Freshman Ivette Hernandez is second on the team with a .333 batting average.
At The Plate
If the weather permits, Utah will travel to Cedar City, Utah, on Tuesday, April 15 to face Southern Utah in a single game beginning at 3:00 p.m. The forecast is calling for a 70-percent chance of rain/snow. Next, the Utes travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to battle UNLV on Friday, April 18 and then to San Diego to challenge San Diego State on Saturday, April 19. This is the Utes' first meeting against the Rebels and Aztecs this year. The games scheduled for earlier this month in Salt Lake City were canceled because of a snow storm.
Recapping The Last Outings
One of the Ute vans was rear-ended in Fort Collins, Colo., on last Thursday sending three student-athletes and an assistant coach to the hospital. The accident kept pitcher Brianna Gourdin out of play and may still keep her out of games this weekend.
Utah dropped both games of a twin bill against Colorado State last weekend. In the first game, Megan Masser held the Utes scoreless while giving up just one hit. The second game looked to be Utah's, but a six-run lead was lost as Utah fell 9-7 to the Rams. Utah redeemed itself with a doubleheader sweep of New Mexico to improve to 3-3 in league games. Lynsey Wall knocked three home runs and drove in seven runs in the two games, while Jen Pursell grabbed both victories.
Utah hosts a five-game homestand, April 25-27. On Friday, Utah welcomes Santa Barbara for a single game beginning at 3:00 p.m. Saturday pits the Utes against Colorado State in a doubleheader. New Mexico is the guest on Sunday in another league doubleheader.
Scouting The Thunderbirds
Southern Utah is riding a 10-game winning streak, which includes a four-game sweep of Western Illinois last weekend. The Thunderbirds last loss came on March 14 to San Jose State, which also beat the Utes earlier this year. April Cox is swinging for a team-best .321 average with 14 RBI, six doubles and nine stolen bases. Lacee LePrey is 7-5 with a 2.29 ERA. She's holding opponents to a .163 average.
Scouting The Rebels
The UNLV softball team went to extra innings in both ends of its conference doubleheader against San Diego State before losing both games in the final at-bat at SDSU Field on last Saturday. The Rebels are 18-27 overall and 2-6 in league play.
Scouting the Aztecs
San Diego State is in first place in the Mountain West Conference with a perfect 6-0 league record. Overall, the Aztecs are 30-14. Jacque Vaca boasts a .336 average with 24 RBI and seven doubles to guide SDSU's plate attack. On the rubber, the Aztecs boast a team ERA of 1.65, led by Bre DeSanta (14-4, 1.04) and Celena Velesques (10-4, 1.81).
"The losses against Colorado State were tough because our pitchers struggled and we didn't have Brianna Gourdin healthy to throw for us. We finally showed we can hit the ball this past weekend."
"I'm finally feeling like our defensive and offensive games are coming together and showing up at the same time. We hit and played defense very well against New Mexico. It's a perfect time for us to battle UNLV and San Diego State because our all-around game is there and Jen Pursell is coming on strong to boost our pitching."
Ups And Downs
Turn On The Power--After being held scoreless and to just one hit in the first game against Colorado State last weekend, Utah turned on its offense with 31 hits, 24 runs and 13 extra-base hits in its next three contests. The Utes have at least one extra-base hit in their last 13 games. Defense--After committing three errors against Utah State earlier this week, Utah settled down and only committed two errors in its next four games.
Niki Hayhurst continues to lead Utah with a .347 average, nine doubles and 33 hits. In her last five games, the senior has swung for a .571 average with two doubles and a homer.
Wall of Fame
Freshman Lynsey Wall is third on the team with a .291 average. The Utah native has driven in 12 runs while ripping three homers and a double in her last four outings.
I-vette on You
Ivette Hernandez, who has become Utah's regular designated player, boasted a .500 batting average last weekend. In the four games, the freshman connected for two doubles and a home run. She's second on the team with a .333 average.
Head Coach Mona Stevens is in her seventh season at the helm of the Utah softball program. Stevens, a well-known coach at the collegiate, national and international levels, has a 231-169-1 overall college record. The Provo, Utah, native is currently serving as President of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. In her spare time, Stevens enjoys performing with her band, the Sister Wives.