There is a lot of excitement when a new season opens. It is an opportunity to put the past behind and to start fresh. Players and coaches are optimistic about the upcoming season and the success they hope to have. That was the way UVU softball head coach Nikki Palmer and her players felt going into their opening weekend in Las Vegas. But the Wolverines struggled as they went 1-4 over the weekend and three of the four losses were by the run-rule, which means they lost by eight or more runs. Here is the recap from each:
Texas Tech 5 UVU 1
The Wolverines only mustered four hits in their season-opener against the Red Raiders of the Big 12 Conference. Kristy Snyder, Taleigh Williams, Dana De La Torre, and Tiani Hensley each recorded a hit in the contest. Hensley’s only hit was a double in the third inning that scored Kendall Ohman and got the Wolverines on the board.
Texas Tech pitchers Cheyene Powell and Mattison Maisel shut down the Wolverine offense. They struck out seven combined, walked three, and only allowed the one run in the victory.
#14 Minnesota 9 UVU 0 – 5 innings
The Gophers out of the Big Ten Conference did exactly what they were expected to do as they scored in all five innings on their way to the win. Minnesota pitchers held UVU to one hit in the contest and took advantage of three UVU errors.
Brittney Vansway was the only Wolverine to record a hit and Haley Harrison recorded a stolen base for UVU.
Kylie Stober got the win for the Gophers as she only face two hitters over the minimum in the shortened contest.
Lamar 14 UVU 6 – 6 innings
The UVU offense finally came alive on Friday afternoon as they scored six runs thanks to a Taleigh Williams home run and doubles by Kristy Snyder, Brittney Vansway, and Tiani Hensley. The Wolverines had nine hits on the day total.
However, the pitching for UVU struggled as Lamar scored 14 runs on 10 hits and eight walks. The Lamar offense recorded five doubles on their way to the win.
Bailey Moore took the loss for UVU on the mound as she gave up three runs in just 0.2 innings pitched.
UVU 13 South Dakota 5 – 5 innings
In the second game of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, UVU finally picked up their first win of the season. Brittney Vansway and Kristy Snyder hit back-to-back home runs in a 9-run fourth inning for the Wolverines to earn their first win of the season.
Bailey Moore pitched 3.2 innings for UVU to pick up her first win in the circle. UVU racked up 14 hits led by Haley Harrison, who went a perfect 4-of-4 at the plate and had three RBI’s. Harrison, Taleigh Williams, Tiani Hensley, and Breezy Roth all had doubles for UVU in the win.
UNLV 11 UVU 1 – 5 innings
In the weekend finale of the 2016 Sportco Kick Off Classic, host UNLV didn’t want to end the weekend with a loss. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning, the Rebels used a 9-run inning to put the game out of reach and earn the 11-1 win.
The offensive struggles came back to haunt UVU as they only had three hits in the game by Brittney Vansway, Brianna Gatlin, and Tiani Hensley. Hensley also recorded the only RBI in the game for UVU when she singled in Vansway in the top of the second inning to give UVU its only lead of the game.
UVU will come home for a few days before going to Cathedral City, Calif. for the Mary Nutter Classic on Feb. 19-21. They will face George Washington, No. 24 Notre Dame, Army, Bethune-Cookman, and Binghamton.
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