Niki Hayhurst is one of three Ute seniors who will be honored on Saturday, May 3.
April 30, 2003
At The Plate
Utah closes out its regular and conference seasons this weekend as it hosts UC Riverside and Brigham Young. The Highlanders stop by on Friday, May 2, for a single game match up beginning at 3:00 p.m. The Cougars and Utes battle on Saturday, May 3, in a conference doubleheader beginning at noon.
Recapping The Last Outings
The first and last games highlighted the Utes weekend, it was the in between games that were ugly. Utah kicked off the weekend with a 3-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara. Jen Pursell threw five hitless innings and didn't allow an earned run in the win. The next day saw Colorado State take both games of the league doubleheader (9-3, 11-8). In the second game against the Rams, Glennis Donnelly smashed a home run and a two-run double. Utah then split a doubleheader with New Mexico (L-7-3, W-6-2) on Sunday. Donnelly went on to homer in both of those games and Jen Pursell picked up the victory in game two.
Utah travels to San Diego, Calif., for the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The tourney lasts May 8-10.
It has been a tough season for the Utes, weather wise. Utah has lost 14 games because of inclement weather.
Scouting The Highlanders
UC Riverside has struggled in Big West Conference play, as it sits in seventh place. The Highlanders are stopping in before battling Utah State on Saturday and Sunday. Leading UCR's plate attack is Melissa Sanchez. The freshman is batting .279 with 16 RBI and three homers. As a team, the Highlanders have a 5.32 ERA.
Utah will honor its three seniors during the final home game on Saturday, May 3.
Scouting the Cougars
As a team, Brigham Young ranks 11th in the country with a .305 batting average. Oli Keohohou is tied for second in the nation with 19 home runs. As a team, the Cougs boast a 2.23 ERA. The Cougars swept Colorado State and split with New Mexico last weekend in Provo, Utah. They currently are in second place in the league with a 9-6 record, 31-13 overall. Utah leads the series, 8-6.
I'm hoping that the weather will hold up this weekend since the forecast is calling for rain."
"It's been a very disappointing season. We have not gotten on the track that we could have for some reason. At the same time, the Utah softball team always performs well at the end of the year, which could include this weekend or just the tournament. You can never count us out."
Utes on the Web
All three of Utah's games this weekend can be heard via the web. Go to the following address: http://220.127.116.11/softball/index.jsp
Don (nelly) of a New Day
Junior Glennis Donnelly has been one of Utah's best newcomers and players this season. The St. Louis, Mo., native earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors on April 29, after going 10-of-15 (.667) at the plate the weekend before. The effort produced four home runs, a double, seven RBI and eight runs. Donnelly ranks third on the team with a .292 overall batting average and second with a .408 league average.
Senior Niki Hayhurst appears to be closing her career out as one of Utah's best hitters. As of April 30, the Keizer, Ore., native ranks first all-time with 104 walks, fourth with 136 RBI and 40 doubles and fifth in home runs with 30. More impressively, Hayhurst will finish somewhere in the top five for career batting average.
Four of Utah's freshmen have contributed greatly this season. Ivette Hernandez is second on the team with a .345 batting average, a .517 slugging percentage and a .457 on-base percentage. She tied the Utah single-game record with three doubles against UNLV. Lynsey Wall has been named MWC Player of the Week twice. She's batting .272 and is tied for the team lead with 28 RBI and six home runs. Jackie Wong has turned her defensive game around lately. She had a perfect 5-of-5 day at the plate in the second game against BYU earlier this year. Brianna Gourdin has produced a 3-1 record in 11 appearances this season.
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 235-174-1 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.