Wolverines unable to stop Bengals’ rally, fall 8-6 to ISU in Trailblazer Tournament finale
Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wolverines finish the Trailblazer Tournament going 1-4 over the weekend after getting defeated 8-6 by the Idaho State Bengals.
The Utah Valley University women’s softball team (6-13) lost 8-6 to the Idaho State University Bengals (6-10) on Sunday afternoon in their final game at the Trailblazer Tournamnet at Karl Brooks Field in St. George, Utah.
The Wolverines were able to punch first with a two-run home run in the first inning to go up 2-0. The Bengals responded with a run to cut the deficit to 2-1 before the Wolverines scored four more runs in the second inning to extend their lead to 6-1. However, the Bengals would score seven unanswered runs throughout the remaining innings to steal the 8-6 win.
Despite the loss, the bats were hot for the Wolverines as they batted at a .394 hitting percentage. The Wolverines had 13 hits, five runners batted in, and one batter walked while only striking out three times total. However, eight Wolverines were left on base in the game as well.
Taylor Wooten led the way for UVU, going 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs, one run scored, and one stolen base. Jaeden Barajas also had a huge role for the Wolverines, crushing the opening two-run home run in the first inning. Megan Gibbs and Rylee Thorpe also registered two hits apiece in the game while five other Wolverines had one hit.
The Wolverines’ pitching staff had difficulty stopping the volatile ISU offense, cumulatively allowing 16 hits, eight earned runs, and two walks.
Brooke Saili started the first three innings for UVU, allowing four earned runs, six hits, and two walks. Saili also forced two strikeouts, four flyouts, and three groundouts.
Katie Zuniga (2-8) pitched the next 2.2 innings for the Wolverines in relief for Saili, surrendering four earned runs and nine hits. She also pitched one strikeout, three flyouts, and two groundouts.
Jorja Barrett took over the mound for the final 1.1 innings on defense for the Wolverines, giving up no runs and only one hit while forcing three flyouts.
The Wolverines weren’t afraid to score quickly at the bottom of the first inning as Barajas crushed a two-run moonshot out to left field that scored Wooten and herself to help give UVU a 2-0 advantage early.
The Bengals were able to answer with a run at the top of the second inning.
However, the Wolverines kept rolling in the second inning as Angelique Mann was able to double down the infield line to score Thrope, giving UVU a 3-1 edge. Multiple at-bats later, Wooten drove a grounder through the right side that scored Britney Moreno and Danyé Albritton to help UVU go up 5-1. Kalena Shepherd was then able to force an infield error against ISU a couple of plays later, scoring Libbie Hawker in the process to give UVU the 6-1 lead.
The Bengals then responded with a one-run inning at the top of the third inning to cut the deficit to 6-2 before furiously scoring five more runs in the next inning to take the lead 7-6, hitting the ball a total of eight times in both frames.
With no response from the Wolverines, the Bengals were able to extend their lead out to 8-6 at the top of the sixth inning after Brook Richards crushed a line drive out to left-center field to score Gracie Smith for the insurance run.
The Wolverines tried to rally in both the sixth and seventh innings but ISU pitcher Mailee Newman forced crucial plays to help the Bengals hold on to win 8-6.
The all-time series between the Wolverines and Bengals is now tied 25-25.
UVU next plays against in-state rival the Utah State University Aggies (7-8) on Tuesday, March 14, in their home opener at Wolverine Softball Field in Orem, Utah at 5 p.m. MT. The Wolverines will then play the University of Texas – Arlington Mavericks (9-11) on Wednesday, March 15, in another home game at 5 p.m. as well. Both games can be streamed on ESPN+.
Be sure to tune into UVUReview.com for updates.