SEATTLE – The Utah Utes scored twice in the final three innings of Saturday’s Pac-12 matchup at Husky Softball Stadium to come back and knock off the No. 5 Huskies, 3-2, in nine innings.
The Utes (10-9) scored once off Huskies starting pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby in the top of the 7th to tie the game at 2-2 and once in the top of the 9th off Bryana Walker for the winning run of the game. Walker took the loss to drop to 12-3 on the season. Inlgesby allowed just two runs (one earned run) over 7.0 innings of work.
The Utes scored first in the ballgame, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning on a two-out single.
After Utah took the lead in the top of the inning, the Huskies responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take the lead right back from the Utes, 2-1. Inglesby led off with a solo home run – her 4th of the season – and Jennie McNeill drove home Marki Creger-Zier with a hard-hit single to give the Huskies a 2-1 advantage.
Utah put runners on base in every inning except the 8th, and the Huskies pitchers were able to keep the Utes at bay until the later innings.
With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the 2nd, McNeill fielded an infield chopper at second base and fired home to Courtney Gano to get the force-out at the plate. But the Utes scored on the next at-bat.
After the Utes led off the top of the 3rd with a walk, Kylee Lahners made a diving stop on a sacrifice bunt attempt and quickly got off a strong throw to McNeill covering at first base for the out. Inglesby struck out the next two batters looking to get out of the jam.
But the Utes rallied back in the top of the 7th. After a leadoff single and back-to-back fielder’s choice plays, the Utes had a runner on 1st base and two outs. Then, three consecutive singles scored the tying run and nearly scored the go-ahead run, but Whitney Jones threw a strike from left field to Gano at the plate to prevent that runner from scoring safely.
The Huskies were not able to rally in the 7th or 8th innings, and the Utes took a 3-2 lead for good on a Kate Dickman sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the 9th. That proved to be the difference in the game.
The Huskies will play their third and final game of their opening home series against Utah on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.