Mid-season review: softball middle of the pack yet boasts one of the best offenses in the WAC

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Roughly two-thirds of the way through the season, the Utah Valley softball team is 13-17 (4-8 WAC), but has boasted one of the best offenses in the WAC.

The Wolverine softball team is second in the conference in both batting average at .316 and on-base percentage at .392. UVU’s .863 OPS also ranks third in the conference behind fellow WAC West Division foes Grand Canyon and New Mexico State.

It’s been largely a family affair for the Wolverines under first-year head coach Cody Thomson. Thomson’s niece, senior outfielder Madison Carr, currently leads both the team and the conference in batting average at .436. Thomson’s daughter, grad transfer first baseman Mikaela Thomson, leads the team in slugging percentage and is tied for the team lead at nine home runs with Megan Gibbs, including a game-winning grand slam against division-leading Grand Canyon. 

Preseason All-WAC honorees Linnah Rebolledo and Kalena Shepherd have also lived up to the hype. Rebolledo’s .371 batting average is second on the team and she currently boasts a 1.032 OPS. 

Shepherd, a transfer from Southern Utah, has been a force both behind the plate and in the batter’s box. The junior catcher has just one error in 28 games played, and picked up right where she left in her record-setting 2021 season at SUU with a .358 batting average and a 1.056 OPS.

Unfortunately, the pitching hasn’t matched the pace of the Wolverines’ offense. UVU currently ranks second to last in the WAC with a 7.16 team ERA. If UVU’s pitching can lock it down in the home stretch, the Wolverines will be a scary team when it comes time for the WAC tournament in Huntsville, Texas on May 11-14. The top four teams from each division qualify for the tournament.

As of April 13, UVU sits in fourth place in the WAC West Division with 12 conference games and as many as seven non-conference games remaining ?— the Wolverines have had to reschedule two games with in-state rival Utah on two different occasions due to weather, and it’s unclear if both those games will be made up. 

With about a month left in the season, the Wolverines have plenty to play for. Scattered between the remaining conference games are six non-conference games against in-state foes ?— three against Utah, two against BYU, and one against Utah State ?— in addition to a tough road matchup with the PAC-12’s Washington. 

Out of the final 19 games, UVU will leave the state for just four and play 11 at Wolverine Field. Could we see some home cooking down the stretch for the Wolverines?