Fall softball, a time for evaluation

In weather better suited for the Iditarod than a softball game, the Wolverines dropped a fall season game to the College of Southern Idaho 8-6 Saturday afternoon.

Coach Todd Fairbourn and the lady Wolverines played five games over the snow and rained filled weekend in an attempt to get in as many innings as possible.

Utah Valley will take on several teams from around the state including BYU, Utah and Snow College in preparation for the regular season, which gets underway in February.

"We’re just trying to see what kids are capable of," Fairbourne said. "See which ones are progressing, which ones learn and how they react."

In the loss on Saturday, the Wolverines jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, but fell apart in the late innings only to lose the game due to time restraint.

Right fielder Alli Bramwell scored from third off a double steal for the Wolverines in the bottom of the 3rd inning before infielder Jessica Anderson hit a homerun straight through centerfield.

While Fairbourne isn’t too concerned with wins and loses in the fall season, he is concerned with the way his team plays.

"The kids that are back from a year ago, you hope they can carry you," Fairbourne said. "Something I’ve been disappointed in is that, with an exception or two, my returnees are the ones who are coming up short."

While his returning players have plenty of time to shake off the cobwebs, the need for pitching in the Wolverine line up must be addressed. After losing two starting pitchers before the school year, Fairbourne has been using the fall season to evaluate the pitchers he has in the dugout.

"The pitchers are going to dictate a lot of how we do," Fairbourne said. "I’m just trying to see what these walk-on pitchers are capable of."

Utah Valley will continue to play preseason games through the middle of October before picking up again for the regular season in February.

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