April 21, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The USD softball team earned a split with Utah Valley on Sunday afternoon at the USD Softball Complex. The Toreros (21-24, 6-10) collected 10 hits in their 5-1 victory in game one, but Utah Valley rallied back for a 4-3 win in the series finale. USD and UVU split the four-game set, two games apiece.
In game one, USD starter Cassidy Coleman shut down a two-out rally by Utah Valley in the top of the third when the Wolverines loaded the bases two hits and a walk. Coleman got out of the inning without allowing a run with a flyout to right field.
Coleman again shut down a UVU rally in the top of the fourth. The Wolverines led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but Coleman responded by striking out the next two hitters and inducing a flyout to center to end the half inning and keep the USD lead at 3-0.
The Wolverines managed to score a run in the top of fifth with an RBI double that followed a USD error.
The Toreros then came right back and increased their lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth. Prelsnik and Kaneko led off the inning with infield hits that were accompanied by UVU throwing errors, one of which allowed Prelsnik to score from third. Kimberlee Shimizu came up later in the inning with a clutch two-out pinch-hit RBI single down the right field line that plated Kaneko.
That would be all USD would need in game one as Coleman (12-10) shut the door in the seventh, picking up her fourth consecutive win in the process. Coleman threw 7.0 innings where she allowed one unearned run on nine hits while striking out 11 and walking one. This was the seventh game this season that Coleman has struck out double figures and the first since Mar. 22 when she struck out 10 against BYU.
Prelsnik (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI) and Rooney (2-for-3, RBI) each recorded multi-hit games for the Toreros in game one.
Game two started very slowly but ended wildly. The Toreros finally broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth when Mary Grabowski doubled and then scored two batters later on a fielding error by the UVU second baseman to give USD a 1-0 advantage.
USD starter Jenny Lahitte held the 1-0 lead until the top of the sixth when UVU exploded for four runs. The Wolverines scored their first run on a one-out RBI double by Kylee Brinkerhoff, followed by the go-ahead run on Dynasty Lauvai's RBI single to left. The next batter then ripped a single up the middle that scored Brinkerhoff as well as pinch-runner Morgan Summers after Prelsnik's throw from the outfield was off line and skipped away.
USD then started to mount a final rally by getting the first two hitters on to lead off the bottom of the seventh. With no outs and runners on first and second, Kaneko lined a shot off UVU pitcher Tiffany Mills' foot that ricocheted into left field, scoring Morgan Kurtz from second and making the score 4-3. USD got runners at second and third with no outs before Lauren Tomey struck out swinging. The next hitter, Kylie Crawford, drew a one-out walk to load the bases, but Prelsnik was picked off between third and home for the second out. With two outs and runners at first and second, Mary Grabowski popped up to shortstop to end the game.
Lahitte (8-13) took the loss after throwing 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (3 ER) on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking three. Coleman pitched 1.2 innings in relief without allowing a run or a hit while recording two strikeouts.
Prelsnik (2-for-3), Kaneko (2-for-4, RBI) and Grabowski (2-for-3, R) each turned in strong performances at the plate for the Toreros in game two.
The Toreros returns to action when they travel to Loyola Marymount for a four-game PCSC series Apr. 27-28 with both days' doubleheaders beginning at 12 pm.