Wolverines unable to hold off late-game heroics by UC Riverside, edged out 3-2

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Wolverines picked up fell in a 3-2 heartbreaker to the UC Riverside Highlanders on Saturday and are now 0-3 in one-score games so far this season.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley University women’s softball team (3-5) lost 3-2 to the University of California – Riverside Highlanders (4-5) in walk-off fashion during their third game at the Campbell/Cartier Classic on Saturday in San Diego, California.

Both teams were tied 2-2 following the third inning until Highlander Nadia Witt hit the game-winning base-hit in the bottom of the seventh that scored Lauryn Garewal to help UC Riverside edge out the Wolverines 3-2.

UVU is now 0-3 in one-score games so far in the young season.

The Wolverines batted at a .208 hitting percentage, scoring two runs off of five hits.

Libbie Hawker led the way for the Wolverines, going 2-3 from the plate, including a double, scoring one run, and recording three putouts on defense for UVU. Megan Gibbs also went 2-3 for the Wolverines and scored a run. Emma Haygood went 1-3 with one RBI and had three putouts on defense with an assist. Jaeden Barajas also made a sacrifice fly RBI.

Brooke Saili (2-2) pitched the full game for UVU, going for 6.1 innings, 98 pitches, and 22 at-bats while only earning two runs and allowing seven hits. Saili had three strikeouts, 10 force outs, and forced five groundouts.

Through 22 at-bats, the Highlanders had seven hits (.318 hitting percentage), two extra-base hits, and two RBIs.

Taylor Burdette had three hits through four at-bats, two runs scored, and one stolen base for the Highlanders.

The Wolverines got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning, with Hawker driving a liner into center field to get on base first for UVU. Britney Moreno followed with a sacrifice bunt that advanced Hawker to third. Barajas then followed with a sacrifice hit of her own that scored Hawker to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 advantage.

The Highlanders responded in the bottom of the first inning, getting two runners into scoring position with only one out. Max Ortega then hit a fly out that resulted in a double play; however, Burdette was able to score before the play concluded, evening the score 1-1 for UC Riverside.

The Wolverines started the second inning in great position after Gibbs was able to reach second base following a single and wild pitch by Brooke Perez for UC Riverside. Following two-straight flyouts by the Wolverines, Haygood served out an RBI single that scored Gibbs to help UVU regain a 2-1 lead.

The Highlanders were able to once again answer the Wolverines in the bottom of the third. Burdette was able to reach second base with two outs. Haylee Kela followed by reaching base on a fielding error that ultimately scored Burdette to help the Highlanders once again tie the game 2-2.

Both teams threatened to score on multiple occasions in the following innings but the defenses were able to get out of the jams and leave runners stranded on base. 

However, the Highlanders were finally able to breakthrough in the bottom of the seventh, getting Garewal on third base and Burdette on second with only one out. Witt then drove the game-winning RBI single out into center field to score Garewal and give UC Riverside the 3-2 victory over the Wolverines.

Since its inception in 2008, UC Riverside now leads the series against the Wolverines 3-0. 

The Wolverines will next compete against the San Diego State University Aztecs (7-1) and in a tournament rematch against Loyola Marymount University Lions (2-7) in their final two games at the Campbell/Cartier Classic.
Both games can be followed live on statbroadcast.com.