The Utah Valley softball team opened their WAC season being swept in three games by the Grand Canyon Antelopes March 26 and 27.
The Lopes dominated game one, winning it 11-0 in five innings. GCU scored all their runs in the first three innings, including a six-run second inning that gave the Lopes an early eight-run cushion.
The second and third games were much closer — with each game being decided by one run — but the Wolverines were unable to come out with the victory in either. UVU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two after Rien Milliken drove in Siena Sandoval on a sacrifice fly.
GCU would answer with two runs in the fourth and what proved to be the winning run in the fifth. UVU scored one more run in the sixth but could have had more, as they stranded a runner on second with only one out. GCU shut down the Wolverine offense with a three-up, three-down seventh inning to secure the 3-2 victory.
Game three was a pitcher’s duel as the Wolverines’ Devyn Cretz (5-7) and Lopes’ Ryan Denhart (7-5) both pitched complete games in a 2-1 Lopes victory. Cretz struck out seven over her six innings of work, and only one of the two runs she allowed were earned. Denhart struck out nine and allowed just one run in seven innings.
GCU scored first in the fourth inning after a throwing error kept the inning going for the Lopes. UVU would tie the game in the sixth inning after a Jade Miller triple set the table for Emery Nielson, who drove Miller in with an RBI single. The game wasn’t tied for long, as back-to-back doubles from Lilly Bishop and Kristin Fifield in the bottom of the inning gave the Lopes their winning run.
The Wolverines will continue their 13-game road swing with a trip up to Logan to take on the Utah State Aggies on March 30 at 4 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.