Softball: Utes improve winning streak to four with two wins on Saturday

softball Emily Juchau

Utah Softball beat UC Davis and Boise State on Saturday at the DeMarini Desert Classic for its third and fourth straight wins. With the two victories, the Utes improve to 7-3 overall on the young season.

Utah started off play on Saturday afternoon by defeating UC Davis 11-0. The Utes’ bats were busy from the start, as Utah scored four runs in the first inning. Heather Bowen scored Delilah Pacheco from second to register the first Utah run. Kristen Stewart followed by singing to left field, scoring Anissa Urtez. Ally Dickman flied out to leftfielder Taylor Peters, scoring Bowen on the sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

After Stewart advanced to third on a wild pitch by UC Davis’ Alicia Paine, Bridget Castro then singled her home.

Utah kept the pressure on the Aggies in the second inning, knocking in three more runs. With two outs, Hannah Flippen blasted a home run, her third of the season, to put Utah up 5-0. Urtez followed Flippen by singling to center field and then stealing second. Bowen bombed Paine’s pitch over the left center wall for a two-run home run, making it 7-0. The homer was Bowen’s first of the season.

The Utes scored four more runs in the fourth to increase their lead to 11-0. Urtez doubled to left field, scoring Flippen from first for Urtez’s first RBI of the game. Stewart crushed the ball to center field for her opening home run of the season, driving in Urtez and herself to make the score 10-0 Utah. Kay Kay Fronda joined in the fun and hit a home run to deep center field for her first dinger of her Utah career, putting the Utes up 11-0.

On defense, Utah obtained its third straight shutout, holding the Aggies to just four hits. Katie Donovan (2-3) started and earned her second win after giving up three hits and striking out four in three innings of pitching. Freshman Hailey Hilburn sealed the shutout for the Utes, only allowing one hit and one walk in two innings.

The game was called after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.

Utah followed UC Davis with Boise State, who came into the game against the Utes searching for its first win at 0-7.

It took Utah until the second inning to get its first runs on the board, but the second inning was an offensive explosion for the Utes. Bronco pitcher Mackenzie McGill put two Utes on base by hitting them. Dickman singled to shortstop, then Fronda doubled down the right field line to score Dickman and Stewart. Pacheco and Fronda advanced to second and third, while Castro was thrown out. Flippen then jacked a homer to center field to put Utah up 5-0.

Bowen hit a solo homer, her second of the year, to left field to increase Utah’s lead to six. Utah would be held without a run until the seventh inning, when the Utes cemented their victory with three runs. Flippen scored via Urtez’s single, then Urtez scored off Stewart’s RBI single. Peterson reached first on a throwing error by pitcher Nicole Wilson to make it 9-0 Utah.

The Broncos managed one run in the seventh to break up the Utes’ shutout streak. Miranda Viramontes started and earned her fourth straight win, allowing three hits, one walk and no runs, striking out five through three innings. Hailey Hilburn pitched three innings, striking out two and allowing only one hit. Kayce Nieto came in for the final inning of relief, allowing one run on a passed ball.

The Utes wrap up their time in Vegas by facing Hawai’i Sunday at 12:15 p.m. MST.

j.coles@dailyutahchronicle.com

@JoeColesChrony