Feb. 28, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Utah Valley University softball team suffered a pair of shutout losses on the opening day of the Louisville Slugger Invitational. UVU fell to UC Santa Barbara 7-0 before being topped by host Long Beach State 8-0.
"Today was a tough day for us," said Wolverine head coach Nikki Palmer. "We had some little victories that hopefully we can build on heading into tomorrow and moving forward."
Utah Valley (0-12) stranded five runners in its opening loss to UCSB while the Gauchos tallied runs in each of the first four innings. Two Wolverines, Brittney Vansway and Jamie North, recorded hits in the game while five different pitchers took to the circle. Kailey Christensen got the starting nod and ultimately took the loss after allowing only one earned run in 1.1 innings pitched. Bailey Moore, Kelsey Lawton, and Josi Summers each threw 1.2 innings while Dara Rahm worked 0.2 innings.
UCSB (11-4) was led by left fielder Kristen Clark who went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Starting pitcher Adriana Collins threw 3.0 innings, striking out two.
In game two, the Wolverines went toe-to-toe with LBSU (11-6) for the second time in the young season. Looking to avenge an 8-1 loss in the first meeting, UVU fell 8-0 in six innings to the Invitational hosts.
The 49ers held a 3-0 lead after three innings and tallied on five more to complete the game via run rule in the sixth inning. Three LBSU players finished with two RBI, headlined by shortstop Ashlynn Booker's pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Freshman Moore threw all 5.2 innings for Utah Valley, falling to 0-2 with the loss. She finished the game with four strikeouts. Dynasty Lauvai and Hailey Kofler notched base hits while Brianna Gatlin doubled in the first for the Wolverines' only extra-base hit on the day.
The Invitational continues Friday as Utah Valley faces Illinois of the Big Ten for the first time in program history. That game gets underway at 3 p.m. MT.