BYU softball faces Utah in Deseret First Duel

The BYU softball team has one eight consecutive contests against Utah. (Photo by Deseret First Duel)

PROVO, Utah – BYU softball plays in the state of Utah for the first time since the season’s opening week when they take on the University of Utah in the Deseret First Duel Thursday in Salt Lake City.

Deseret First Duel
Mar. 20 at 6 p.m. MDT
Ute Softball Field
Salt Lake City

BYU (10-17, 0-0 WCC)
BYU faced stiff competition in Hawai’i and finished with a 1-4 record. All five of its games were decided by two runs or fewer. Freshmen Lauren Bell and McKenzie St. Clair batted .400 with one RBI each. St. Clair came up big in clutch situations for BYU.

The Cougars trailed in the seventh inning in all five games played in the Rainbow Wahine Classic and St. Clair represented the tying run in three plate appearances going 1-for-1 with two walks and an RBI. Bell and St. Clair were both named to the all-tournament team for their contributions.

McKenna Bull had the best week of her career, pitching 16.2 innings with a 2.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts. She earned the win against Hawai’i after not allowing a single baserunner and striking out seven consecutive batters to end the game. Against Valparaiso, she recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts. It was the first double-digit strikeout performance by a BYU pitcher since Tori Almond struck out 10 Santa Clara batters April 19, 2013.

Utah (10-9, 1-1 Pac-12)
Utah opened conference play last week splitting two games against No. 5 Washington. The team is led from the plate by junior Kate Dickman with a .493 batting average, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Freshman second baseman Hannah Flippen is second on the team with a .397 batting average, three home runs and 13 RBIs. Freshman shortstop Anissa Urtez leads the Utes in RBIs with 17 and is tied with Flippen with a team-high three home runs.

Sophomore Kayce Nieto is their primary starter in the circle. She is 5-7 on the year with a 3.21 ERA  and 24 strikeouts. Freshman Sammy Cordova was instrumental in the win over Washington, throwing 4.2 shutout innings in relief of Nieto. She holds a 4-1 record on the year with a 1.84 ERA.

Deseret First Duel
Deseret First Credit Union sponsors games between BYU and Utah in 12 sports. The winner of each game is awarded points and the school with the most points accumulated at the end of the sports year wins the overall duel. Utah holds the overall lead this season 38-6. In softball, BYU has won the last eight contests against Utah, tying its longest streak (2004-06) in the rivalry. 

BYU series record vs. Utah
Overall Series Record: 31-16
BYU Record in Provo: 16-5
BYU Record in Salt Lake City: 12-9
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-2
BYU Record under Gordon Eakin: 25-7
Longest BYU Win Streak: 8 (2004-06 and 2009-Present)
Longest Utah Win Streak: 3 (2006)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 15 (2009)
Largest Utah Margin of Victory: 7 (2001)
Most Runs Scored by BYU: 15 (2009)
Most Runs Scored by Utah: 11 (2001, 2004)

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