The Utah Valley softball team headed to Colorado to take on both Northern Colorado and Colorado State this weekend. The Wolverines compiled a 1-2 record against Northern Colorado on Thursday, Mar. 3, and Friday, Mar. 4 before making the short drive to Fort Collins, Colo. to face Colorado State on Friday as well. UVU would win the matchup over the Rams 9-7. They then discovered their 3 upcoming games against CSU would be canceled. Utah Valley’s trip to Colorado would end abruptly after splitting their games 2-2 in the Centennial State.
The Wolverines’ first game against Northern Colorado started slow as neither team would score a run for the first three innings. The Bears would get on the board first in the bottom of the fourth inning when a single sent JC Gandert home 1-0. Northern Colorado would keep the momentum in the fifth and sixth innings to create a wide lead of 7-0 going into the seventh. Jaeden Barajas was able to prevent the shutout with a double to send Rien Milliken home at the top of the seventh, but three straight outs would end the game in favor of the Bears 7-1.
Game two of the double-header started off Utah Valley’s way when Laynee Betancur’s single to center field scored Barajas from third 1-0 in the top of the second inning. The Bears would answer, tying the game 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth. The 1-1 tie wouldn’t stick around for long as Megan Gibbs scored on a single from Victoria Vasquez in the top of the sixth 2-1. UVU’s bats kept swinging as the Wolverines scored three runs on four hits to start the seventh to improve the lead to 5-1 in favor of Utah Valley. Northern Colorado would score one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the final score would favor the Wolverines 5-2. Katie Zuninga, the Left-Handed Pitcher, was the standout player of the game for UVU pitching a complete game allowing only two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
On Friday, Mar. 4, Utah Valley played their final game of the series against Northern Colorado. After two scoreless innings, the Bears drove in four runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning to create an 8-0 lead heading into the fifth. Kyla Hardy scored from third in the fifth on a fielder’s choice to narrow the lead 1-8. Then, in the top of the sixth, Kalena Shepherd hit a solo home run to left-center field to make the score 2-8. The Bears answered with their own solo homer at the bottom of the inning to widen the lead 9-2. The Wolverines would go down fighting after scoring two runs in the seventh to end the game 9-4 in favor of Northern Colorado.
There was no time to focus on the loss, as UVU headed to Fort Collins, Colo. to face Colorado State in their second game of the day. The Rams started the scoring early with two runs to take the lead 2-0 at the bottom of the first. Shepherd answered in the third by hitting a bomb of a two-run homer to right field tying the game 2-2. Then, Aubree Hogan hit a single that advanced two more runners to go up 4-2. Colorado State was unfazed as Hailey Smith crushed a two-run homer of her own to tie it up again 4-4 at the bottom of the third. After a scoreless fourth inning, UVU went up 5-4 on a single from Gibbs, followed by the third two-run homer of the game delivered by Hogan raising the score 7-4. CSU scored in the bottom of the fifth 5-7. In the sixth, Linnah Rebolledo reached first on the fielder’s choice that also sent Vasquez home. Rebolledo then stole second and kept going after a throwing error by the Rams. She flew around the bases and scored to give Utah Valley a 9-5 lead. Colorado State scored two runs in the sixth to trail 7-9. However, a scoreless seventh inning resulted in a glorious win for the Wolverines.
Aubree Hogan excelled in this game going three for four at the plate with a home run and four RBIs. Kalena Shepherd also played an important role with a home run of her own and two RBIs. UVU will play their next games in a double-header on Wednesday, Mar. 16, against Maine at home. The scheduled times are 12:30 p.m. MT and 3 p.m. MT respectively.
Senior Broadcast News Director