No. 1 Oregon awaits Wolverines in Tuesday doubleheader

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM A Redmond, Ore., native, Dara Rahm makes her return to her home state Tuesday vs. Oregon
A Redmond, Ore., native, Dara Rahm makes her return to her home state Tuesday vs. Oregon

April 28, 2014

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OREM, Utah -- With WAC regular season play now completed, the Utah Valley University softball team begins a four-game, season-ending road trip with a trip to Eugene to face top-ranked Oregon. The Ducks represent the highest-ranked opponent in Wolverine softball history and will be the second No. 1 ranked program in any sport to face off with UVU.

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The Last Meeting
Utah Valley1  
No. 7 Oregon9(6)
February 15, 2013
Henderson, Nevada
Softball tops San Jose State but falls to No. 7 Oregon
After opening the Easton Desert Classic with a 9-1 loss to No. 7 Oregon on Friday, Utah Valley responded in the second game of the day with a 4-1 win over San Jose State thanks to three home runs and a solid outing by pitcher Tiffany Mills.

The Wolverines (14-36) come into the weekend having suffered a pair of losses to New Mexico State to close the conference season. UVU held a 3-1 lead over the Aggies in game one, but surrendered the advantage in the sixth inning and went on to fall 6-3 in nine innings. NM State jumped all over the Wolverines in game two, claiming a 15-6 win in five innings. Game three was cancelled due to heavy rain on Saturday.

Following Friday's results, Utah Valley finishes the WAC season in fifth place and will take the four-seed to the WAC Tournament in Seattle beginning May 8. UVU will face Bakersfield in the tournament's opening game.

The story of the weekend came in senior Amanda Robinson's white-hot bat. The catcher/first basemen hit a home run in both games against the Aggies, giving her 10 on the season and seven in her last eight games. She has hit nine dingers in the month of April, and has homered in each of the last four contests. For her efforts last week, which saw her reach a .405 batting average and 19 RBI in April alone, Robinson was awarded the WAC's Hitter of the Week honor.

Winners of its last ten, top-ranked Oregon (44-5) is coming off a three-game sweep of Pac-12 rival Stanford. The Ducks outscored the Cardinal 21-3 in the series for their third straight conference series sweep. UO last lost on April 6 when it dropped a 6-1 decision at home against then-No. 1 UCLA.

"Oregon is a tremendous program and has proven that they deserve to be considered the top team in the country," said Utah Valley head coach Nikki Palmer. "This series is one that we scheduled to give our girls a chance to face one of the top teams in the country before the conference tournament starts, and also so that we could get (senior and Redmond, Ore., native) Dara Rahm a game in her home state. We'll definitely have our hands full against them, but it's an experience we're all looking forward to."

The Ducks earned their first No. 1 ranking in school history on April 9 and have not relinquished it, going unbeaten over the last three weeks to maintain their top spot. UO has been a unanimous No. 1 in both the USA Today/NFCA and Softball top-25 polls for four weeks.

Tuesday will mark the second time this season that the UVU softball team has faced its highest-ranked opponent in school history. The Wolverines took the field against No. 5 Michigan in early March and hung tight with UM until it pulled away late in the game to win 7-1 in a rain-shortened contest. Utah Valley and Oregon met last season at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, with the seventh-ranked Ducks prevailing 9-1 in six innings.

It is also the second time in school history that any UVU team will face a top-ranked foe. Wrestling was the first sport to do it, taking to the mat against No. 1 ranked Iowa in February of 2010.

Following its trip to Eugene, the Wolverines return to Utah County to wrap up the regular season. A doubleheader at crosstown rival BYU on Tuesday, May 6 will close the book on the 2014 season and stand as the final tune-up before WAC Tournament play.