Utes 7 - 4, Lobos 2 - 0Utah softball coach Mona Stevens wasn't worried about her team's offense heading into Friday's critical doubleheader with New Mexico.

"This team is always going to get hits and score runs," she said.

However, she was a little concerned about her workhorse pitcher, Kristin Arbogast, perhaps fearing her arm might fall off with all the innings she's pitched this year.

The Utes got their hits and runs as expected and also received a superb pitching performance from Arbogast, who was just one pitch away from chucking a pair of shutouts as the Utes swept the first-place Lobos, 7-2 and 4-0, at Ute Field.

With the doubleheader sweep, the Utes climbed into first place in the Mountain West Conference at 12-4, while the Lobos slipped into second at 10-4. With a doubleheader today against Colorado State (noon, Ute Field) and a doubleheader next week at home against BYU, the Utes are in position to win the MWC regular-season title and get the No. 1 seed in the MWC tournament May 11-13, at Ute Field.

"I'm tired -- it's been a long day," said Arbogast after pitching 14 innings and allowing just two runs on 10 hits.

Long day? How about long season?

In pitching 14 innings Friday, Arbogast surpassed the Ute season record for innings pitched -- 286 by Ali Andrus in 1994. Arbogast has pitched 294 innings with six regular-season games left. She was happy with the quality of her innings Friday.

"It's been awhile since I had a decent outing," she said. "My goal today was to come out and pitch hard. It would have been nice to have two shutouts, but the main thing is we won."

In the first game, the Utes built up a 7-0 lead thanks to Nicole Wilkinson's two-run homer in the fourth and Sunny Smith's three RBIs.

Except for a "mistake" by Arbogast in the top of the seventh when Sarah Maulorico smacked one over the left field fence, she would have had a shutout.

She got it in the second game, although not before a few nervous moments in the top of the seventh.

The Utes scored in the first on a Lobo error, in the third on Lisa Hashimoto-Hall's triple, in the fourth on Wilkinson's double, and in the sixth on Michele Larsen's home run.

In the top of the seventh, the Lobos loaded the bases on two singles and an error, and had their two power hitters coming up with one out. After getting Danielle Cassara to foul off several pitches, including a foul home run, Arbogast got her to pop out to center field. Then the Lobos' cleanup hitter, Kathy Moore, lined out to centerfield to end the game.

"I was nervous the whole inning because (Arbogast) looked like she might be a little tired," said Stevens. "But she showed that sheer determination and guts would do it."

Stevens said she hopes after the big wins Friday her team doesn't overlook Colorado State today, even though the Rams are in fourth place in the MWC. And they shouldn't considering the Rams won a pair from the Utes last month in Fort Collins.