Wolverines start 0-2 at the Trailblazer Tournament

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wolverines began their fourth and final tournament of the young season on Friday at the Trailblazer Tournament in St. George, Utah.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Utah Valley University women’s softball team (5-11) went winless in their opening doubleheader of the Trailblazer Tournament on Friday against the Oregon State University Beavers (9-8) and Portland State University Vikings (5-10) in St. George, Utah.

The Wolverines fell 2-3 against the Beavers and lost 5-2 against the Vikings.

After UVU scored two runs in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead early against OSU, the Beavers responded in the bottom of the frame, evening the score 2-2. The following innings would go into a defensive bout before the Beavers broke through and scored the game-winning run off a home run by Morgan Howey in the sixth to ultimately take a 3-2 victory.

The Wolverines could not bounce back against PSU in game two as the Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. UVU answered with one run at the bottom of the inning and the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the deficit down to 3-2. However, the Vikings would finish strong with a two-run seventh to rout the Wolverines 5-2.

Hits were sparse for UVU in game one. The Wolverines batted at a .125 hitting percentage, totaling only three hits in 24 at-bats. Four Wolverines walked and six were left on base as well. 

Libbie Hawker led the charge for the Wolverines, going 2-for-4 from the plate. Rylee Thorpe registered the other hit for UVU along with scoring the first run for the Wolverines. Jaeden Barajas was walked twice and scored the second run for the Wolverines.

Brooke Saili (1-3) pitched all six innings for UVU in game one, surrendering five hits, three earned runs, and one walk, but she forced two strikeouts, 11 flyouts, and four groundouts through 63 pitches.

The Wolverines’ hitting improved against PSU as they batted at a .231 hitting clip. The team was able to get six hits, both runs batted in, and two batters walked. However, the Wolverines also struck out four times and had six runners left on base.

Barajas had a team-high two hits, including one RBI, and scored a run for UVU for the second-straight game. Four other Wolverines clocked a hit in the game.

Katie Zuniga (1-7) got the starting nod for the Wolverines in game two, giving up three hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks through four innings pitched. Though, Zuniga was able to strike out two Vikings and force five flyouts and three groundouts.

Jorja Barrett came in relief for Zuniga in the fifth inning and closed out the game for UVU. Her numbers were similar to Zuniga’s as she allowed three hits, two earned runs, and two walks. She also forced two strikeouts, five flyouts, and two groundouts.

The Wolverines punched first in game one at the top of the second inning. With Barajas and Thorpe on third and second base, respectively, Angelique Mann was able to force an error by the Vikings’ infield to score them both and put UVU on the board first with a 2-0 lead.

Frankie Hammoude gave the Beavers an immediate response in the bottom of the second with a leadoff homer to cut the Wolverines’ lead to 2-1. Three plays later, Eliana Gottlieb was able to score the game-tying run in Aubree Seaney off a sacrifice fly out to even the score 2-2.

Howey vaulted the Beavers past the Wolverines with another OSU leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the Beavers a 3-2 edge.

The Wolverines attempted to respond in the top of the seventh, getting Mann and Hawker on the corners of the diamond. However, a groundout would end the game for the Wolverines and seal the win for OSU.

Following a scoreless first three innings to start game two, the Vikings loaded up the bases in the top of the fourth inning. Ellie Babbitt punched Logan Riggenbach home with an infield groundout to help PSU go up 1-0. A few at-bats later, Paetynn Lopez was able to score Trinity Holden and Bailee Noland with a two-RBI double slicer down the right field line to give the Vikings a 3-0 advantage.

The Wolverines were able to answer in the bottom frame as Mann lifted an infield sacrifice fly to score Mya Higareda and chip the Vikings’ lead down to 3-1.

Barajas kept the Wolverines’ momentum going in the following inning, hammering a two-out homer to center field to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Vikings ended their scoring drought in the seventh with Natalia Martinez batting home Lopez to extend PSU’s lead out to 4-2. Riggenbach worsened the blow against the Wolverines with an RBI single that scored Alexa Cepeda to help the Vikings go up 5-2 with some insurance runs.

The Wolverines were unable to respond as the Vikings held on for the win. The teams are now tied 1-1 against each other this season as the Wolverines won the first matchup 12-2 on Feb. 25.

UVU will next compete on Saturday, March 4, in another doubleheader at the Trailblazer Tournament. The Wolverines will first take on the University of Nevada – Las Vegas Rebels (10-6) at 3 p.m. MT before concluding the three-game season series against PSU in game two of the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. MT.
The rematch against the Vikings can be streamed on WAC International TV.