdin and Diana Phillips are the only other two on the team to tally a triple thus far this year.
Takin' Care of Business: Hurlers Brianna Gourdin and Lindsie Nielsen combined to have solid outings in the doubleheader against UVSC on April 6. The duo combined to strikeout 22 of the 55 UVSC batters faced.
High Five: Diaper dandy Diana Phillips has put together the second longest hitting streak on the team thus far this season. She has had a hit in each of her last five games, including a 3-for-3, two-run showing in the first game against San Diego State. The longest Utah hitting streak of the season belongs to Devina Quintero at nine.
Three's Company: Bryanne Durrence had her second multiple-RBI game this season when she plated three runs for the Utes in the 5-0 win over San Diego State. She also had a two-RBI outing against Brigham Young on April 1 of this season. The three-RBI game ties her career high. She also had a three-RBI day against Utah Valley State on April 27, 2004.
K Queen: Brianna Gourdin tied her season high when she fanned 10 UVSC batters. She also struck out 10 batters in the second game of the season against Southern Utah. Moreover, she only allowed three hits against UVSC. That ties her best effort in a complete game this season. She allowed three hits against the T-Birds in the same game.
K Queen - Part 2: Lindsie Nielsen set a season-high when she fanned 12 UVSC batters on Wednesday. However, Nielsen shined the entire week in three appearances. She struck out 19 opponent batters while walking one and allowed only three earned runs and 18 hits (19 innings pitched). For the week, Nielsen had an earned-run average of 1.11 which made her season average plummet from a 4.91 to a 4.03.
Hit and Runs: The Utes play 14 of the last 21 games at home, after playing 29 of the first 31 on the road to open the season ... 17 of the last 21 games are in the state of Utah ... the Utes were 0-2 in one-run games last weekend. For the year, Utah is 3-6 in game settled by one run ... Utah's batting average slips from .237 to .230 in conference play while opponents' average improves from .275 to .303 ... despite an 0-3 conference mark, Lindsie Nielsen's earned-run average drops from 4.03 to 1.84 in league games. Her opponent batting average also drops from .292 to .240 ... 29 of Lindsie Nielsen's 58 strikeouts this season have come in the last six games.
At the Helm: Mona Stevens is in her ninth season as Utah's softball head coach. Stevens is 272-229-1 all-time and owns a 101-77-1 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: Utah remains in the state with five games on tap. Its lone road game is a date with Utah State in Logan on April 20. The Utes return home to host a pair of conference doubleheaders. They jump back into MWC action when they host UNLV (April 22) and New Mexico (April 23) here at Ute Softball Field.