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Herrera and Mills Combine to Shut Out Portland State in DH Split
March 30, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley was shut out 7-0 by Portland State in game one of its Pacific Coast Softball Conference opening series, but returned the favor in game two, defeating the Vikings 1-0 at Wolverine Field on Friday afternoon.
"It makes you proud when the kids can respond the way they did," said UVU head softball coach Todd Fairbourne. "Portland State took it to us in the first game but we turned it around in the second. Herrera deserves so much credit and Mills came in and sealed the deal again. The girls handled themselves really well."
After losing the first game to the reigning PCSC champions, UVU (20-8, 1-1 PCSC) jumped ahead of Portland State (11-14, 1-1 PCSC) 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning of game two. Kylee Brinkerhoff roped a leadoff triple off the wall in right center and Marie Williams followed with a bunt-single to drive her home.
The opening-inning run was all the Wolverines would get in the game, but it was all they would need as Cassie Herrera and Tiffany Mills combined to hold the Vikings scoreless. Herrera, who started the contest, improved her record to 6-1 after pitching 5.2 innings and allowing just six hits and none for extra bases.
On the flip side, PSU got a nice game from pitcher Raya Johnson (1-4) who threw all six innings for the Vikings and limited UVU to just four hits for the ballgame.
The Wolverines threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Krystin Jachim standing on second base with just one out. But Stephanie Likos struck out swinging and Jamie North grounded out to Johnson to end the threat.
Needing a run to stay alive, PSU got leadoff double from Becca Bliss in the top of the seventh, but Mills put away the next three Viking hitters, getting a strikeout, a pop-out, and a ground-out to preserve the UVU win and to lock up her nation-leading seventh save on the year.
Williams led the Wolverines at the plate, going 1-for-3 and driving in the game's only run. Brinkerhoff, Jachim, and North all went 1-for-2 to round out UVU's four hits in the contest.
UVU dropped the first game of Friday's doubleheader 7-0 as the Vikings tallied 11 hits and scored in every inning of the contest but the fourth. PSU got on the board in the top of the first after Alicia Fine tripled to right field and then was plated by Crystal Conn's RBI groundout in the next at-bat.
The Wolverines best opportunity to score came in the bottom half of the inning when it had runners on second and third with no outs following a leadoff double from Jessica Uresti and a single and stolen base from Williams. But Amanda Robinson popped out to the shortstop on the ensuing at-bat and Deianna Russell flew out to center. Uresti tried to tag on the Russell fly ball, but a strong throw from PSU's Jenna Krogh beat her to the plate to keep the Wolverines off the scoreboard.
It was all Vikings from there as Anna Bertrand cruised to her ninth win of the season, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing just four hits while striking out three. UVU's Mills dropped to 10-6 on the season after allowing one earned run on six hits in four innings pitched.
UVU closes out its four-game series with Portland State on Saturday with another doubleheader. Game one is set for 10 a.m. at Wolverine Field.